Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How I Would Fix eBay!

A reader recently asked me what I would do to fix eBay and I posted my response:

"First off, in the real world, I would never get a chance to fix eBay, but in Utopia who knows. Any suggestions I would make from this side of the fence may not carry any water because I'm not privy to the inner workings. I don't have access to the data from which to base decisions.

I suggest they do three things:
  • Create eBay Classic with auctions only and make it truly a venue again. It would have its own fee structure.
  • Create a fixed price marketplace for everything else and take control of that marketplace like Amazon takes control of theirs.
  • Spin off eBay stores into their own platform, give them a shopping cart and charge them a monthly fee. Store owners could then list on eBay Classic and the New eBay for the items that made sense and market through Google adwords etc to their Stores.

eBay has been very successful driving traffic to a separate eBay Motors platform, so why can't they accomplish the same thing with an eBay Classic platform or a Stores only platform? At least they could run the numbers and look at the possibility.

Auctions need scarcity and uniqeness to work and that is the beauty of what eBay created. Fixed Price items require selection and great prices. eBay Stores/Shops are a fantastic entry point for the online seller, but they are too expensive for the value they provide.

I know several of my readers believe that auctions could not survive on their own, let alone thrive, but if that is true than they will eventually die off in their current form anyway. Why not at least attempt to save them.

Just my 12%


Anonymous said...

You promised you weren't going to talk about eBay anymore for a while. ;0}

Randy Smythe said...

Yeah, I know but I just can't leave it alone. I tried to write about Overstock but only got one smal post out of it. I'm waiting to try out Amazon's Webstore before I write more about it and eBay has a story every single day so their's just more stuff happening there.

permacrisis said...

Yes, that's right-- Ebay Classic.

Straight keyword search, time ending soonest and best of all-- NO BEST MATCH!

But if they want to substitute cane sugar with high fructose corn syrup, like the other Classic did, I suppose that's ok by me. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Just ribbing you Randy. It's the 800 pound ecommerce gorilla sitting on our couches and it's impossible to ignore. Thus the struggle to form a business plan without it.

The banana bills are killing us...

Randy Smythe said...


Ebay Classic for auctions, The New eBay for new items, commodities and high volume product and Stores for the small seller to get a foothold on the web.

Its so simple in concept but so difficult in reality to pull off (for some reason)

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