Being a refugee from a big corporation, I recognize doublespeak and weasel words when I hear them. "Core" means where the profits come from.
Its fairly obvious they are using the profits, or actually overcharges, from the auctions to fund business ventures that have very little in common with Ebay. Does Skype really need to be integrated with Ebay?
I sell mostly vintage car parts, each part is unique and takes some research and a different auction desription. Then each part requires a unique shipping box, sometimes large. This takes alot of time. I've seen my profits dwindle the last several years with the fee increases - which is a big reason I am here using Auctiva to offset the picture listing and scheduling fees (THANKS!). Then Paypal takes a big bite. With the increases in shipping, customers also think they are getting hosed (I charge actual shipping rates). I've had to raise my reserve or starting bids to make up for the Ebay fees. No one, sellers or customers are winning here except EBay. At least for awhile. Ebay is just begging for competition, the backdoor is wideopen and a big breeze is sweeping in. I can see some smart guys, like Auctiva, offer an auction type listing format for niche markets and clean Ebays clock in that market, mostly from much lower fees. For instance, offer auctions for antiques, glassware or even vintage auto parts - integrate them with existing websites or forums.
Ebay is just not paying attention to their cash cow, its only got so much milk. If they LOWERED the fees they'd get alot more listings and make more money.
In my biz, there's all kinds of crap mixed in the reqular auctions that get in the way of searching for hardcore car parts, usually cheap overseas stuff like car covers, stereo systems, chrome headlight covers, etc that use spam keywords. These are not usually store items. That's the real problem for the "Ebay Experience."
Well that's my rant and my two cents - forgot now with fee increases its now three cents.