February 22, 2001 12:30 PM PST

Yahoo confirms auction drop-off after fees

The number of items listed at Yahoo Auctions has "dropped considerably" since the company began charging listing fees, a spokesman said Thursday.

Brian Fitzgerald, senior producer at Yahoo Auctions, said the company anticipated the decline. CNET News.com previously reported that the Santa Clara, Calif., portal giant acknowledged a decline in listings after the fees were instituted on Jan. 10.

"While listings have declined, we are seeing the same amount of business flowing through the system," Fitzgerald said. He also said sellers on Yahoo Auctions continue to record the same number of sales as they did before the listing fees were instituted.

Yahoo said in January that it hoped the fees, which are between 20 cents and $2.25 depending on the value of the item being sold, would reduce "clutter" on the site by discouraging sellers from listing worthless merchandise.

The fees also come at a time when the company finds itself amid a campaign to boost its revenue.

"As a result of charging listing fees, there is an additional revenue stream," Fitzgerald said.

Online auction industry titan eBay said last month it would increase its listing fees. And unlike Yahoo, eBay also charges its sellers a percentage of each sale. E-tailing giant Amazon.com also has plans to charge sellers a commission on sales.


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