Empower sellers and get out of the way!
Randy Smythe's musings on the world of ecommerce, social networking, Web 2.0, Google, Amazon, Buy.com,Yahoo, Squidoo, online marketing and still probably a lot of stuff about eBay.
Here's what the WSJ says about JD's plans:"We aren't a retailer," said Mr. Donahoe, who took over as CEO from Meg Whitman early last year. "We're going to focus where we can win." Mr. Donahoe valued the global market for secondary-market goods, online and otherwise, at $500 billion a year.EBay spent Wednesday trying to persuade analysts that it is no longer just an online auction company and that its greatest hopes for growth rest in PayPal, an online payment company it acquired in 2002 that is able to benefit from overall growth in e-commerce, not just sales on eBay's sites. It announced a deal with Research In Motion Ltd. for PayPal to become the exclusive payment method for the application store on BlackBerry smart phones.Still, the move amounts to an acknowledgment by eBay that it can't compete with Amazon and other e-commerce companies that represent the online equivalent of a shopping mall. Instead, eBay is returning to its roots as the Web's flea market by focusing on used and overstocked items, albeit with an effort to rethink the classic eBay shopping interface that has grown stale in recent years.IOW, We can't compete with Amazon, so we are going to become a liquidation center, with some of those dratted auctions that we can't afford to get rid of.Ever notice how JD talks about eBay's strategy as if both he and everybody else in the room had no memory of what he said last year? Last year, he said he WAS a retailer. But we're all supposed to have forgotten that already.
There were some slight signs there that Donahoe understands (finally) that he cannot compete with Amazon and simply by trying to look Amazonish won't cut it. But he offered no relief for the small sellers that made the site famous...instead he's going to have big sellers drag in lot ends and discontinued junk and fill the site with that kind of stuff. It may work....but I think not - not with Ebay's tarnished reputation and certainly NOT with all those "noisy" small sellers out there spreading the word on what a big greedy bully Ebay has become ;-)About the only thing that might help Ebay is a fresh start - sweep out the old management team and start over with a team experienced in online sales.
Yeah, either that or have Carol Bartz "throw the switch" and turn Yahoo Auctions back on. Then we'll see how faded auctions the auction format is. Ebay would have its ass handed to it.
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