Monday, August 06, 2007

Whatever Happened To eBay Express?

It has been slightly over a year since eBay Express launched to much fanfare and a multi-million dollar ad campaign, so I thought I would take a look and see how the site was doing. Unfortunately there just isn't much information available. The eBay Express discussion board has very little activity. There have been no announcements regarding Express since June 7th when Lara Housser posted prior to eBay Live!

Last December, there was a promotional push announced by Gary Briggs, eBay CMO

"eBay Express is also getting a lot of coverage. Rosie O'Donnell spread the eBay Express message on The View recently, and she gave Nikon cameras to her lucky audience, courtesy of eBay Express. Similarly, Tyra Banks sent her audience home with iPods last Monday on behalf of eBay Express. On December 10th, our own Griff was interviewed in a USA Today Article about Holiday shopping where he had the opportunity to talk about Buyer Protection on eBay Express.

To complement all these celebrity spots, we continue to have a heavy presence in television to drive demand. Following our brand TV spots that began earlier in the fall, our holiday TV ads have been running on all major networks, including FOX, NBC, CBS, and ABC. These holiday-specific commercials have aired so far this season to the tune of 683 million impressions. If you haven't seen them yet, go to www.whatisit.com."

Express is currently only available in the US, UK and Germany with no apparent plans to add additional countries.

I liked the concept behind Express but always believed it should have been a standalone site not connected to eBay -- a new fixed price marketplace to go after the web customer. Unfortunately it looks like it has been a major failure. Would eBay have been better off buying an existing site like Overstock.com, re-branding it as Express and then opening it up to eBay sellers to list their Fixed price items? I wonder.

I think Express has moved from a great idea to an eBay after thought.

5 comments:

Adam Nash said...

Hi Randy,

I don't think you are going to hear much about eBay Express from eBay as long as the focus is on re-igniting the core auction business. It's too complex a message. Right now, eBay wants everyone to focus on windorphins and putting the shazam into the cha-ching.

I can't think of a possible positive outcome from any tie in with Overstock.

Take care.
Adam

Randy Smythe said...

I can't see really see Overstock either, I just didn't have another example of a broad category, fixed price marketplace other than Amazon. I don't think the building of Express was the problem. I do think the marketing was.

Trevor Ginn said...

The problem was that they have the same products in two places - that is the point of going to eBay express if you can just stay on eBay

Randy Smythe said...

I agree! Express should have been a stand alone site. They could have gone to an Amazon model of FVF only and eBay sellers would have listed their product there.

Maybe they were worried they wouldn't have enough inventory. I've always said the concept, the platform and the UI (user interface) were not the problem, the strategy and marketing were.

Anonymous said...

I loved ebay express and I'm ticked that it is gone. I used it a lot since I could use my credit card without a Paypal account. I will not use Paypal ever again due to fraudulent charges to my account which they refused to refund.