The hits keep coming! eBay is being attacked at every conceivable angle:
- The main front in the battle is Amazon and General Bezos will do what it takes to increase his foothold. (I'll use the military metaphors, sparingly)
- Buy.com, Overstock and NewEgg.com have opened their doors to 3P sellers; giving them additional exit/expansion options.
- Other alternative marketplaces are growing; etsy.com, ecrater.com, iOffer.com, and eBid.net
- New marketplaces are launching (dawdle.com, wigix.com, etc.) and though they may not be getting much traction individually, the cumulative effect is impacting eBay.
- Former eBay Sellers are starting their own auction sites like Bidtopia.com from Bargainland, eMoviePoster, and Portero.com for luxury goods. (Here is an interesting article about Portero.com in light of the recent judgement against eBay, by LVMH)
- Auction sites like Bidz.com take eBay's jewelry customers away and might open the doors to other ecommerce sites to create their own auctions to liquidate stock (imagine BestBuy developing an auction site for their own inventory).
- Lawsuits keep piling up and eBay is actually losing them now. With every loss, more lawsuits are filed.
The list could go on and on. Nobody is attacking eBay's strength (Auctions and Community) but eBay is fighting all of these other battles and getting weaker from within.
Is eBay doomed? Nope, not yet, but they are certainly teetering on the edge. They need reinforcements, but management doesn't recognize this need -- Imagine 1.3 million sellers fighting with you rather than against you.
A personal note: I don't write these posts out of spite or to see eBay fail, but because I believe in the ideal of eBay and want that ideal to continue. I realize that changes need to be made to shore up the business and stop the bleeding, but also believe "the best defense is a good offense" and feel eBay mangers need to realize what eBay really is: the greatest personal empowerment story ever. I believe that is worth fighting for.
Just my 12%