Molotok web auction to charge merchants
N 24 July 2012

Molotok web auction to charge merchants

Classifieds and web auction site Molotok.ru has announced a number of changes to its policy, including its plans to charge users symbolically for the items they post for sale.

Starting on 1 August, subscribers will have to pay fr om 0.1 to 0.4 ruble for some categories of lots. In case their item is sold, the amount will be transferred back to the seller’s account. In an official release, Molotok explained the aim was to protect those who use the service professionally. «Analysis of our partners' offer shows that, in some categories, up to 80% of all items are unmarketable goods, posted by as few as 2% sellers. The situation affects other sellers, whose sales are falling», Molotok said.

In another change of policy, an item can only be posted once, and only in one category, and duplicate lots will be removed.

According to Roem.ru, in introducing the new policies, Molotok is trying to 'clean up the rubbish' from its listings before the announced arrival of eBay in Russia. Molotok’s CEO Igor Tarasenko had said earlier his site would charge users many of whom «still treat Molotok as a classifieds site wh ere they try to sell old and unwanted stuff, littering our listing, our offer, with scores of unmarketable items». Currently about 10% of users account for 95% of the company’s revenue. «I would like 100% of them to be professionals», Mr. Tarasenko said.