Here's a novel method for raising fees without actually raising fees -- stop issuing refunds. That's what eBay did to some of its sellers recently.
Raising fees is an annual rite of spring for the mammoth online auction marketplace. Since eBay is really the only game in town for sellers who want the best price, eBay faces few real limitations to price hikes -- normal market forces don't apply. Even last year, when an online protest was sparked by fee increases of 50 percent in some areas, eBay weathered the storm with little damage.
Emboldened by that experience, eBay once again announced it would be plucking extra nickels and dimes from sellers in January. Some of those price hikes were revealed in an announcement in January.
There are 3 key players in SE market, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft (MSN -> Live); Ask has some market share as well. Google has been dominating the market, but they've been there for less than 10 years. AltaVista was the leader previously. This is not the case in online auction market; eBay has been the dominant player from the beginning (in US), though Yahoo has some market share. eBay will stay up there or someone will bring them down ...?