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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Unhappy eBay traders boycott site
Ebay sign
Ebay says it is "not really seeing any tangible strike action"
Unhappy professional eBay traders have staged a boycott of the online auction site to protest at a rise in fees and a drop in the visibility of their items.

Ebay said about 100 UK traders were involved, although participants said more than 300 took part in the action.

The boycotting traders are all members of eBay's "shop sellers" subscription service, which allows them to run online stores linked to the website.

They are angry that eBay has raised the fee it charges for listing items.

The change takes the fee from a flat 3p to between 3p and 11p.

Some also point to an increase in so-called "final value fees", the percentage of the selling price which must be paid to eBay.

The UK "strikers" formed part of a concerted effort by traders worldwide using the auction site.

'Not worried'

Starting from last month, the new sliding scale of 3p to 11p depends upon the value of what is up for sale.

The shop sellers have also seen a reduction in the visibility of their products to potential buyers.

Their goods now only appear if fewer than 30 items match a users' search criteria.

EBay hopes the change will stop potential buyers from getting swamped with too many available items.

The firm's UK community manager, Dan Wilson, said that while 100 traders were taking part in the boycott, this was a drop in the ocean compared to the tens of thousands of people registered as eBay shop sellers in the UK.

"We are not really seeing any tangible strike action and we are not that worried about it, although I don't want to dismiss the concerns of our customers," he said.

EBay has 15 million UK customers.

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