eBay Reverses Decision to Close Half.com
By Ina Steiner
eBay announced Thursday it would keep its Half.com marketplace open indefinitely. eBay purchased the site in 2000, and planned to integrate Half.com into eBay. But Half.com sellers resisted the move, and eBay postponed the closing from July 2004 to October 2004. Now it says it will keep Half.com open indefinitely.
Half.com allows users to sell books, CDs, DVDs, video games, software and electronics, and charges no listing fees. eBay introduced a "Pre-fill Item Information" catalog system this year in the Book and Entertainment categories to make its listing process more in line with Half.com's process, and to allow buyers to search by attributes. But the move was not well received by many eBay sellers. Meanwhile, Half.com sellers complained that eBay listing fees were unacceptable. Half.com charges fees only when an item sells.
In its announcement on Thursday, eBay said the changes it made to Books, Movies, Music and Video Games categories on eBay "have resulted in numerous innovations that have helped to strengthen the eBay books and media categories."
Claiming growth in the books and media categories on eBay, the company said it has "not seen a corresponding drop in business on Half.com. In fact, loyalty to Half.com has stayed strong,... The buying and selling activity of the Community has proven that the books and media marketplace is healthier and more vibrant with both eBay and Half.com. Going forward, we will invest in both platforms and allow sellers and buyers the flexibility to benefit from the unique opportunities they each allow."
When asked about a possible decline in number of listings in the books category, eBay spokesperson Hani Durzy said, "We don't go into details in the metrics. The eBay media marketplace is clearly stronger than before we started the transition."
In a special FAQ page on its site to address questions about the announcement, eBay said it has no plans to change the fee structure at this time.
What are booksellers saying on the AuctionBytes Book Forum? http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=11592
Article updated 9/23/04 10:45 pm
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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