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Wed Apr 1 2009 13:21:36

Would You Pay 20% Rev-Share to Reach eBay Sellers?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay launched its Project Echo initiative for third-party developers today. "Selling Manager Applications Beta" lets developers create applications for eBay sellers right on the platform, a la Facebook Apps. eBay is making its basic Selling Manager selling tool free for sellers, but will charge vendors a 20 percent revenue share for applications they build on the platform. eBay, via its PayPal online payment service, will bill sellers and reimburse developers for their share.

According to the company, "eBay's professional sellers will benefit from a streamlined and trusted site experience with access to advanced selling tools that meet their specific needs. Developers will benefit by integrating, promoting, and monetizing their applications on the world's largest e-commerce site."

A long-time eBay vendor said of the program, "Pretty much every developer going forward is going to be doing apps for SM, via echo, because it's the only real way to get any promotion so that sellers even know you exist. That's been most 3rd parties biggest problem for years."

From eBay's press release:

eBay Selling Manager beta platform is the successful result of a pilot launched in June 2008 at the eBay Developers Conference. Professional sellers, like any small business, require tools to help them manage their shipping, accounting, customer relationship management, market research, and inventory management activities on eBay. More than 87,000 third party developers have already built more than 13,000 live applications that consume eBay’s Web services. The Selling Manager beta makes it easier for eBay sellers to find and subscribe to many of these tools.

eBay's Selling Manager tool currently has 270,000 active, paying subscribers in the US.

UPS is the first transportation provider on the eBay Selling Manager beta platform, and is integrating its premier shipping software - WorldShip(TM) - directly into the eBay experience so sellers can manage shipping for their business directly within My eBay at no cost.

More information is found on the eBay Developers Program page.

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Would You Pay 20% Rev-Share to Reach eBay Sellers?   Would You Pay 20% Rev-Share to Reach eBay Sellers?

by: exdwh

Fri Apr 24 00:43:06 2009

I don't really think eBay knows where they're going with this. Except for access to products, templates, and automation rules, there's nothing that can be done inside SM that can't already be done better on an external website or PC.

The real advantages to the developer are product exposure, automatic billing, and possibly simplified authentication.

From a product development standpoint, it's probably easier to replicate the SM infrastructure (if you even need it) than try to play with what's already there.

I've posed some interesting questions on the developer forum concerning features that would compete with eBay's existing revenue. For example, what if someone could offer the 'Pro' feature set for $10/month along with free scheduled listings? Why would anyone use the eBay product? Less bugs? Better support? Hmm...


[Ina, I've included the forum link in the Web Site field above.]

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