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eBay Closing Curation Site Svpply, Founder Kickstarts New Site

A couple of years have passed since eBay acquired Svpply, a website where people could repost items listed on other retail sites and bring attention to them within the Svpply community. If someone liked the choices made by a particular poster they could choose to follow that person’s future posts.

Anyone with some familiarity with marketing and the value of word of mouth can see the kind of value the Svpply model offered in potential. However, as an eBay property, Svpply’s model of bringing listings in from competitors like online retail powerhouse Amazon.com probably didn’t fit eBay’s business model.

In late June, Svpply disclosed it was being retired as of August 31. This sunsetting includes the site and the associated apps used to post interesting items to Svpply.

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A year after eBay’s Svpply acquisition, news of eBay’s Collections feature and the hiring of a chief curator & editorial director, Michael Phillips Moskowitz, suggested that eBay had embraced the Svpply model. eBay also acquired Phillips’ Bureau of Trade, a men’s shopping and curation site.

With its own Collections, eBay hoped to encourage its sellers to create these curated presences. But early looks at eBay’s initial 200 curators found many with zero eBay feedback ratings, suggesting buyers, at least initially, weren’t buying in to curation yet.

Currently, Ben Pieratt, former Svpply CEO and designer, has a Kickstarter project up for a new Svpply site called Very Goods. The Kickstarter page lists the project as fully funded.

“Svpply is being shut down and that sucks. Let’s get together and make a new one,” Pieratt states. EcommerceBytes.com attempted to contact Pieratt about his old and new projects but had not received a response before publication.

Some Svpply fans were not pleased to learn of eBay’s decision to close the site, they let their feelings be known on Svpply’s Facebook.

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David A Utter

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR’s “All Things Considered” with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.


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