Classified giant EBay has made all private sales in Germany free of charge as of Mar. 1. Until now, sellers have had to pay the platform a commission and a listing fee. The change, which has been adopted only in Germany, is indefinite. After the U.S. and Great Britain, Germany ranks third worldwide in terms of sales for EBay.

The company, which is based in Kleinmachnow, near Berlin,said it was removing the biggest obstacle that customers have encountered when selling on, by cutting costs. To date, sellers have been required to pay EBay commission of approximately 11% of sales, alongside a listing fee of €35 ($37.4 U.S.).

There will be no adjustment to commercial sellers’ costs. Commercial sales, according to EBay, account for approximately 80% of trade on the platform.

Oliver Klinck, EBay Germany’s managing director, said that the removal of fees for private sales represented an investment in the marketplace industry as a whole. An incentive for private sales boosts the market’s attractiveness, increases the variety of offers on EBay Germany, and drives business, he added.

Klinck said the initiative was also a response to the current economic conditions, noting, “We are living in a time when many families lack money in their wallets.” Due to the energy crisis and inflation, for example, there is a “great need in Germany to generate additional income through private sales.”

EBay’s international business is declining. The company recently announced that revenues had decreased by 4% year over year to $2.5 billion during Q4 2022. Its adjusted profit from continuing operations fell by 10% to reach $581 million.

The balance sheet is even more gloomy in the long run. EBay has fallen far behind Amazon, the largest online retailer, over the past 25 years, having initially been neck-and-neck competitors, according to Tagesschau, Germany’s public broadcaster.

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