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.
Sun May 9 2010 21:57:10

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

An eBay survey conducted this month on online shopping behavior revealed its concern over rivals, particularly Amazon, Google and Craigslist, and revealed which retailers it considered to be its top competitors in various categories. The survey asked eBay buyers how they rated eBay and Amazon.com on price and value, and how buyers used Google when making purchases - including whether they bought directly through Google. The comprehensive survey also covered auction behavior.

The main areas the eBay survey covered included:
  • the types of products buyers purchased in seven categories;
  • where they made purchases (including online and offline venues);
  • how much they spent in each category;
  • the proportion spent on new versus refurbished or used products in each category;
  • the factors that influenced their decisions.
One question asked how respondents used Google in their purchases, with the following choices:
- Bought directly through Google;
- Searched for the category (E.g. searched for "MP3 players") to find a retailer or review;
- Searched for the product or brand (e.g. searched for "Ipod Touch") to find a retailer or review;
- Searched for a price comparison site that I could use to help me research my purchase;
- None of the above.


eBay asked respondents how they browsed and how they researched to learn more about products in each of seven categories, and gave them the choice of "Browsed and researched online; Browsed and researched offline; Browsed and researched both online and offline; or none of the above."

eBay had several questions devoted to auctions: "Now thinking about all purchases made in the last year from eBay, how did you buy?" (Only by auction, Only by fixed price, A mix of auction and fixed price, No purchases made on eBay in the last year); "Of the purchases that you made on eBay in the last year what proportion of the value of your spend was through auctions?" (<10%, 10-20%, 21-40%, 41-60%, 61%+); and "When shopping online (include all shopping-related activities: browsing, researching, comparing prices, purchasing), how often do you participate in auctions?" (Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Almost always).



The seven categories covered by the survey included Consumer Electronics; Apparel; Home and Garden; Media; Collectibles; Vehicle Parts and Accessories; and Other ("e.g. Sporting goods, Toys & Games, Jewelry & Watches, Musical Instruments").

eBay asked shoppers where they purchased from in each of the categories, and listed as options: Traditional store (e.g., retailer that only has traditional stores and no website); In store from a retailer that has both traditional stores and a website (e.g., in a Best Buy store); From the website of a retailer that has both traditional stores and a website (e.g., from Best Buy online); From the website of a pure play online retailer (e.g. eBay, Amazon); Classifieds websites; Other classifieds (e.g. newspapers).

Two questions were quite revealing about who eBay considers to be a competitive threat. The survey asked buyers which two stores they most preferred to make online purchases of Refurbished Consumer Electronics products from, and gave the choice of Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Buy.com, Dell, eBay, Overstock, RadioShack, Target and Wal-Mart.

The other question was, "From which store/web site have you made an on-line purchase of any of these products in the last year?" and it listed various online and offline retailers from which respondents could choose in each category, as follows:

Consumer electronics
eBay, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Buy.com, Newegg, Best Buy, Apple, Craigslist, Target, Overstock, TigerDirect, RadioShack, Sonystyle, Dell, Gamestop, Other.

Apparel
eBay, Amazon, Macy's, JC Penny, Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Zappos.com, Craigslist, Target, Overstock, Nordstrom, Gap, J Crew, Sierra trading post, QVC, Other.

Home and Garden
eBay, Amazon, Macy's, Sears, Target, Wal-Mart, Home depot, Craigslist, Costco, QVC, Lowes, Bed Bath and Beyond, Williams-Sonoma, Other.

Media
eBay, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Buy.com, Blockbuster, Barnes and Noble, Gamestop, Craigslist, Target, Overstock, Google, Other.  

Collectibles
eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, Bonanzle, RubyLane, Etsy, Other.

Vehicle Parts and Accessories
eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, Autozone.com, JC whitney, Autopartswarehouse, Other.

Other
eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, Wal-Mart, Buy.com, Best Buy, Newegg, Macy's, JC Penny, Target, Sears, Overstock, Gamestop, Barnes and Noble, Autopartswarehouse, Bidstart.com, Google, Other.

One question asked buyers about the types of marketing they had been exposed to in the month prior to making their most recent purchase. There were a variety of options listed in the following categories: Comparison Sites; Direct Mail & Email; Search Engines; Internet Marketing; Web Pages; and Word of Mouth.

eBay rarely shares in-depth results of surveys, although one could surmise by the questions that eBay was clearly trying to get a handle on how shoppers make purchasing decisions.




