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eBay cuts staff at Butterfields

The traditional auction house owned by the online auctioneer is laying off about 32 of its 200 positions, or 15 percent of its staff.

Butterfields, the traditional auction house owned by eBay, is laying off 15 percent of its staff.

A spokesman for Butterfields on Tuesday confirmed the layoffs, which were first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The move will cut about 32 of the company's 200 positions.

eBay bought Butterfields, previously known as Butterfield & Butterfield, for $260 million last year.

eBay used Butterfields as a launching pad to start its high-end Great Collections area. But Butterfields initially had difficulties tracking, shipping and billing orders placed through Great Collections.

More recently, eBay announced that in an effort to draw more high-end sellers to the site, it would begin charging bidders a new fee to buy items in its Great Collections area. Some industry observers saw that as an indication that few high-end dealers were listing their goods on Great Collections.

The cutbacks are the second set of layoffs by San Francisco-based Butterfields. In July, eBay said it planned to cut back 5 percent of Butterfields' staff and would discontinue holding live auctions at its galleries in Chicago.