eBay predicts more fee changes

More change is in store at eBay, after the online auction company reported its profit climbed 22% in the first quarter despite complaints from its sellers over fee and feedback adjustments.

An Associated Press report quoted CEO John Donahoe saying that 'I anticipate a year that's going to be a fairly vocal year because I think we are going to make a number of changes"&brkbar;I think in [the first quarter], we did a good job, not a great job, in the way we engaged with our community.'

Users can expect more rejigging of the fee structure, more refinements to eBay's search functions and more payment guarantee initiatives at PayPal, the report said.

In the first quarter eBay made modifications to boost listings, improve buyers' experiences and free the site from fraud. Besides changes to fees and feedback it gathers about buyers and sellers, eBay added a 20-day hold on payments for certain items through PayPal, which outraged sellers.

The company's growth has slowed amid mounting competition from e-commerce sites like Amazon.com, but it benefited from the weak dollar, and beat Wall Street's expectations in the first quarter and raised its outlook for the rest of the year.

The company reported net income of US$460 million (€289 million) on revenue of US$2.19 billion (€1.37 billion) in the quarter that ended 31 March. In the same quarter last year, eBay earned US$377 million (€237 million), on revenue of US$1.77 billion (€1.11 billion).

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