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.
Mon Dec 1 2008 10:25:22

Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Altrec.com, a large retailer selling camping and hiking gear and sporting goods online, registered on eBay last month. The company is a client of Mercent, an online ad agency that is bringing on large retailers onto eBay using the new "Large Merchant Services" API technology that lets high-volume sellers easily list items on eBay. As of this morning, Altrec had zero listings and zero feedback.

Altrec.com is a privately held company based in Redmond, Oregon. It carries major brands, including Columbia Sportswear, JanSport, New Balance, Nike, Nordica, the North Face, Pacific Outdoor, Patagonia, Rossignol, Sorel, and Teva. The addition of Altrec is a continuation of eBay's "Operation Catalog," a major story we broke in September that identified eBay's new strategic direction.

In talking to Mercent CEO Eric Best, it's clear there's a very different philosophy at play between these mega-retailers and long-time eBay sellers. For Mercent's clients, it's about visibility, branding and customer acquisition. I believe large retailers view eBay simply as another channel to which to send their product feeds, similar to comparison-shopping sites such as Shopping.com and PriceGrabber. That's quite different from the traditional eBay seller who viewed eBay as a major venue on which they sold, not as a way to acquire new customers for their own sites.

It's noteworthy that the executive who heads eBay's marketplaces business is Lorrie Norrington, the former President of Shopping.com - the comparison shopping engine eBay acquired in 2005. Her experience at Shopping is likely a major factor in eBay's new direction. But with Google getting into the comparison shopping engine space with Product Search, it's a greater challenge for such companies.

eBay is evolving from marketplace to ad platform. It's hard to be optimistic about this strategy - it didn't work for Yahoo Auctions. Stay tuned for Sunday's AuctionBytes-Update newsletter which will carry an interview with Mercent's CEO for a better understanding of the large retailer view of eBay.

 




Comments (9) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay   Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay

by: Just a Seller

Mon Dec 1 13:31:49 2008

Let's face it. All of us who are selling on ebay are doomed (commercially on ebay that is). The titans are given a free ride while we, who are for ebay nothing more than small peasants, have to carry the whole structure on our backs by paying our ever increasing feudal taxes to the land lord.

Ebay is not a place for us anymore, and the alternatives are not so attractive as of yet.

What a shame !

Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay   Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay

by: voodoo

Mon Dec 1 13:53:47 2008

Bring em on. Ebay will go down in flames before long. Those of you who are still selling need to get out or Ebay will take you with them.

Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay   Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Dec 1 14:25:30 2008

Somebody needs to tell Mercent they hooked their future to the wrong star so to speak.

I think predictions that ebay will eliminate the feedback system altogther in the second quarter are likely accurate. Then their precious Diamomd powersellers won't be held to any standards whatsoever.

Remember, The Ho says he has an incremental three year plan to change ebay so I think we can expect more anti traditional ebay seller policies in 2009.

Regardless of where sellers have gone and will continue to go, ebay needs to be taught a massive legal lesson that only the states acting in concert or the Department of Justice, SEC, IRS, and FTC have the resources to litigate.

Remember, after enjoying some success ANY of these new sites could start acting JUST LIKE EBAY unless the consequences would so drastic and so expensive that using ebay style tactics would be counterproductive both from a business standpoint and the law.

IMO, those advocating sellers simply move on are suggesting a short sighted approach that may solve short term problems to one degree or another but which will ultimately lead to the policies ebay has instituted as tomorrow's business model for today's fledgling online auction sites.

Any of these new sites are one acquisition away from either becoming defunct or the next online commerce site that cowtows to the clueless and corrupt Wall Street analysts and hires b-school brats to run it.

Death to ebay corp.


Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay   Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay

by: Former eBay seller

Mon Dec 1 15:36:28 2008

I am a Power Seller on eBay who stopped selling in October of this year. My feedback is 100% favorable with a near perfect DSR rating. I have never had a neutral or negative feedback, I am a benchmark seller. I decided after nine years, the changes being made no longer are in the best interest of a seller, even one that was very successful. Everything eBay changed this year has been a failure. So it is much easier now to watch their failures than being part of them. I believe  eBay's death spiral is irreversible, too bad since it was a good site until this year. Hopefully  a miracle will happen in time to rectify their illogical business plan.

Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay   Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay

by: Teas Sandy's Cinderfella Clinic

Tue Dec 2 00:59:54 2008

Yup, good work on the Dooggy DooDoo Diamond Sellers. Masking tape for Christmas? Why Not? Buy from a Diamond so far with 3 F/b 2 are negs? Good work, there Greedbay.

Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay   Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay

by: eBuyer Feedback

Tue Dec 2 11:02:42 2008

@ Teas Sandy's Cinderfella Clinic

If you investigate that positive you'll see that it probably doesn't belong there.

Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay   Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay

by: Alexander

Tue Dec 2 13:33:07 2008

Very interesting. Thanks for such interesting things.

Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay   Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay

by: Roy

Tue Dec 2 22:11:47 2008

3 Feedbacks with 2 negatives....160 high dollar items sold in just one week?

Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay   Diamond Spotting: Altrec Launching on eBay

by: Lynn

Thu Dec 11 21:10:25 2008

Altrec and Ebay will make happy bedfellows.  Their pillow talk will consist of trading tips on how to cheat the customer.



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.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 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.