Comments (63) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: Pat

Sun May 9 22:30:48 2010

I got this survey as well. It seemed to me that eBay was very concerned about how people used Google to find items. I know that I use Google now almost exclusively to search for things I want to buy, and I'm always surprised by how poorly eBay items rank compared to Amazon - and even Etsy, Ecrater and Bonanzle. C'est La Vie!

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 9 22:41:08 2010

Whatsamatter??? trouble in paradise?  I thought Donahoe kept gushing about how he's "on the right track".  Now, there is a need to know where the shoppers are actually shopping and how?  How unique!  Only took him almost three years to think of it.  Its tough when your own ego keeps tripping you and getting in your way ;-)

Maybe next he'll completely do away with auctions and say the poll Ebay took of its buyers showed none of them like auctions anymore LOL

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: Bubbles
Web Site

Sun May 9 22:46:06 2010

I would have thought Ebay would have done this research BEFORE they made all these changes - any other business would have researched first & then made changes. Just goes to show how egotistical Ebay really are.

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: Scott

Sun May 9 22:49:09 2010

I got that survey in one of my accounts.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take it right away and when I went back, it was no longer in My Messages.

I would've ripped 'em a new one.

I own an antique shop.  I use Google Shopping/Products to find prices.  I used to use eBay exclusively.  No more.  Ebay is not a reliable source for pricing antiques & collectibles since they've taken a flamethrower to the auction format and you can only search "completed" for the previous 15 days.

I haven't purchased anything on eBay in about a year and a half.  In that time, I've probably spent at least a thousand dollars at Amazon.  I always find GREAT deals via "xx used at starting at $xx.xx".  Just drop them in my shopping cart and bam, bam, they arrive at my door in about a week.

I still sell on eBay, via auctions, but it is less lucrative and much less interesting.  It is, on the other hand, much more frustrating and nerve-wracking.  Basically, eBay is not fun.  Honestly, I #@&%# hate eBay . . . but there is no other, viable, auction site.

For now.  If they built it, I would give it a shot.  I think Amazon is the only world-wide, household name that could give eBay a run for it's auction money . . . but . . . didn't they try that already?

Maybe they should try it again.

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: Jim Kohnman

Sun May 9 23:03:20 2010

I've pretty much given up on Ebay. I sell and buy pretty much through Amazon any more. Much less trouble. I listed 2 items I found a deal on this weekend, and I had them up on Amazon in about 1 minute. Looked for prices for items on ebay and found same prices with HIGH shipping costs. That's why I don't buy there anymore either.

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: another side of the coin

Sun May 9 23:09:13 2010

Also, with any of eBay's ''we already know what we are going to do regardless of these surveys'', the last one or two questions, same as their phone calls, are their main focus.

eBay is already doing everything they can to eliminate auctions. I could write a book on their underhanded practices. Suffice it to say they are trying to manipulate and purposely stifle auctions. This includes the 100 free auctions, high valued quality items going for absurd low prices, no bids, no watches, lots of bidding and then no bidding for days, and on and on. I truly believe eBay is trying to get sellers with auctions disgusted enough to leave the site or convert their listings to fixed.

We will make you conform so says Feudal DoDo Hole. We have ways ....

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: babach

Sun May 9 23:17:55 2010

ok then so ebay wrecks the core business-auctions-(because they want to be amazon....oops too late)then asks buyers if they buy at auction...duh. So then they can say....the buyers got tired of that.lalalala...lol

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: another side of the coin

Sun May 9 23:33:00 2010

@babach Yep, you got that right, that is exactly what they are doing.

Surely if the leader says auctions are dead then they must be. Kool-aid for everyone!

Sorry Donahoe (NOT!) I like Amazon much, much better than eBay for fixed items. They don't try to scr@# me every time I turn around. You forgot sellers are also BIG buyers even more so than buyers only!

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: tired

Sun May 9 23:33:27 2010

sounds like the last act of a desperate man.
"why isnt this working mommy?"

