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Boycott 'not taken seriously'

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ebay watch logo Hacked off eBay users are threatening to launch a week-long boycott of the auction site from Friday.

The "strike action" is due to take place in response to recent increases in fees introduced by eBay. Unrest among some eBayers has led to vocal comments being posted on eBay message boards, threats of people leaving the auction community and almost 24,000 people signing an anti-eBay petition.

However, doubts remain about just how effective the strike action will prove to be. Quizzed recently by industry analysts eBay execs said they were unsure whether the strike woud even go-ahead.

And a straw poll of eBay's top "PowerSellers" by American Technology Research found that "there appears to be little interest in the reported eBay sellers' strike". Certainly none of those surveyed said they planned to take part in the boycott and didn't take the threat of strike action seriously.

The feedback also suggested that despite changes made by eBay, the auction site's top sellers appear to show little sign of ditching eBay and striking up new relationships with other auction sites that have tried to exploit the divisions within the eBay community. This apparent loyalty to eBay comes amid continued fears that fraud continues to pose a problem for genuine traders.

Earlier this month eBay was forced to cut some of the fees it charges sellers in the US and Canada after being stung by criticism over fee increases coming in to force on 18 February. Within weeks, the auction site reined back some of its proposals after claiming it was "listening to you, our Community".

In an email to customers, eBay North America president Bill Cobb promised to improve customer support, banish annoying and meaningless automated responses and cut fees for listing some items. ®

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