EBay springs a price increase on eBay Stores owners.
When eBay hiked its fees last month, many big sellers became infuriated -- and some say they'll build their businesses without the auction site. The hike primarily affects high-volume sellers who've set up what are called eBay Stores. Speck Industrial Controls, a Moorestown, N.J., company with 58,000 listings of its surplus industrial-automation equipment on eBay, has been pleased with eBay's reach and features, says Greg Carter, director of marketing, but he expects Speck's fees to rise 79%. "This is encouraging us to look at eBay's competitors," he says. Some sellers are considering raising shipping costs -- which eBay does not take a percentage of -- to offset the hike. Fruit Ridge Tools, based in Jamestown, N.Y., sells 80% of its inventory through eBay, but co-owner Garrett Spitzer is now planning to ramp up the company's own website. EBay spokesperson Hani Durzy notes this is the first fee hike since eBay Stores was introduced in 2001. It remains, says Durzy, "a very cost-effective way to reach millions of buyers all over the world."