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: Lisa

Mon May 10 00:03:59 2010

I got this survey and made it to page 18 and only 15% before my browser crashed. So I didn't get to the stuff about Google.  Truth be told, I never use Google to find anything other than images.  They have great images.  I use Clusty for everything else and if I want to truly comparison price shop, the best site out there, in my opinion, is thefind.com.  It list ever retailer, online and off, the item, the price, if it's in stock, etc.  It's such an enormously encompassing site, that you really have to narrow your search result or you're going to have too many items and dealers to go through.  But it's well worth it.  When that's done, I compare at eBay.  There are few things I buy at eBay anymore. Mostly because buyers have discovered that the worst thing that happens if they are slow to ship or ship something wrong, they have to refund.  Oh damn.  Not even a hand slap.  Buyers don't like to get the wrong stuff or get ripped off on shipping and ebay doesn't care if it's sellers tack on whatever amounts they want for S&H even if it's so significant it could be considered obscene.  So I laughed about eBay's concern about Google, how long have eBay sellers been hankering for a Google auction site?  How many years?  That's all it would take for me.  I have a web store for my niche collectibles, and when I'm feeling good I actually upload and sell inventory. I am loathe to sell on eBay, it seems like the smaller the item, the more hassle I'm going to have.  As I stare at a grotesquely beautiful rare vaseline opalescent pattern turn of the century tumbler I picked up at an Auction sale for a few dollars, I know on eBay it could fetch a fine price, perhaps as much as $100.  Then eBay takes their fee and PayPal takes their fee, and even though everything is insured, I have to ensure the buyer is happy.  Or I can list it on my own site for it's market value, I can process payments through Amazon, Google, PayPal or my own merchant account.  I can even accept checks. I don't have to deal with inane policies - other than my own of course - and I don't worry will Google pick up on my item?  If I use all the SEO I've picked up over the past 13 years, I manage to get my sites in the top five of every search engine regardless of who buys keywords or doesn't - it's about relevancy.  eBay is facing tough decisions, to acquire or be acquired. Clearly they cannot keep losing site visitors while selling more.  Those books are being very nicely braised.  It makes no sense. Fewer visitors, higher sales?  Or is your California GM Dealer still selling to their own people?  eBay long ago lost the impression of impartiality and level playing fields, they're about as corrupt and favoritist and biased as ever and wonder how they can woo Google, or should they focus on a partnership with Amazon (who doesn't need them), Buy.com - we already know how that went) or Craigslist which eBay has a 25% interest in.

We now have a ship without a port to call home.  Lost at sea with only the Engineer to guide you to safety.  eBay was Pierre's proud gift to the world of collectors.  Sure, Pierre had a price and made a fortune, but somewhere I suspect that Pierre is sickened by what's become of his company, his friendly open-air type trading shops now governed by greedy carpetbaggers offering 40 acres and a mule but it'll cost you.  In an ideal world, Meg will lose the California Gubernatorial Election, will be asked by the eBay board to return, Donohoe will be asked to resign or take a job as a pink or some demeaning mailroom job and Meg will try to salvage what's left of what was a lucrative, money making operation that was highly successful, worked well for many stay at home moms, disabled persons, unemployed, etc., and had a brilliant business model that treated everybody fairly.

So how about, just for the sake of Nostalgia, we all pine for Google to start it's own site based on the success that was ebay, give all of the disgruntled sellers and buyers a realistic option, and throw some false hope our way.  Clearly eBay feels google is important.  Maybe Google will feel Google is important too.  

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Mon May 10 00:20:15 2010

For Christ's sake what's up with this man Donahoe? He's an ex Bain & Co consultant: he is supposed to already know everything! What is the point of surveying the rail bridge after the train has already broken through and fallen into "the river"? Maybe it's about time this sociopath went back to consulting, and soon ...

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: another side of the coin

Mon May 10 00:57:08 2010

Lisa I agree with everything you have stated but please leave out Meg returning to eBay. SHE started this whole mess and is just as greedy as the Ho who she hired to replace her. Corrupt is what corrupt does or something like that.

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: another side of the coin

Mon May 10 01:00:39 2010

Plus Meg is an ex-Bainer. She-bains, she-bains. Sorry .. I couldn't resist.

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: RicRoe

Mon May 10 01:09:41 2010

JD has been shoving his ill conceived changes down sellers throats since he joined eBay.

He could probably count on one hand the number of items he personally sold through eBay.

So now that his changes are proving to alienate buyers instead of thrilling them... now that sellers have been driven out by outrageous and repeated fee increases and a collapsing IT infrastructure... now that he is in the third year of his failed turn around plan.... this MBA is finally reaching out to find out what is going on, and how things work?

Common sense would have had this survey conducted before he embarked on his destructive innovations and destroyed the marketplace he was supposed to lead.

Or maybe he sent this survey out to measure how successful he has been at destroying eBay's marketplace.

Do we really have to wait until after the November elections before the Board of Directors gives JD the reward he deserves for all his hard work?

Why wait....terminate this failed CEO now along with the majority of his management team for their gross incompetence.

Let JD and his team sue to collect their golden parachutes... the more publicity surrounding their dismissal, the better the chances are that eBay will come back from the brink of the Donahoe led marketplace failure.

