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Will eBay.ph start charging fees?




ebay.phSince eBay Philippines (eBay.ph) was introduced in the Philippines some 3 years ago (November 16, 2004 to be exact), it has remained free to Filipino users. The eBay model (subscription + sales commission) has been the core of it business with Paypal as its major financial backbone. Now that Paypal Philippines has gone full circle, will eBay start charging subscription fees on eBay.ph?

eBay exists in localized versions in about 24 countries worldwide. Some of these sites were early adopters and instead of building a direct local version, eBay just bought them. The list includes:

EachNet, Inc. for $150 Million (Chinese eCommerce Company)
Baazee.com for $50 Million (online shopping site in India)
Internet Auction Co. for $325 Million (online auction in South Korea, mother company of Auction.ph)
Marktplaats.nl for $290 Million (Dutch classified site)
Rent.com for $415 Million
Shopping.com for $620 Million
StubHub for $310 Million (ticket reseller)

When eBay came to the Philippines three years ago, there weren’t that many solid players in the market. Well, you can point to BidShot but their business model is a little different. So, a completely fresh eBay.ph back in 2004 was doable as the market was still young and internet usage, very low.

In this case, the usual strategy of “bait them with free, then later charge them a fee” might be the ultimate business plan of eBay.ph. I couldn’t think of any other way they’d generate revenue from the marketplace.

So, it makes sense. In the 3 years that the auction site has been operating at zero income, it could be high time to switch to the regular subscription model, especially that everybody has full access to Paypal in the Philippines.

So, to all those eBay Sellers out there, how does a $0.20 to $4.80 Insertion Fee plus 3.25% – 5.25% of the closing value sound to you?



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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7 Responses

  1. Mindanao Bob says:

    How does eBay currently make money in the Philippine market? They get people started selling for free on eBay.ph, with that, people start learning a little about e-commerce. As their knowledge grows, they realize that the Philippines is a tiny market, and if they want to make big bucks, they need to sell on eBay.com. When they move to eBay.com, eBay starts earning money from these sellers.

    I agree that eBay will begin charging for the use of eBay.ph, but I think they will wait for it to mature further before charging.

  2. paul says:

    Nice blog abe, keep up the good work! God bless!!

  3. paul says:

    I have some info…
    Paypal is outsourcing their customer service here in the Philippines… they all handle the whole North American Community.

    The company’s name is “Sutherland”, It is in export plaza bank, ayala, makati.

  4. Miguel says:

    Will Pinoys still like eBay PH if it becomes a real auction place, and not a listing service where you can still bargain?

  5. dementia says:

    If the additional fee is in centavos, that would be alright. But dollars is a bit hard to swallow since many buyers on ebay.ph are looking for bargains.

  6. I hope it will take a long time before they charge fees.

  7. James says:

    hi..im an ebay seller. I guess having an insertion fee on ebay.ph is too much, especially if it’s in the dollar denomination.

    You see, if I sell a 50 peso keychain, I have to pay an insertion fee of 18 pesos if we follow the list of insertion fees on ebay.com(according to ebay.com, a starting price of $1-$9.99 would pay $0.40(P18), I use P45=$1). If I sell five 50-peso keychains, i would be charge with 90 pesos, and if they do sell, ebay still will get a final value fee. There would be nothing left with the seller. To cover up these fees, as a seller, I will try to raise the selling price. But that would not be very attractive to buyers.

    My take on this is that eBay, if they will ever ask for insertion fees, it should be in philippine pesos, not in dollars($5 for them is just minutes of work,unlike here in the philippines, it would be a 5 hour work of a minimum wager).

    Or the seller can have options, if he is only a 1 time seller, he can be charge with insertion fees. But if he is a regular seller(like me), we can be charge by a monthly basis, maybe P100-P1000?I don’t know, as long as we can list items as many as we can.

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