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Sat Dec 13 2014 14:50:35

Should Yahoo Launch Auction Site Ahead of eBay Breakup?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay sellers who are concerned about the pending breakup of eBay and PayPal next year and what it might mean for their businesses have an interesting idea: they're suggesting Yahoo consider extending its auction platform.

Some readers may not remember that Yahoo ever offered auctions. The beginning of the end for Yahoo Auctions came in 2005 when it eliminated all fees (listing and commission fees). At the time, Yahoo Shopping Vice President and GM Rob Solomon told EcommerceBytes Yahoo planned monetize the auction platform with its core graphical media (banner advertising) and search-based services. Yahoo exited auctions altogether in all but some Asian countries in 2007.

Yahoo didn't abandon online sellers altogether - it has a store-hosting service - but is it time for Yahoo to consider reviving auctions?

Here's an email I received from a reader this week:

"I belong to a group that is putting forth this survey with the intention of presenting it to Marissa Meyer, CEO of Yahoo. We hope to impel management to do a feasibility study. Ms. Mayer has stated many times that she wants turnkey revenue streams, and Yahoo Auctions is a brand many sellers still remember with fondness. The eBay/ PayPal split will be a watershed moment, and we feel it's time to act."

The survey is hosted on SurveyMonkey (I'm not endorsing it in any way) and asks, "If Yahoo Auctions Started Back Up, Would You Join and Sell Items There?"
 
Let us know what you think. Are you worried about what will happen to your business after eBay and PayPal breakup in 2015? Could Yahoo come up with a viable auction platform?



Comments (40) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Sat Dec 13 15:19:41 2014

“The eBay/ PayPal split will be a watershed moment, …”

Nonsense …

Any PayPal spin off from eBay will be a spin off in name only …

“PayPal is going to be the dominant payment provider on eBay for a long time and we want it that way, and the separation will ensure that it is that way.”—Devin “Little” Wenig (19 Nov. 2014)

PayPal revenues represented 45% of eBay Inc. revenues in Q2 2014 and 27% of PayPal’s revenue comes from the eBay marketplace. Johnny Ho has only ever been right about one thing, these two clunky operators, eBay and “PreyPal”, are joined at the hip and neither one can now, in the long term, survive without the other; this new arrangement will undoubtedly be “in name only”, with both parties retaining common directors and protective shareholdings, and underlying (“lying” being the operative word) agreements in place so that they can carry on exactly as before; such “spin off” should not fool any but the most naïve of investors or potential partners.

So, don’t let these disingenuous corporate shysters pull the wool over your eyes; regardless of the spin that they put on it, these two clunky operators are joined at the hip “until death do they part”, and now, with the arrival of the new online/mobile digital wallets from MasterCard (MasterPass) and Visa (Visa Checkout), and now Apple Pay, outside of the atrophying eBay marketplace—except for its rightfully deserved place as the online merchant account provider of last resort—the clunky “PreyPal” is now effectively redundant …

Will the spin off of PayPal from eBay lead to a greater acceptance of PayPal? Only in Carl Icahn’s dreams …

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Still, a restart of Yahoo Auctions would undoubtedly supply another nail in the cretinous Johnny Ho’s coffin …

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by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 13 15:51:26 2014

I had a account back then was sad when they closed , loved them fair, honest, and did care about their sellers, unlike e bay, I for one would love it if they did  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Dec 13 16:37:12 2014

“PayPal is going to be the dominant payment provider on eBay for a long time and we want it that way, and the separation will ensure that it is that way.”—Devin “Little” Wenig (19 Nov. 2014)

Thanks, Phil. Somehow I missed this little Wenig POS.

Apparently Wenig definition of a de facto monopoly.

Arrogance, thy name is Devin Wenig.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Dec 13 16:40:09 2014

Yahoo would be fine as long as they offered both auctions or BIN listings, kept fees low, refused to put third party ads in seller lisitngs before, during, and after the the listing duration, mutual feedback if feedback was deemed necessary, provided decent customer service, and offered a fair and equitable dispute process.

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This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Sat Dec 13 17:29:23 2014

YES !!!!  Please Yahoo I beg you !

It should be small to medium sellers, with time ending soonest, and EVERYTHING Ming posted above !

Also I always liked FEATURED PLUS when I could spend $19.85 and get good exposure, that actually made me some SERIOUS profit !

Yahoo PLEASE try to save us small to medium sellers, and mom and pops from eBay !

After the ABUSE we have endured under Donahoes tenure, we are READY to jump to a new platform IMMEDIATELY !

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Dec 13 18:39:09 2014

I've mentioned before on this site that I'm a big fan of Yahoo! Japan Auctions and have spent many thousands of dollars there (with the help of a deputy service). I never used the U.S. Yahoo auction site (too busy singing the praises of eBay), but with so many sellers disgusted with eBay, I would think Yahoo would have a real shot at being the go-to site for buying and selling in the U.S., just like they are in Japan. If they do reinstate the U.S. auction site, I hope they learn from all the mistakes eBay has made over the last few years.

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This user has validated their user name. by: laurengrace

Sat Dec 13 19:04:31 2014

I used Yahoo back in the day and would gladly use them again.

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by: Donkey This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 13 19:36:55 2014

Yahoo auctions used to be a great place to sell. Then they started the third party ads like ebay is doing now.

That bad decision destroyed their auction business and they eventually lost the bidders and closed it down.

It is just plain stupid to get bidders to your auction site and then take them somewhere else to spend their money.

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by: sickandtired This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 13 21:23:02 2014

I would list on Yahoo Auctions in a heartbeat......with one caveat....

I absolutely need a site that has a CANADA POST rate calculator on it.

