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 Oct 2 2011 08:29:23

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Alibaba's Jack Ma is interested in buying Yahoo, AllThingsD's Kara Swisher reported on Friday. The two firms already have a partial joint ownership and a complicated relationship, but an outright acquisition of Yahoo could have major implications for the ecommerce industry.

Almost 178 million consumers visit Yahoo each month, according to ComScore, which ranks Yahoo the number two web property behind number-one Google (183 million visitors) and ahead of number-three Microsoft Sites (177 million).

Consumers visit Yahoo to read news and content, conduct online searches and read email, but currently it does not have a strong ecommerce presence apart from its Yahoo Stores ecommerce-hosting business. It ceded online marketplaces to eBay in 2002 except in Asia and officially closed its marketplaces in North America in 2007, and shuttered its online payment service in 2004. And in 2010, Yahoo turned over Yahoo Shopping to Experian's PriceGrabber in a partnership arrangement.

In contrast, Alibaba dominates ecommerce in China with its C2C domestic Taobao auction site, B2B global Alibaba marketplace, and its B2C Taobao Mall marketplace for brands, along with its online payment service Alipay. Alibaba also offers a host of services to online merchants and small businesses.

Alibaba has a deep understanding of the small merchant not only in China, but around the globe, thanks to the many merchants using its global product-sourcing services, and it puts together one of the biggest global gatherings of ecommerce entrepreneurs at its AliFest conference in Hangzhou each September.

Alibaba has been courting U.S. marketplace sellers for over 6 years; it acquired two U.S. ecommerce firms last year that power eBay stores, Vendio and Auctiva; and it operates the AliExpress marketplace designed to reach very small merchants but which already reaches consumers in the United States without trying, according to PayPal.

Could Alibaba create a shopping portal under the Yahoo brand that takes advantage of all of its properties, including its Alipay payment service? That would require a CEO who understands U.S. and international marketplaces but doesn't mind taking orders from China. It would also require a decision about whether an Alibaba Yahoo marketplace would simply enable merchants, using the eBay model, or whether it would also compete with merchants, using the Amazon model. Either way, Amazon could be the biggest loser if Alibaba expands into the U.S. market.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Yahoo's board is looking for a CEO who is open to a sale of the company or who could help Yahoo launch new services in order to stay relevant.

Alibaba has the ecommerce expertise, but it needs access to U.S. merchants and consumers, and Yahoo must look mighty tempting to Jack Ma.




Comments (16) | Permalink

Readers Comments

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

by: ZZTopshlf

Sun Oct 2 14:50:17 2011

Go for it! Competition is good, especially where Ebay is concerned.

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
Web Site

Sun Oct 2 20:59:13 2011

Competition is good and China is wining the Economy War. eBay has already competition with Amazon, but Paypal don't have real competition. Lets see if Jack Ma can get in this side of the ocean to face PP.

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

by: Phil De Basquet

Mon Oct 3 00:31:12 2011

If they cater to small sellers of collectible one of a kind items, they will draw us away from Ebay easily. If they allowed sellers to actually make decent profits, there would be a huge migration. It could not be done the way Yahoo functions now, no customer service, only poorly run canned answers. They would need actual communication with sellers.

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

by: Digmen1
Web Site

Mon Oct 3 00:32:18 2011

"Could Alibaba create a shopping portal under the Yahoo brand that takes advantage of all of its properties, including its Alipay payment service? That would require a CEO who understands U.S. and international marketplaces but doesn't mind taking orders from China."

No one has been able to fins a US based CEO to do this so far. So how do you expect Jack Ma to be able to find one ?

He may be better to put one of his exec in charge.


How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Mon Oct 3 01:41:40 2011

Go for it. I have used Yahoo for years and I have a number of accounts with them. I tried using the web service for a web site but it was too expensive. I was a seller back in the day on their auctions and did quite well. Have not been able to find a replacement since and I have tried them all.
I would be one of the first to migrate from eBay if Ma bought it. Already have a vendio account for a web store.
Will probably get a good price for my Yahoo stock also!

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

by: Red Ink Diary This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Oct 3 05:20:17 2011

This could get interesting!

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Oct 3 08:09:43 2011

I wonder if Chinese ownership would have an effect upon the news that is allowed through the portal. I'm uncomfortable with the thought of Chinese censors messing with the news and articles I see. Also, the last thing we need is to make it easier for people to buy even more stuff from China.

What I really want to see is a way for people here in the US to sell more easily into the Chinese market instead of the other way around. Such a huge market has great potential, so I'm really amazed the none of the big players has really tackled this in terms of facilitating merchant sales there. eBay, in particular, seems to focus strictly on enabling China to sell to everyone else and not the other way around.

