Participants in an eBay Discussion Board are buzzing about Buy.com's listings on eBay. The link comes courtesy of a reader who emailed AuctionBytes, "Some of the responders stated that Buy was selling odd items such as item number 170226285862. That particular listing was for single AA Battery at the Buy It Now price of $7.99 with $6.98 shipping. Someone else found another auction from Buy that only had NEW listed as the title. There was apparently nothing added in the description, making it essentially a blank auction."
The reader continued, "I looked further into this, and found that Buy had hundreds of 'nothing' listings in the Home & Garden> Inside the Home> Home Décor & Accents category. Ebay is allowing them to list for free, and this is no doubt helping with eBay's numbers. Here are a few examples of the item numbers showing this: 170226110668, 180250485355, 180250485335, 150255470716, 170226110664. Take note that the quantity listed in these auctions is in the hundreds."
The special attention to Buy.com comes after it was discovered by blogger Randy Smythe - and later confirmed by eBay - that the auction site had entered into a special deal with the retailer. eBay had long told sellers the platform would always be a "level playing field" - in 2000, a deal between eBay and Disney created an uproar, a story relayed in Adam Cohen's book about eBay, "The Perfect Store." Cohen quotes former eBay CEO Meg Whitman saying, "We've concluded that eBay has to be a level playing field. That is the core part of our DNA, and it has to be a part of it going forward."
Sellers are also feeling pressured by recent eBay changes that advantage high-preforming sellers in search, and many are wary of competing with large entities like Buy.com.