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: rotfl

Mon May 10 02:01:53 2010

" ...Our focus is to be one of the winners in the ecommerce world, and not get distracted by what others are doing."

rotfl!

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: Marvin This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 10 07:03:59 2010

Just because you want to go after the goose that lays the golden eggs doesn't mean you have to kill the cash cow to get it.

Sellers made ebay what it was by offering everything imaginable for sale and they will break ebay by doing the same thing. ON OTHER SITES.

Everybody makes mistakes but ebay can't seem to see or refuses to see theirs. Sellers on the other hand saw in 2008 ebay was making a big mistake so they started leaving. There were some hard times and the going was tough but things are starting to look up. Why? Because the buyers ebay wants so desperately to attract are leaving ebay too (that's why they are doing the survey). Buyers are beginning to follow sellers to other sites.

Ironic but what goes around comes around. Now all the problems ebay caused sellers is coming back around to them. Yet instead of turning around they continue to go in the wrong direction and are making things worse. In 5 months the holiday season will be here again and the changes set to take place will probably be the final nail in ebays coffin. Time is running out.

Sellers are finding they don't need ebay, but ebay needs something the sellers have. Buyers! Nobody should have to do a survey to figure that out.

It's the bottom of the ninth the bases are loaded and sellers are at bat.

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: Amazon Buyer

Mon May 10 07:27:55 2010

I buy on Amazon and sell on Amazon. I use to buy everything on Ebay and only sell on Ebay. I quit both when they started with their hi-jinks maybe 4 years ago now?

Why would I put myself in a position of failure by selling on Ebay? The customer is right whether they are or not!

Wake up Ebay, do you not think your customers have not caught on to this and are sticking it to the sellers? Take the blinders off and come out of the cave people!

I find the atmosphere 1000 times more hospitable on Amazon. You can even call and get a REAL person who knows what they are talking about. I found that to be refreshing!

I have orders everyday on Amazon. On Ebay, I got orders if it was my turn to be in the search or some other nutty algorithm.

All I can say is thanks Ebay for running me off, I may never have looked elsewhere if it had not been for the decisions you made that finally drove me off! Actually felt good to close that store!

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: none of their business

Mon May 10 08:33:29 2010

Gosh I hate surveys!

What business do they have asking anyone these personal questions?

Nosy wanna bees should have stuck to their own business model.

Trying to be someone else never works!


This should be a question on there....

Have you ever shopped on Amazon before J. Donohoe took over as CEO of Ebay.

My answer would be NOPE but I do plenty now since he emphasized how better and wonderful Amazon was.

Ya know what he was right! Sales on Amazon were never really great for me until JD made sales skyrocket almost overnight. Since 2008 they have steadily been climbing and are now at an all time high.

I barely ever get sales on ebay anymore. Of course I didn't start selling on Amazon until the great changes of 2008...you know the ones that were going to make the site so much better for buyers and sellers.

It didn't work for ebay but it made amazon much better for buyers and sellers. Amazon loves all JD'S big changes!

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: The Voice of Reason

Mon May 10 08:49:05 2010

Report ebays fraudulant acts and violations to the FTC

http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/contact.shtm

From the FTC
Your complaint, comment, or inquiry may help us spot a pattern of law violations requiring law enforcement action. It also may help us recognize and tell people about bigger trends affecting consumers. We do not resolve individual consumer disputes.

eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?   eBay Surveys Buyers and Asks, Are You Shopping on Amazon?

by: Ron

Mon May 10 09:51:11 2010

They can ask all the questions that they want, but the truth is that auction format and fix priced new items never should have been appearing together in the same marketplace.  

Auctions and fixed price sales require totally different processes and address different target markets. Auctions are used for older, unique, hard-to-find and unusual items that are difficult to ascertain as to real market value.  Fixed priced format is used for new and common items that have an established cost chain and an easy to establish market price.

The result of combining both under the same set of rules and processes is a very confused place to conduct business.

They really don't need a survey to understand this.  If they ask someone who buys mostly new items or electronics whether they use auctions, the answer will be no every time.  Searching the whole internet for price and service comparisons may make sense for new items, but all that you need for older, collectible items is a very clear, well constructed internal process.  So, what exactly do they expect to learn from this survey?

How about a bit of common sense?  Go back to the way that eBay was, primarily an auction site, and start another e-commerce site for fixed price new items, with proper processes like a shopping cart, etc.

This management team may have certain credentials, but they don't understand the first thing about merchandising.  I would like to know what qualifies John Donahoe as a merchandiser?  What responsibility did he ever have previously for selling product?

Click to view more comments
1 2 3 4  [Next Page]


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.