Online giant eBay intends to increase site traffic and business with the launch of a value range sold at fixed prices in preference to auction.

The e-tailer this week e-mailed customers offering “home essentials” ranging from candles to cooking utensils, all of which are being offered at low prices by eBay vendors. Clothing, food and garden items are also on sale.

An eBay spokeswoman said that the discount against the high street would be an average of 25 per cent. Most of the goods being sold are branded products.

EBay director of communications Richard Kanareck said: “These are the kind of everyday things you wouldn’t necessarily want to use an auction to get. So rather than using eBay for that one-off thing that you can’t get anywhere else, we’re offering the chance to buy it now. Obviously the lower the price, the higher up the list an item will appear.”

Kanareck said that although eBay has been traditionally best known as an online auction house, it would be “aggressively pushing” its status as a source of low-price products.

“Value is at the heart of the eBay brand, so in the current economic climate it’s obviously pretty important for us to emphasise this,” he said.

EBay’s decision to highlight its position as a low-cost, buy-now retailer follows a survey carried out for the company by research house Frontier Economics.

It compared the price of 288 goods in 12 categories on eBay with those available from high street retailers including John Lewis and Debenhams. Clothing and computers were singled out in the report as offering the biggest price differential.