FurBuy adds annual fee for serious users
Initially, the fee was implemented after $400 of sales – chosen as the amount above which self-employment tax must be paid in the USA. Advance notice of the proposed changes were posted on FurBuy's LiveJournal community and FA journal.
Clearly not all users were watching, as a user backlash ensued. After a week, site owner Jurann raised the limit to $900, but noted that it is likely to include current and opening bids in the future, to prevent listing a number of high-value auctions at once.
FurBuy originally asked users for donations to cover its expenses, but monthly income from them has consistently fallen short of the $400 target. Jurann said that FA's Dragoneer had suggested subscriptions to cover FurBuy's $450/month server fees, and was also considering them for FA.
The fee was followed by an initial fall in listings. While users now appeared mollified, the site faces competition from FurBid and The Dealers Den, neither of which have announced plans for mandatory listing fees. Sinabu, owner of The Dealers Den, explained how he could afford it:
I own my hosting company.. That pretty much takes care of all my needs..
Jurann says 360 subscriptions are required to pay for the site, and that 85 have already paid. He also claims that the site has facilitated over $250,000 in sales this year, with more than 60 sellers earning over $1000, and that he has put over $60,000 of his own money into the site.
FurBuy celebrates its 10th anniversary next week. The site opened to the public on 1 December 2000 after a three month beta.