Rivlin on eBay Fee Increases

Gary Rivlin writes a good in-depth article on the seller community’s response to eBay’s fee increases. The article articulates eBay’s rationales—eBay wanted to restore some balance in the use of certain tools, so price increases were the ways to drive sellers to use different tools. This rationale is very logical, but it was buried deep in the article and, perhaps, not well-communicated by eBay. However, this also points to perhaps eBay’s biggest challenge of all. It has to keep its seller community happy and invested, and this seller community responds viscerally and emotionally at every eBay change because those changes either eat into the sellers’ profits or make them work harder. Seller community relations is one of the trickiest but most essential pieces to eBay’s growth, and despite the noisy responses to any particular eBay initiative, eBay has a great track record on this front.