Monday, April 28, 2008

The eBay "Dead Pool"

A few weeks ago I wrote about eBay cutting businesses and/or categories that are not measuring up, improving the CORE Marketplace business, or are more trouble then they are worth. It started with some simple closures like the Digital Delivery category, as well as Live Auctions.

I thought it would be fun to create a "Dead Pool" on those eBay businesses and or categories that were next on the chopping block.

Two new closures before we get started:

  • According to Tamebay.com, eBay Matchups is shutdown, with this announcement telling why: Thanks for using eBay Matchups over the past year and a half. It’s been a fun (and often wild) ride! Due to changing business climates, we’ve decided to let Matchups go to sleep for now while we pursue other exciting product ideas and community engagement programs. Not that there was much point to eBay Matchups in the first place.
  • The eBay Playground just vanished awhile back, without any fanfare. If someone knows when please email me.

So what eBay businesses or categories do you think are next? Here are some ideas to get us started:

  • eBay Express in the US - They have already shuttered the Express UK and Germany sites, so this seems a forgone conclusion. The only thing we do not know is when. I say it closes by the end of the year.
  • Half.com - They have never committed the resources needed to grow Half.com and have tried to close it in the past. If it wasn't for Text Book season twice a year (January and August) they would have closed it long ago. My guess is this August, will be the last text book season for Half.com.

    Once eBay goes to no or low insertion fees in the Media category they will shut down Half.com. I can't imagine they would be able to sell it.
  • Skype will be sold by the end of the year. Skype is certainly growing but its growth means little to the CORE eBay business.

Other Businesses on the Clock:

  • Stumbleupon - didn't cost much to acquire and is growing but still doesn't make sense for eBay, unless they can figure out how it will grow their nascent advertising business. Stumbleupon actually could make them some money in a sale.
  • Rent.com - Still can't figure out why eBay bought this business. Who would be a likely buyer for Rent.com?
  • Dealtime - The International version of Shopping.com. I just can't figure out why they would want to run two different brands. Why not use the Shopping.com brand globally.

Are there any other eBay businesses or categories that you think might get the axe? Tell me what they are and what your prediction is. Also, please comment on my suggestions and provide your time lines.

4 comments:

Chris @ TameBay said...

Hey Randy... re Dealtime, have you ever heard of DoorOne, which is a UK version of shopping.com?

Another waste of space brand in my opinion

Randy Smythe said...

Chris, thanks for reminding me. Door One should go as well.

Sue @ TameBay said...

Interesting you have this post on the day that Only eBay's discussing what companies eBay is going to acquire. I think we could perhaps have some kind of fantasy league for eBay's buyings and sellings :-D

Anonymous said...

What's gonna get the axe? Why, AUCTIONS!

The handwriting's on the wall.