It is still very early in this new arrangement, but I can start to see which segments of the eBay ecosystem are going to benefit and which are going to have trouble.
- Current eBay Sellers of New in-season product. This was already a tough business on eBay and it just got tougher. Sure, the sellers who get surplus deals on "New" in-season product will have their opportunities, but the majority of sellers who did business like I did (bought from distributors) at least in the Media category, Consumer Electronics and Computers will have to re-think their business ... again.
With all of this new in-season product, eBay will be similar to Amazon. Amazon is the 800 lb. gorilla and sells the lion's share of the product but 3P sellers can still stake a claim there. Buy.com will maybe be a 200 lb gorilla, but still formidable. The key for these types of sellers is to do their homework and understand what they are up against. Being nimble has its advantages. Those who don't adapt will be out of business.
- The Level Playing Field - It's gone and will never be coming back. In fact this will be the last time I bring it up.
Big retailers, with clout, will be able to negotiate great deals with eBay management. All of the old rules that protected the marketplace like no emailing customers, checkout re-direct, High Core Fees, and DSRs and Feedback (just rumors) won't apply to these new deals.
These new Anchor Stores will instantly command category share. In fact, Buy.com is already taking share from existing sellers in several categories. It isn't growing eBay's GMV it is just redistributing it. Here's the problem Buy.com may do $2 million in sales this month but it wasn't $2 million in new business, they just took share from each seller in the category.
- eBay - If this little experiment doesn't work, how are they going to be able to convince other large retailers to take part and what kind of concessions will they need to make to all the existing sellers that they have pissed off.
The Third Party Seller business is now becoming very competitive and the success of Amazon's model; where a retailer opens up their platform to 3P sellers will be the wave of the future. Imagine BestBuy doing that; or Zappos; or any other large retailer. If eBay fails at this "New" approach they will be marginalized, IMO.
Going to Benefit:
- Used, Surplus, out-of-season, end-of-life product. With a major retailer taking the lion's share of the new-in-season business and its share of the "new" long-tail business. eBay buyers are still going to be looking for a deal.
I am doing very well with used product on Amazon and at much great margins than I ever achieved on eBay. The same thing will happen on eBay and when a new retailer heads into your category if you fill the void for used, surplus, out-of-season and end-of-life product you will do okay and might even thrive.
- Collectibles and Vintage Sellers, may benefit if this move actually re-engages inactive users, more activity on the site should benefit these categories and eBay is still the best place on the web to find this type of product. The only caveats with this, is eBay needs to abandon "Best Match" in these categories, which is not likely.
- Consumers - In theory this deal and the similar deals coming down the pike will benefit the eBay buyer. It's all about the "Buyer Experience". Now, they can truly find IT on eBay. The one problem with this, is if eBay buyers say; "I can get that new in-season product elsewhere, why would I shop on eBay for it." My guess is eBay has the metrics to show what people are searching for on eBay and they've targeted that type of product for future deals.
There are other winners and losers and this is an All-In bet by eBay. If they pull it off and the inactive eBay buyer re-engages, then this will be a success, even though many small business will fail or have to re-organize. If the in-active eBay buyer just shrugs and says "Big Whoop!" then eBay is in big trouble.
Just my 12%