|Mon Apr 14 2008 21:00:21|
eBay Axing Live Auctions Platform
By: Ina Steiner
While not official, we've heard from credible sources that eBay is doing away with its Live Auctions platform. This is the area on eBay where auction houses advertise and run their auctions in "real time." Not only do they get traffic and bidders on eBay, it adds an Internet-bidding component to their real-life auctions (just as some bidders phone in their bids to live auctions).
With enormous changes rolling out at eBay over the past year, particularly with the January 29th announcements, many eBay sellers have been feeling that the company is trying to boot out small sellers and that it favors commodity items rather than collectibles. Killing off Live Auctions may be seen by sellers as one more sign that this is the case.
Just 2 weeks ago, an eBay executive stated that eBay's goal was to deliver a more retail-like experience, and by this time next year eBay.com will be unrecognizable compared to today.
I'm not sure how much revenue Live Auctions provided eBay, but it's clear the impact will be felt by the auction houses. (eBay also allowed companies such as GoAntiques to run auctions composed of their clients' items with no real-life auctions associated with them.)
No other live-auction platform "marketplace" comes to mind. Companies like Able and LiveAuctioneers have the technology and could likely provide auction houses with the ability to accept online bidding. But they don't have the buyer "eyeballs" that eBay has.