Saturday, June 21, 2008

They Want One Big eBay for Everything!

During the eBay Live Town Hall, President, Lorrie Norrington expressed managements desire to create one big eBay that provided everything that buyers needed; this is what they are striving to create. My question is: Isn't that really what Google does?

How about this:

  • becomes the worlds best product search engine and each International marketplace does the same.
  • eBay creates eBay Classic for that product that built eBay.
  • eBay spins off eBay stores as an independent platform for businesses to build their brand and an independent business.
  • eBay buys and turns it into the fixed-price marketplace or the "New eBay".
  • Sellers from each of these separate sites advertise their product on the website.

Consumers get access to all of the inventory they could ever want; eBay becomes Google for product search; investors once again love the stock and Sellers are happy because they have independence and control of their business as well as a vibrant marketing tool again. The world is once again a better place!

eBay should learn some lessons form the following historical events:

  • Coke creating the New Coke while discontinuing the original formula.
  • VHS and Beta; Sony wanted total control and wouldn't license the better technology. VHS was licenced to everybody and became the standard.

eBay needs to embrace what made eBay great, create a new platform or buy one to create the "New eBay" and then empower sellers and get out of the way.

Just my 12%


Anonymous said...

I don't think eBay knows what made eBay great. I suspect that all the suits and bean counters and number crunchers think that THEY are what made eBay great.

I hope eBay are prepared to teach their staff how to source and list products because when the quality sellers of unique items are all gone, eBay is done for.

I used to buy lots of interesting things on eBay. I'm a collector of various things. I can't find half of what I used to, and I don't even bother to look any more because I know that most of the sellers I used to buy from have gone elsewhere.

Not that eBay cares. They've improved my buying experience by telling me to neg with impunity and that I don't really have to pay for things I bid on and by driving off the sellers I used to buy from...

TheBrewsNews said...

In eBay's quest to "have it all" they could easily end up with nothing.... or nothing of value anyway.

Randy, I enjoy reading your blog and can't wait to "tune in" every day to see what you have to say.

Anonymous said...

Ebay/paypal can't even figure out how to get the new priority mail flat rate box programmed into their system (which was releasd by USPS months ago). How are they going to out tech Google?

Randy Smythe said...

Anonymous #1 - I think buyers are just as confused with all that is going on as sellers. Thanks for your perspective.

BrewsNews - Thanks for stopping by, I enjoy reading your blog also.

I still hope eBay can be saved, while I enjoy selling on Amazon they are more much more matter of fact in the way they do business.

IMO, whomever embraces the seller wins the game in the long-run. eBay had the best shot at that becasue they had loyal sellers.

Anonymous #2 - You are correct they cannot out-tech Google so my perfect scenario may just be a pipe-dream.

With the current state of things here now on eBay they may well be bought by somebody this same time next year.

And maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing

permacrisis said...

"Empower sellers and get out of the way" is a phrase I've heard you say before.

It needs to be on a T-shirt (alas, one that should have been given out by the vanload at this years ebay live.)

Randy. Copyright it and sell the Tshirt. I'm not kidding.

Randy Smythe said...

@ permacrisis,

Yeah, that tagline does have a ring to it doesn't it. Thanks for the idea.

ms.pat said...

"Empower sellers and get out of the way"

That's all the good sellers want or need. Ebay could have spent all this wasted time getting rid of the truly bad sellers. Everybody to a man knows how they ignored the problem - this is their cheap and cheesy way of doing it with the least amount of money spent on manpower (so they thought). Its turning around to bite them right in the ...! and a well deserved bite at that! It wasn't enough for them to simply be greedy and milk sellers - they had to get into a seller's business and rudely muck around in there like a bull in a china shop! I think the present management from "D" on down needs to be fired - Ebay is still a rich company - they can afford an experienced CEO with a proven track record. This one ain't it!

Now...they want to "enhance a buyer's experience" by coming out with old Sears type catalog pages - gee I can hardly contain my "excitement"! Won't it be fun with everything looks the same? I can sell a LOT of paintings with one ebay picture on a plain white page! :-( Its just never ending - just getting worse by the day!

ms.pat said...

Randy - can you check or explain something to me? I've been watching the listings on
and I noticed that at times there's a big drop but then listings go right back to almost the same level. Its as though the minute listings drop more are put in its place to fill the hole. Do you keep track and if so, can you explain this? Seems very odd to me.

Randy Smythe said...


I don't pay much attention to listings anymore. I can't make heads nor tales of the changes most days. Sorry!