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eBay denies move away from auctions; In association with perfect image.

EBay has announced moves to make it easier for entrepreneurs and retailers to list products in bulk at fixed prices.

The announcement follows an expansion of the site from its original auction format towards a greater emphasis on fast, fixed price or "buy it now" sales.

EBay denied it was moving away from auctions. It said the changes would enable all sellers to choose between fixed price sales and auctions.

The site estimates that 178,000 people in the UK earn a primary or secondary living from running a business on the site. The new measures would make it easier for sellers to meet growing demand for fixed price goods and for the 15 million visitors a month to find the offers more quickly, eBay said.

"Buy it now" sales now accounted for 43% of total sales, up from 39% a year ago. Among the new measures are reduced up-front listing fees for fixed price sellers to offer all their stock. More fees will be payable only after an item has sold.

EBay said the majority of sellers would see their overall fees go down as a result of the changes. The reductions followed a similar cut in fees for auction and fixed price listings introduced in March.

Sellers will no longer have to pay to upload photos of their goods, and fixed price listings will be given greater prominence on the site.

Clare Gilmartin, director of marketplaces for eBay in the UK, said: "We now have a more tailored offering to fit every size of seller and business model, from a mum cashing in on some old baby clothes to an at-home entrepreneur to a retailer with a large and varied stock.

"Alongside the magic of auction-style sales, buyers increasingly want the convenience of shopping for great value, often new, items at a fixed price. This is fuelling a big growth in the number of large and small sellers using eBay in this way.

"Today's improvements will remove barriers for sellers so they can make the most of this opportunity and offer even more goods for sale on eBay. That means even greater choice for buyers and in turn greater success for sellers."

The changes come into effect on September 24.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 21, 2008
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