Auction website eBay has revealed it plans to reduce the fees it charges sellers to list fixed-price items from September.
The company said the move will enable it to compete more effectively with online retail rivals like Amazon.com.
While the company denied it is moving away from auctions, it claimed the move will make it easier for entrepreneurs and retailers to list products in bulk at fixed prices.
Under the new plan, sellers who offer fixed-price items in eBay’s ‘Buy It Now’ format will pay only 35 cents to list an item for 30 days – a reduction of 70pc in upfront fees.
However, 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.
EBay is also expected to announce that buyers will no longer be able to buy goods by cash or cheque and that payments will have to be via credit card or PayPal.
It is estimated that 178,000 people in the UK earn a primary or secondary living from running a business on the site. Globally, some 1.3m businesses have been built around the eBay website.
It is believed eBay’s auction business is no longer growing as fast as its fixed-price business because consumers are increasingly less interested in auctions.
It is also rumoured eBay is about to revamp its search engine to allow consumers to find goods faster and discern between fixed and auction prices.
By John Kennedy