Catherine Holahan for Business Week:
Executives at eBay have gotten the message. Since taking the helm in March, eBay Chief Executive John Donahoe has made it clear that fixed-priced items are key to future growth. EBay's "Buy It Now" business, where shoppers can purchase items at a set price even when the merchandise is also listed in an auction, makes up 42% of all goods sold on eBay. It's growing at an annual 22% pace, the fastest among eBay's shopping businesses. "As [Web] search has developed, you can get a great deal in a fixed-price format," Donahoe said in an Apr. 16 interview after his first earnings call as eBay's top executive. "We are going to let our buyers choose."
Perhaps the biggest example of eBay's new fixed-price focus is the new fee structure, announced in January. The changes gave breaks to many large vendors who sell fixed-priced goods on the site, while hiking fees for many eBay users who sell using a traditional auction structure.