Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My 12% on the eBay/Craigslist Battle.

I usually root for the little guy, in most things, over the big bad corporation and certainly root for the eBay seller over eBay management, but for some reason I don't feel that way about craigslist.

Maybe it's because I think Craig is full of shit. I mean come on, if you want to do something good for humanity, sell the rest of craigslist to eBay and do something good with the money -- all of this false piety turns my stomach.

I know I'm in the minority here and if you did a survey right now eBay would certainly look like the bad guy and in reality they most likely are, but lets be pragmatic here Craig. You could do more good for the world with $5 billion in your pocket than you can with a website that looks like it came out of 1960's sci-fi flick.

If you truly want to do good, take the money and share it with those in need then I'll change my opinion.

Just my 12%


allbusinessauctions said...


I agree that Craig Newmark is not the most palatable individual, but you must admit eBay's strategy was a bit outside of the normal rules of the game.

Better if Yahoo Buys CL, or if Microsoft does it, just to get over not being able to buy Yahoo...

eBay will just shut this puppy down....

Randy Smythe said...


eBay is partly to blame for this mess, but Craig and Jim tried to dilute their holdings which is equally as wrong.

Newmark and Buckmaster let the "Big Bad Wolf" into their house when they approved the sale of 28% now they are trying to dilute the value of that investment.

I don't think eBay would shut it down, they would just rebrand Kijiji as craigslist.

Anonymous said...

wait a second...the big bad wolf just chased all the small sellers into Newmark's brick house and now they are huffing and puffing...I don't see them getting back in.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Randy - for once I disagree with you. Just sold a window air conditioner locally on Craigs list - after so many years selling on ebay and having my pockets picked, I couldn't believe it cost me nothing at all to list and I got a buyer in one day. Who says nothing is free anymore ;-)

Jake said...

Totally agree with you Randy. Craig puts on such a show. It makes my stomach churn too.

I don't think you are in the minority here.

Sue Bailey said...

I agree with you too: reading this story is really painful because rooting for eBay against the little guy goes against all my instincts :-D

Anonymous said...

After I read the actual legal complaint (yea I know I am a nerd), I would say I have to side with CL.

Take a look for yourself, the business practices ebay is engaging in are ridiculous.

Why on earth would you own shares of a company (in which you owe a fiduciary duty of loyalty to act in the best interests of the company and its shareholders) and then go and launch a competing site?

Do you REALLY think ebay didn't use some of the insider data and site metrics about CL to launch Kijjijji?? (which I think will never be successful because the name is confusing and ebay will try to monetize each transaction somehow).

The complaint states that when ebay launched a competing site (as per the minority purchase agreement) it was in breach of that agreement and CL asked them to sell their stake which they failed to do.

Ebay is going to lose alot of face on this one. Sure the CL guy is kind of shady but ebay is truly the wolf in sheeps clothing on this one.

Randy Smythe said...

Thanks for the comments everybody!

My dislike for Saint Newmark probably is coloring my opinion here.

If I owned CL, eBay would have never brought Kijiji to the US in the first place and I would be sharing my billions with those less fortunate.

Anonymous said...

It would be wrong to assume that Good for humanity can be done by money only. I would think countless people were benefited from Craigslist free model. It fetches $5 B today because of it's business model and not technology. It could fetch more in future but points is, CL is Craig's way of doing good for humanity. I don't about legal battle but I would appreciate Craig's courage to resist temptation of money in kindness for humanity. What if Pierre never sold eBay ? I would guess it would be much better place to do business.

Randy Smythe said...

Anonymous, you certainly have a point.

I think bringing up Pierre as an example is appropriate. He took the money and has done some good with it.

Up until recently Pierre was revered as a champion of the "everyman" much the same as Craig is. Now many people are calling him a sell-out.

If Craig and Jim don't sell now, with Craigslist approaching its peak, they may go down in history as idealistic cooks.

I look at selling craigslist now as an opportunity for them to do much more then they are currently doing, if that is truly their intention.

The fact that eBay is the company that wants to buy them turns my stomach a little but "it is what it is".

Anonymous said...

Newamrk is an ahole

Anonymous said...

I'm with CL on this one. I think it's particularly disgusting that they bought into CL and then set up kijiji to compete. They realize that CL has most of the market on free online classifieds. I hope Craig will stand up and fight hard for this one. This market that he's pioneered online with free classifieds is huge, why let eBay bulldoze over you without a fight?

Tony P. said...

Randy, check your likes and dislikes at this door: ||
open your mind *fresh* and just read my words.

Whether real or imaginary, this CL issue has all the hallmarks of a big, painful THORN in the gorilla's paw.

That alone brings a smile to some of us, that no amount of money could provide.


Chris C said...

One thing everyone needs to understand. If ebay ever bought the rest of CL, which I do not think would ever happen, another CL clone will pop up and the majority of the community will go to it. CL really is a community, eBay is not. Yes, CL has its faults, the search is so.....ummmm..1995, but there is no more efficient online site for what it does. It helps you sell stuff, discuss ideas, get a job, get laid, get an apartment and so on...the only reason CL clones have not been successful is because CL still exists...look at OLX.com