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Mon Oct 16 2006 23:27:38

eBay as Shopping Portal or Shopping Destination

By: Ina Steiner

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In a recent interview with AuctionBytes, Randy Smythe (GlacierBayDVD) had mentioned eBay seemed to be becoming a "shopping portal" rather than a "shopping destination." This has been rattling around my head. The launch of paid-search advertisements certainly gives cause to wonder, as someone points out in a comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.

In the last Town Hall meeting, Bill Cobb mentioned eBay has moved beyond testing Yahoo ads on null-search results and is testing Yahoo ads in other places on eBay:

"We have recently added with our partnership with Yahoo, an ability to look at other ads when there are null search results to see if there is a way to satisfy that buyer's request. Now before I talk about that, we are also testing this approach in a couple of other places on the site, but it's at a very low level. So you may see it appear in a couple places but we're being very cautious on this. The primary way we're deploying this is through an all search result. Now the questions are all, "Why the hell would you do this", basically is what's being asked." (Link to transcript.)

I believe someday eBay will look a lot like Yahoo Auctions in terms of the amount of paid-ads and their placement alongside regular listings. Do a search for iPod Nano on auctions.yahoo.com, you'll see ads at the top and bottom of the search results page, and on the View Item pages.




Comments (5) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay as Shopping Portal or Shopping Destination   eBay as Shopping Portal or Shopping Destination

by: bonni

Tue Oct 17 00:22:36 2006

Given that eBay are apparently going to run sponsored ads in competition with sellers' listings, and the way they have completely ignored their sellers' voices for a long time, and seem not to care in the least that people are leaving in droves, and add to that the recent lawsuits from trademark/copyright holders such as Dior, Tiffany, Vuitton, etc., it seems that eBay are, indeed, looking to get out of the auction/selling business.

eBay appears to be poised to become nothing more than a gigantic shopping portal, and listing on their site will be nothing more than a classified ad (and they recently did introduce classified ads in some categories, remember).

Yes, I do think they're going to do their best to get rid of as many sellers as possible. They don't appear to see the need for them any more.

I think, though, that it'll backfire. Who wants to visit an eBay that's nothing more than ads?!

eBay as Shopping Portal or Shopping Destination   eBay as Shopping Portal or Shopping Destination

by: dimes

Tue Oct 17 01:00:21 2006

You wouldn't mind if eBay kept that stuff out in the margins of the screen where it's already so cluttered no one pays any attention.

But squeezing search results into the center of the screen to make room for the ads just isn't going to cut it.

eBay as Shopping Portal or Shopping Destination   eBay as Shopping Portal or Shopping Destination

by: Randy Smythe

Tue Oct 17 11:16:48 2006

Also, adding free listings from Half.com to CORE as is proposed for early 2007 clearly says Shopping Portal.

It is evident they are changing their business model. Analysts should ask them this directly on Weds.

eBay as Shopping Portal or Shopping Destination   eBay as Shopping Portal or Shopping Destination

by: Ina Steiner

Wed Oct 18 00:43:34 2006

What analysts want and what sellers want are two different things. Analysts love fee increases and ways to further monetize the site. In general, they don't appear to be long-term thinkers.

eBay as Shopping Portal or Shopping Destination   eBay as Shopping Portal or Shopping Destination

by: bonni

Wed Oct 18 11:09:12 2006

Ina, your assessment of analysts is much more polite than my own. I basically think analysts are rather stupid, and while they may know a great deal about numbers, they don't know anything at all about people, and none of them seem to know that eBay works because people use it!



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