Back in the day I used to list on ebay.com - when buyers were willing to write and ask for postage quotes before they bid or bought.  Then ebay punished sellers who did not have shipping costs in the listing so I moved all my listings to ebay.ca in order to have postage correctly calculated for all destinations - I mail CAN, US and international.

I sell a wide variety of items and cannot do flat rate postage. I must have a calculator. Even though it only works for single items it a deal breaker for me.

Have recently thrown a few things on Etsy out of desperation after abandoning it a couple of years ago. Might make a few sales of small light items to the US that I can show fixed price postage for, but listings show ''only ships to US'' because I can't fill in postage for Canada or international  without knowing exact destination.

Most posters here seem to be US based and many appear to have product types that lend themselves to fixed rate post.......lucky you.  There are a lot of US sellers who also need a rate calculator to avoid large losses on shipping.

I have tried many alternate sites over the years and none worked for me because they did not have a postage calculator.  If ebay's numbskull programers were able to drop one in on every ebay site, it can't be that hard to do.

BOTTOM LINE IS....GIVE ME CALCULATED POSTAGE AND I'LL GO ANYWHERE :)

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sat Dec 13 22:59:37 2014

I also sold on Yahoo! Auctions once upon a time.

The problem I see is that they're just not going to be competitive.  They won't have an easy alternative to Paypal, won't support calculated shipping (Square, StorEnvy), and will probably want a subscription fee, 20% commission, or both (Amazon, Ratuken, 11main).  I don't know what it is with all of these marketplaces thinking "hey, I know, I'll set up a marketplace with some crippling flaw (or three), charge more than eBay, and get rich rich rich!"

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Sat Dec 13 23:40:17 2014

@RKTOYS,

There is no reason why Yahoo could not offer PayPal for those small merchants that don't have the confidence of their own retail banker; for the others, there is now MasterCard's "MasterPass" or Visa's "Visa Checkout", two "professional" online payments processors that won't steal the seller's money by blindly favouring the buyer ...

Retail Payments—The Reality ... http://bit.ly/1nSA1Zl

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Dec 14 09:16:57 2014

That depends.  Would Wall Street stay out of advising them on how to run their business, or would they not be beholden to Wall Street when making business decisions?

I have seen a great deal of evidence lately that publicly held companies are much more concerned with pleasing Wall Street than they are with actually running their businesses and treating their customers well and fairly.  Congrats to DELL for going private.

I'd say that Etsy is in a good position to do this as well, but Chad seems to be following eBay's playbook and he seems to be, just like eBay, getting away from what made Etsy successful in the first place.

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by: rudestar This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 14 10:40:04 2014

What killed Yahoo auctions was their letting established dirty sellers run off the new sellers trying to get a foot hold on the site.
They also made deals when they folded not to come back.

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This user has validated their user name. by: laurengrace

Sun Dec 14 12:07:21 2014

@Rexford
Really i dont see why Etsy or Yahoo couldnt do both. On Ebay there was handmade as well as commercial items from the early days. I sell vintage so i can sell on Etsy for those items but also have  lot of things that dont fit into their categories. They really should welcome those items in because eBay will be going down one way or the other, either sold or bankrupted out after the split. I do nt do handmade but people who want it would still seek it out on the site. If they allowed all of the other items instead of having such tight restrictions on how it is done, then sellers would list in their correct categories rather than trying to pass commercial items off as handmade. Then the handmade section would truly reflect the handmade for those customers that want that.It would be a win win for Etsy (or Yahoo) and for all of us. I dont know why Bonanza doesnt get the traffic. Beats the heck out of me. A lot of people have mentioned wishing google would  

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This user has validated their user name. by: laurengrace

Sun Dec 14 12:09:24 2014

A Google site would be a nightmare. Talk about greed-and whose items do you suppose would show up first on THEIR search engine. This would be a nightmare.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sun Dec 14 18:06:55 2014

@PhilipCohen

Apart from escaping eBay and escaping Paypal being two sides of the same coin, I agree that there's no good reason that they _can't_ offer a competitive solution.  I just expect their MBAs to do what all MBAs do - willfully overlook as many viable options as necessary to find the stupidest decision possible and then, when it inevitably fails, blame everybody but themselves.  Believe me, I'd love to see somebody set up a marketplace that cleans eBay's clock, but this country is full to the brim with Harvard Business School clowns who couldn't manage a lemonade stand without slave labor, free lemons, and a bailout from the government.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sun Dec 14 18:28:50 2014

Similar dilemma as Laurengrace.

I've been pleased with Etsy, but I also have non-clothing items that are desirable, yet newer than ''vintage'' as defined by Etsy.

In the past, on eBay they would have sold quickly & for good prices. ''Unsold'' on eBay,  I don't even have them listed anywhere at the moment.

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by: AngelaTC This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 14 21:47:06 2014

Yahoo seems to muck up everything they touch.  Even their email is a hot mess.  Additionally I think that the auction format is dead. It was fun, and I still use it, but i don't believe it's viable for everyday items any more.  SquareUp.com offers a free webstore - that's probably going to be my next expansion.  

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by: Sorbet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 15 00:08:17 2014

We disgusted eBay sellers have been waiting for a single alternative that will have the traffic we need to make a go of it again.  I'll follow the crowd to any decently run auction/BIN site.  Many commentors here have good things to say about the former Yahoo auction site, so count me in if it happens.  Also interesting that sellers have initiated this!

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by: MostlyArt This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 15 00:36:00 2014

Yahoo auctions didn't work the first time, why would they now?  

PayPal and eBay breaking up could only be a good thing...it has been a nightmare for a lot of people who got holds on their funds for ridiculous/no reason, rules on eBay sellers on how they can run their business, etc.  PayPal did just fine before they hooked up with eBay and will continue to do fine afterward.  

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