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

by: L

Mon Oct 3 08:39:33 2011

@Tula:
  Imagine the absolute goldmine of potential military, industrial, political, and other confidential types of info that Chinese ownership of the Yahoo email servers could glean to their advantage (think: years of email archives to/from Yahoo email addresses.)
   Although the same spying potential exists for ANY buyer of Yahoo, I would certainly reject any purchase of Chinese origin.  
   (And, I'm not sending this post to/from a yahoo email address, so I'm safe if Ma buys Yahoo. . . LOL)

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

by: summer in the city

Mon Oct 3 14:04:49 2011


Remember the video of that panel discussion where a bumbling, semi-coherent Donahoe made a fool of himself sitting right next to a smiling Jack Ma? You could almost see Mr. Ma painting a target on Ebay at that exact moment.





How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Mon Oct 3 14:06:58 2011

Alibaba WE NEED YOU!

Alibaba has deep enough pockets that they could re-activate Yahoo Auctions, breaking ebay's anticompetitive Jul 2007 ad deal. Then ebay would sue-- and that's where those deep pockets come in: Alibaba can afford the attorneys, who will prove that the deal was monopolistic and anticompetitive in the first place.

But to find that outsider CEO, Jack Ma must ask as one of his hiring questions:

"Do you have any loyalty to, or have you ever golfed, dined, danced, or drank with John Donahoe or his wife?"

Up to now, John has been getting saved by his straw-man CEO lackeys, and his political buddies. But this time, he could get beheaded by the Alibaba sword!

If person-to-person selling a la Craigslist meets coast-to-coast shipping a la Amazon, then ebay is TOAST. This merger could be just the thing.

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

by: Joe
Web Site

Mon Oct 3 16:58:33 2011

Jack also owns buy.com that already allows sellers to sell on their market place.  Put Yahoo search behind that with a real payment option.....  I started selling on Buy when Jack took over last year.  Seemed a no brainer what is coming.  

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

by: MR ME

Tue Oct 4 11:23:53 2011

any enemy of eBay is a friend of mine ;)

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

by: Not A Hobby

Sat Oct 8 06:52:56 2011

A sale of Yahoo is just going to be a financial transaction to the highest offer as far as the Yahoo Board of Directors is concerned.

There are some real reasons to be concerned about data security, email posts, etc. being put directly into the hands of a Chinese corporation (and probably sifted through by the Chinese government).  Somehow, I think a Dem President is more likely than a Repub. to be concerned about national security and personal security issues in this transaction.

I welcome almost any competition to eBay.  (And Donahoe has been worried about this possibility from a Chinese competitor!)  But, I expect a takeover of Yahoo could become a sales outlet for hundreds of thousands of small Chinese sellers to sell direct to US consumers.  The shock waves of this action could reach into the traditional US retail marketplace and take a volume of sales revenue away from Sears, WalMart, clothing stores, etc.

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

by: Roger
Web Site

Tue Oct 11 09:27:21 2011

I'm all for competing with eBay but its going to be tough in light of eBay's recent acquisition of Magento and the concept of xCommerce...Sound like eBay has some great things up and coming!--Gravitate Online - A  Utah Search Engine Optimization  Company

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

by: the dude

Sat Oct 15 13:17:38 2011

eBay-Paypal has screwed their buyers and sellers for far too long.  eBay-Paypal has been able to buy-out, engulf, and implement several underhanded methods to suffocate to death pretty much all of their potential competition amongst the overly numerous, scattered, tiny start-up companies trying to "nip at their heels".  Well, Ma's Alibaba-Yahoo juggernaut would be a something that the tunnel-vision eBay fools won't be able to make disappear merely by crudely throwing money at the problem (like they've been able to do with everything else in the past).  Ebay-Paypal exec's (who have no true business experience and are a bunch of silver-spoon fed ivy league grad types who have wormed their way up to the top --simply taking control of companies that had been already established, grown/built, and marketplace dominate-- , instead of truly earning it and creating it like Mr. Ma did) don't possess anything near the business cunning/savy that a Mr. Ma or Mr. Bezos has. I hope Ma's juggernaut comes sooner rather than later!

How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition   How Alibaba Could Change Ecommerce with Yahoo Acquisition

by: Cherie
Web Site

Mon Oct 24 00:07:45 2011

ebay's changes and their choices  hurt many deeply. Even their newest policies show how inconsistencies and poor ethics in business practices. Any efforts made to do clean marketing and healthy competition is wonderful. The online world needs this positive direction.



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.