Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Told you Buy Back Was the Future

Many of you know I used to buy back DVDs and CDs directly from consumers and then re-sell them on Amazon, using FBA -- I still love the concept. 

I guess it was just a matter of time before Amazon copied me :) It looks like they just recently launched their new trade-in store for DVD Box Sets and Blu-ray Discs. I'm hearing rumors that they are buying back around 1,000 units a day right now without any announcements. Imagine if they actually did it the right way.

Earlier in the year they launched the Buy Back/Trade-in concept with Video Games and apparently it was a success, so expect the program to expand to Text Books soon and then from there consumer electronics and much more.

Just my 15%

Monday, May 04, 2009

Citigroup Take on ChannelAdvisor Catalyst

I normally don't just repost investmnet notes from analysts but since Mark Mahaney's take on CA Catalyst was pretty much the same as mine I figured I would do it this time. I also like that he mentioned :)

  • Takeaways From Upbeat ChannelAdvisor Conference - Last week, we attended the ChannelAdvisor (CA) Catalyst 2009 Conference in Raleigh, NC. Per the company, attendance was in-line with last year, with participation from companies like Amazon, eBay, Google, and many large, medium and small retailers.
  • Takeaway #1: Tough Times? Yes, But CA Clients Surprisingly Upbeat - There was general consensus among the retailers we spoke with that while these are clearly difficult times for retail, the online retail channel remains strong. Many of the conference participants had successfully diversified their online channels beyond eBay Marketplace and were seeing success with Amazon's 3rd party channel, and direct to their own Websites through Comparison Shopping and Search.
  • Takeaway #2: AMZN Continuing To Gain Momentum Vs. EBAY As Platform - AMZN's 3rd party channel continues to be well received by sellers we spoke with. AMZN closed the conference with a big push to get sellers to try fulfillment by Amazon (fba), and Amazon Product Ads, a CPC based advertising model that redirects buyers to seller product landing pages off of's Website. All in, AMZN continues to gain momentum vs. EBAY, the largest online marketplace. We estimate that AMZN was only 60% the size of EBAY in '08 in terms of total U.S. GMV (excluding Vehicles), but could surpass EBAY by 2011 (AMZN-EBAY crossover point) -- see page 3 analysis.
  • Takeaway #3: A More Sober EBAY Committed To Competing For Buyers And Sellers - eBay pitched its simple message that it plans to compete aggressively for buyers by providing better selection, value and trust in its marketplace, and by providing sellers with high velocity, efficiency, and predictability. While eBay openly admitted that it has plenty of work to do, it pointed to evidence that it is making progress: 1) a tripling of fixed price multi-item format items since September, 2) 30% of live listings now include free shipping, and 3) under new DSR system, roughly 80% of sellers qualify for some form of discount.
  • Takeaway #4: Google Market Share Gains Continue Unchecked - We didn't hear anything incrementally new from the Google presentation, but consensus among sellers we spoke with was positive on both traffic and ROI trends. One presenter boasted getting $7 of margin back for every $1 spent on Google.

Just my 15%

My Podcast Interview with Auctionbytes

I sat down with Ina Steiner last week and spilled my guts about :) If you have 20 - 30 minutes today to take a listen and then comment, I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Just my 15%