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I sat down here in Vegas with Skip McGrath, author of two eBay books, who lives north of Seattle. After selling on eBay for more than six years, he's seen many changes.

"In 1999 when I started, eBay was a license to print money. You cannot believe how easy it was to go find a product and put it on eBay and make money," McGrath recalled with a laugh.

But profit margins declined as more sellers came on board and flooded eBay with merchandise, pushing prices down. At the same time, eBay has steadily boosted its fees, squeezing sellers. "We are seeing some weak sellers weaned out," McGrath said. "I see that trend accelerating."

Many eBay sellers are going back to their roots now, he added. Some are abandoning the new products they have been buying in bulk and selling on eBay, and returning to the collectibles market where they began.

"Consumer products and clothes kind of took over, but it became too competitive," McGrath said.

That was a theme I heard a lot here -- eBay is so flooded with new and used goods of all kinds that sellers are seeking new ways to cut costs.

Some are even striking out into the import business -- but more about that later.

By Leslie Walker  |  June 15, 2006; 5:36 PM ET  | Category:  EBay Live , Leslie Walker
Previous: eBay, live and in Person | Next: Alibaba and the eBay Thieves

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Posted by: maxamed | June 16, 2006 1:21 AM

Did they announce where next year's eBay Live will be?

Posted by: Wish I was there | June 16, 2006 7:33 AM

Yes, next year the convention will be in BOSTON.

Posted by: ds | June 17, 2006 7:16 PM

Congratulations on the comment that EBay is "weaning out" many sellers due to fees raised, SOME out of range of the AVERAGE seller. I just received a bill for June for just under $60.00 - More than TWICE what I sold. Checked and found May's bill to be almost identical.
ALSO; I have had two serious "magic" EBay exclusions in my listings causing me to complain. I don't like complaints.
I AM a small seller with a 100% "Squeaky clean" and VERY kind remarks from my buyers.

Bottom line - Do I continue paying large fees, being forced to balance out the difference in other ways, OR CAN I BE HONEST, AS I HAVE BEEN FOR 73 1/2 YEARS??

Is there another way to go? A way that encourages honesty in trade? I know, Diagones with his lamp, wandering the street looking for an honest man....

Posted by: Jay Crawford | July 7, 2006 4:58 PM

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