eBay is to give 50 free listings a month to all users, from April, in a bid to tempt sellers back to the site.

The once-dominant auction site, which has seen its market share damaged by the Amazon Marketplace in recent years, will also charge lower commission on items sold by the site from July.

That means eBay will only charge sellers a portion of the fee they receive from the sale and dismiss the smaller listing fee that it had previously taken, regardless of whether the item sold or not.

The California-based company will also encourage merchants to offer free shipping to customers by charging a higher commission to those who charge buyers to have their items delivered.

Vice President Todd Lutwak said: "We think these changes will really improve the marketplace for both buyers and sellers. We're listening to our customers. We're trying to understand their needs."

Fightback

The latest effort to boost site activity is part of a three year plan to recoup the losses eBay has made to Amazon and other online retailers.

The perception is that still Amazon is a much more trustworthy and convenient means of buying and selling goods as it takes care of the transactions and lessens direct contact between buyer and seller.

To help customers keep track of multiple items eBay has also retooled the site with a shopping basket which makes things a little more straightforward than the trusty old watch list.

A+++++++, 5* updates, eBay! We might use again!