AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Thu June 14 2007 09:10:47

Google 'Freedom' Party at eBay Live has Hollow Ring

By: David Steiner

Sponsored Link

For the past several years, Google has managed to inject themselves into eBay's largest shindig of the year. By leaking (after all, Google rarely states anything directly) that projects such as Google Base and Google Checkout were in the works - Google was an invisible presence at the eBay Live conferences. This year, again, Google made a late announcement that a "Let Freedom Ring" party to introduce sellers to Google Checkout, would be held during this year's Boston conference.

What enfolded was a 2-day PR smackdown between two Internet biggies. EBay pulled their ads from Google, and ultimately, Google folded like a cheap tent in a hailstorm, and cancelled their party.

So they've kissed and made up, right? Why is this such a big deal, then?

Make no mistake about it, online sellers are diversifying to multi-channel selling, and many are pinning their hopes on Google's development of product search and payment services. However, Google more often than not, illustrates that they are not prepared - or possibly not committed - to make a foray into ecommerce. And that makes sellers nervous. After all, would you hitch a wagon to a blind horse?

I don't blame Google for buckling. For all their lip service as a search engine, they're really in the business of selling ads - and eBay is one of their largest clients.  It would be comparable to Pepsi's PR firm saying to the company, "You know, we're thinking about getting into the soda pop business too."  It's an obvious conflict of interest, and eBay reacted the only way they knew how. With force.

Of course, Google becomes the shadowy figure at yet another eBay Live. But this time, they seem indecisive, confused - and a bit weaker.

Here's a thought: Google (and many other internet companies) should stop trying to be Swiss Army Knives - you know, utensils that can do a lot of things - but none very well. They should also try finishing what they start - it might help them remove some of the "Beta" tags from their site, and restore some credibility to their many side projects.

If the Colonists in 1776 showed as much "commitment" to freedom as Google, we might still be a British Colony.

Author's Note: I almost titled this, "Google Gets It's Bell Rung at eBay Live" - tough choice.

Comments (7) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Google   Google

by: dimes

Thu Jun 14 13:15:58 2007

Perception is a funny thing.

In my office, the consensus on this ridiculous situation isn't that google is showing weakness, it's that eBay is acting remarkably like a corporate equivalent of Paris Hilton, crying and screaming ''It's not right!''

Perminate Link for Google   Google

by: Elmo

Thu Jun 14 13:33:22 2007

Right smack on the money. Google 'dabbles' in widgets and perfects none of them. My customers always had problems using G-Checkout, so I stopped using it. I wish there WAS a PP alternative - but Checkout isn't it.

Perminate Link for Google   Google

by: mario

Thu Jun 14 14:11:44 2007

Few years ago I believed that if Google jumped into the auction business they could kill ebay. Now I think they missed their chance.

Google checkout is NOT a paypal alternative, looks complicated and few people bother to figure out how to use it and integrate payments with it. I see it as Google's first failure and I expect there will be more.

Organizing a party out of protest because checkout is not accepted at ebay? That's pathetic - the real response would be to launch an auction service of their own. If they could do it, and obviously they can't.

Perminate Link for Google   Google

by: wphamilton

Thu Jun 14 23:57:12 2007

I'm generally a fan of AuctionBytes editorials but this time I've got to tell you, you're way out in left field.  Google giving "lip service as a search engine" and "doing none well"? Statements like these are just not very credible.

This idea that Google folded, and now everything is smoothed over needs a little closer examination as well. I don't see any eBay AdWords on Google yet, so it seems obvious that something has yet to be settled. It's just as possible that Google has gotten the PR they wanted out of this, and that a non-public conflict still rages.  Let's watch for a few days, find a few facts, and only then prognosticate winners and losers.

Perminate Link for Google   Google

by: Freedom

Fri Jun 15 07:12:07 2007

Until there is an anti-trust lawsuit brought by the government against eBay, eBay will remain a monopoly.  eBay is not allowing Google (via checkout, and now dropping its adwords campaign) to participate on its site nor at its events.  eBay's methods hurt consumers.

Perminate Link for Google   Google

by: JPursert

Fri Jun 15 07:12:42 2007

Google made the choice to appease their largest advertiser instead of making a statement that they were serious about payment services. The same can be said about their convoluted Froogle/Google Base/Google Product search product. If you're an unhappy eBay Seller, don't hold your breath waiting for Google to come and save you.


Perminate Link for Google   Google

by: steve jay

Sat Jun 16 14:06:27 2007

''Swiss Army Knives -'' eBay has it problems to allot of unfinished software tools with bugs and allot of it is software users pay for. Goggles beta software is free and usable if you know what you are doing. EBay just keeps piling on the bells and whistles and fixes none of the old.

We have Google checkout running on two websites now perfectly. Google checkout sales crush are credit card and pay pal sales now. First day we had it it in installed our sales jumped 65% and is still crushing our other payment methods a year latter.  bottom line buyers want to use Google checkout

As far as Google checkout being hard to set up it is not really. For website owners that do not know how to code. Just set up another payment method on your site Named Google checkout.  Put next to it We will email you an invoice. Then go into your Google account and send them an email invoice  

Does goggle checkout have all the bells and whistles of pay pal no it does not. it does have what you need to take the payment, refund the payment and enter tracking that is all you really need.

EBay is just saving face right now they know there already losing power sellers to other markets and the sellers sales data helps with the move.

EBay knows if they let Google checkout on eBay allot of there profit will be gone.

Maybe Google should ask Amazon if they want Google checkout excursively  

Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.