Hey, it's their company, they can do as they please I suppose. However, I can't help being amused at the odd business sense being shown by eBay UK.
You know the drill ...
Well, that's how most see the site, and how they initially traded and grew. After a while, of course, they actively attracted professional sellers. So much so that their bread and butter small buyers and sellers were beginning to desert them. This led to a change in fees and the way search results were presented which didn't go down too well at the time.
They seem to have quite a lot of trouble balancing the two types of user, and have flip flopped back and forth for a while. Last year, they launched a charm offensive, to attract back the small sellers who earn a few pennies selling their unwanted goods, by re-introducing free listing for low-priced items.
In October, though, they changed tack again and stipulated that books, records (as mentioned specifically in the above 2007 ad) and a slew of other categories, must be listed with free postage.
Not a problem, I hear you say, as the seller can just add the postage cost to the item listing. Nope, as that is against eBay rules and can lead to account suspension or termination.
So, if you have a book worth around a quid before postage and want to sell it, the p&p cost, even for a Ladybird, will be around £1.50. That's before paying your fee to eBay and PayPal. Which kinda defeats the object of offering free listings for cheaper items ... that they were attempting to attract.
To make selling even easier, eBay has announced new pricing for casual sellers, making it free to list items in the classic eBay auction-style format with a starting price of up to 99p. There is a flat 10% Final Value Fee when the item sells. If it doesn’t sell, there’s no fee at all.
I'm sure there will be those stupid enough to sell something for £1 and pay £2 for the privilege (the UK is populated with plenty such fools) but most would rather take their unwanteds to the dump - along with eBay's cut.
If you're reading this from outside the UK, this doesn't apply to your satellite eBay site as the rules are only apparently applicable here.
eBay's profits took a bit of a dive last year, I'm not sure eBay UK are helping matters much with their confused customer relations initiatives.