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EBay sellers plot site boycott

EBay sellers plot site boycott

By Kara Rowland
February 6, 2008

Sellers on EBay are planning a boycott of the online marketplace to protest a new fee structure and other changes they say are unfair.

The auction site last week announced it is slashing the fee it charges to list items for sale, but is raising its commission rates for goods once they are sold. EBay no longer will allow sellers to rate buyers, and it will punish sellers who receive negative feedback by reducing their prominence in buyer searches.

The changes, which go into effect Feb. 20, sparked outrage among EBay merchants who say they give buyers an unfair advantage.

"I don't know who they think their sellers are, but we're not idiots," said Richard Capria, a Long Island, N.Y., auto mechanic who is a part-time seller of model planes. "There's going to be no way for the seller to warn other sellers of a deadbeat buyer or a scammer."

Mr. Capria is one of many regular EBay users calling for a boycott of the site, planned for the week of Feb. 18-25. He already closed his online shop.

EBay maintains the overhaul is supported by internal data, community feedback and user outreach.

"We have a very passionate and engaged community, and they don't hesitate to tell us how they feel. That's always been the case with EBay," spokesman Usher Lieberman said. "Our overarching goal is that we need to improve the customer experience on EBay, and all the changes we are making are aimed at highlighting the best sellers, who have the highest rates of customer satisfaction and downgrading those who don't."

As for the removal of buyer feedback, Mr. Lieberman cited instances in which sellers would unfairly retaliate against customers who gave them negative feedback.


Exposing the sleazery of ebaY and PayPal


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