eBay is known for used items, hard-to-find stuff, One-of-a-Kind treasures, long tail items, deep catalog product, antiques, one man's garbage is another man's treasure items, grill cheese sandwiches with the face of Jesus, collectibles, celebrity items, auctions, etc.
Sure, there is new product available on the site, but it is usually out-of-season, grey-market, surplus or liquidation product and available for a lot less than at traditional marketplaces and retailers.
eBay is also known for fraud, fakes and knock-offs, not-as-described product, surly sellers, poor customer service, high S&H and you can fill in the rest.
So how do you effectively introduce a completely "New eBay" without changing those perceptions of the brand? IMO, it is impossible -- Just adding new product from Buy.com and other Internet Retail 500 companies won't change what eBay is. eBay management needs to change the brand and the perception of what eBay is and that takes advertising and PR and lots of money -- they have the money, but they won't spend the money.
So, if eBay is not going to spend the money necessary to change the perception, why don't they concentrate their efforts on improving what they are good at, rather than trying to become something they are not good at?
If eBay mangers truly believe that the future of eBay is in this new type of product and relationships with online retailers, then they need to spend money. The problem is they can't spend the money without making less profit (in the short-term) because right now there isn't enough growth to pay for the ad campaign.
Why is Amazon considered to be firing on all cylinders and eBay considered to be spinning their wheels? Why is eBay's stock thought to be under-valued and Amazon's stock thought to be over-valued (based on fundamentals)? In a recession/slow down, why is eBay not growing while Amazon continues to outgrow everybody?
- Amazon has a long-term plan that is pretty obvious; eBay has short-term plans to make their quarterly numbers.
- Investors see tremendous upside in Amazon's stock and they see eBay spinning their wheels.
- Buyers see eBay as a gamble and when you are worried about having enough money to live on, why would you take a gamble on eBay?
Perception is reality! Unless eBay changes the perception of their marketplace, all the changes in the world to search, feedback, seller requirement, bringing on new diamond sellers won't amount to a hill-of-beans.Just my 12%