Thursday, November 30, 2006

Is Overstock getting ready to pull the plug on Auctions?

My guess is they are not going to pull the plug in the near future but decisions they are currently making may force them to shutdown auctions sometime in 2007. Shutting down Auctions is not their intent but it may become the result.

New Auctions VP Stormy Simon recently spoke to Overstock sellers on the Overstock message boards yesterday.

"I write to address the changes that we are making to our auction program. I will preface this by saying that, while I’m sure all of you won't agree with everything I say, I do hope you'll respect my candor, and remind you that none of these changes are being made to discourage you from listing with Overstock or to damage your businesses: they are being made to save this program for all of us. "

They are trying to save the Auctions platform and truthfully some of their changes are needed. My take on this though, is that by backing off on their marketing and exposure for auctions on the main Overstock site they are setting the wheels in motion for failure. What is the old axiom? "If you don't grow you die" I experienced it with Glacier Bay DVD and I believe Overstock is experiencing it now. Their commitment to Auctions is waning, so even though they have recently broken even, they don't seem to have the heart to take it forward from here. It may die of neglect.

I don’t have a “horse in this race” and online sellers don’t need less competition for eBay they need more. I hope Overstock can right this ship and send it in the right direction.

Just my 5 cents!