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Wed June 15 2011 14:50:17

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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Christopher Payne told retailers at the Internet Retailer conference today that eBay is extending its core mission of connecting buyers and sellers by adding local inventory to its marketplace and bringing social conversation back to shopping.

He gave attendees a sneak peek of a new shopping feature that integrates with Facebook to engage shoppers, and said eBay was integrating the social graph with commerce.

On eBay, there were 2.3 billion searches in the fourth quarter for products, he said, the largest destination online in terms of people searching for products.

I had a chance to interview Christopher about his keynote, which you can listen to on the AuctionBytes Ecommerce Industry SoundBytes podcast page.

eBay has been on-boarding large branded retailers and is now helping local brick-and-mortar retailers to get their inventory on the site.

eBay already has challenges in presenting relevant items in search results, and I asked Christopher if he was concerned that the shopper would get overwhelmed with search results with local inventory added to the mix, and asked him what eBay was doing for the longtime traditional eBay seller.

eBay also recently announced its intention to buy Magento and launch X.commerce, merging the developer programs of eBay, PayPal, Magento, and GSI, and he answered the question, what would that mean for the small eBay seller?

In his keynote address, he shared some statistics, such as:

  • eBay has been evolving from its auction roots and is now doing $10 billion in the fashion space;
  • eBay did $62 billion in sales volume in 2010, 60% came from Buy Now, 40% from auctions
  • eBay launched its first mobile app in 2008, and he said it has since become "a mobile commerce leader," with 45 million downloads of its mobile apps and preparing to double the $2 billion in sales transacted on the mobile platform last year.

Christopher also told attendees that eBay was launching Commerce 3.0. Commerce 1 was the physical world, with cash; Commerce 2 was the web with incredible selection, 24/7 access, and ability to compare. "Commerce 3 is the intersection of these new technologies and shopping with the consumer at the center."

Like Stephanie Tilenius, who keynoted at Internet Retailer before she left eBay for Google, Christopher told attendees, "we don't make products, we're not a retailer, we'll never compete with you," and he said, "we want to connect buyers and sellers."

Christopher Payne's keynote was an invitation for retailers of all sizes to explore eBay as a channel.




Comments (47) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Jun 15 15:33:01 2011

Christopher told attendees, ''we don't make products, we're not a retailer, we'll never compete with you,'' and he said, ''we want to connect buyers and sellers.''

Yeah, eBay will never compete with you. They will however, restrict your account with regards to how many items you are able to offer...that is if they do not suspend your account entirely without disclosing why.

They will not compete with you, but they will create competition inside the platform by favoring select preferred sellers over most others in search.

They will not compete with you, but they will increase fees every 8 months and impose new fees such as final value fees on shipping costs on top of their existing outrageously high fee structure.

They will not compete with you, but they will look for any excuse they can find to hold your payments for as long as they possibly can, even though they are not licensed as an escrow service.

They will not compete with you, but they will make it difficult to communicate with your buyers, then allow buyers to rate you on transactional communication. Too many low scores and they will restrict or suspend your account.

They will not compete with you, but they also will do damn little to attract buyers to their site... virtually no advertising, no affiliate programs, and an ongoing legal battle with Google that has eBay listings pushed to the back of the pack in Google's search if they appear at all.

eBay claims they will not compete with you....what they will do is erect so many roadblocks to prevent you from succeeding they might as well be competing with you.

You stand a chance in business against competition. You do not stand a chance when eBay works so hard at every turn to beat you into the ground and make it impossible for you to succeed.

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: Who Cares

Wed Jun 15 15:33:46 2011

It looks like the Auction is going to be over and between this and the DSR System it could be over for the Good Sellers on ebay. Time will tell, Don't you just love ebay. I hope the large retailer have to deal with the DSR system and the punishment from ebay. See Example of Toys R Us

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: Pam

Wed Jun 15 15:42:05 2011

I read the article, but he didn't really say anything.

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: Y.D.D.D

Wed Jun 15 16:17:11 2011

John Donahoes eBay for small to medium sellers = ADVERSARY

He is an ADVERSARY to the way I ran my business pre 2008

Allowing 1 or 2 star ratings that are not true to sink you for calendar year when untrue is evil !

Evil just like the heartless cruel buyers who left them, for buyers remorse on accurate described item, or for a competitor friend or family member to put you out of business

Your the ADVERSARY to most sellers on this site Mr. Donahoe

So Ric is rite, so many hurdles you may as well compete against us !

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

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

Wed Jun 15 16:57:32 2011

"we want to connect buyers and sellers."

If only these clueless headless turkeys had the faintest idea of how to do that!

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: Lawrence a Dickerson

Wed Jun 15 17:03:57 2011

ADVERSARY;I am my own worst enemy or adversary if you will.Resistant to change  is perhaps the greatest adversary because it demands that we jump out of our comfort zone where we can become more vulnerable but generally the forces against us are only in our brain.Fear of the unknown prevents many from succeeding.

Proper prior planning prevents poor performance helps to conquer those fears brought on by change so we can be our best friend rather than an adversary.Look no further than the tip of our noses.

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: Craig

Wed Jun 15 17:17:03 2011

Ric for Ebay CEO. All true. I wish someone (Google, Yahoo etc) would just start a free market - mall styled website with flat monthly rentals based on size and not all of the extra fees that ebay raises every 6 months so a yearly budget or business plan can never be drawn up. Google, please make an International Market/Mall marketplace with a Google style Paypal and allow all of the older ebay sellers and new customers build businesses we are the real owners of and can develop our businesses based on success and failure. If we don't develop the businesses, it's our fault, not because the ebay landlord decided we weren't allowed to offer two similiar items or I had a customer leave a 1 or 2 in our DSRs because the mail in Portugal is delivered by slow donkey.
Small websites are setting up to steal pieces of the ebay marketplace but they don't have the search engine traffic Google can provide. When Google opens a International Marketplace married with a international payment system Ebay/Paypal will take it's rightful place beside Enron, AMC Motors, Burger Chef and Circuit City.


eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: Dan

Wed Jun 15 17:52:18 2011

It's Bill Cobb in disguise.  If you recall Cobb's 2007 announcements, none of them came true...anything the company said, the company was going in the other direction.  This is the same banter being repeated.  It's a joke people....  Facebook and twitter connect people.  EBay Separates them.

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: Y.D.D.D

Wed Jun 15 18:40:00 2011

Your an Adversary to the well being of good people also DICKERHEADSON, or whatever your name is !

An annoyer who obviously love Donahoe, OR is paid to love his policy and be a cheerleader

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: Ron

Wed Jun 15 18:46:08 2011

@Lawrence A Dickerson

What drivel!  You really are a clueless idiot aren't you?

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Wed Jun 15 19:27:08 2011

If he's to be believed, and if eBay is so profitable with their new direction... then what we've been saying all along is true. eBay does NOT want or need traditional small sellers.

If this is their plan, why are they wading around in the shallow end? Why not just jump-in head first into the deep end? Cut-loose all the ''undesirable'' small sellers and focus 100% of their efforts on their new model? Clearly we're a distraction... and based on the year-end profit reports, we appear to be holding eBay back from realizing its full potential. So perhaps it's time for eBay to just make the tough decision to let us go, quickly, decisively, unmistakably. Tell the small sellers to go and we'll be on our way at other venues. With luck, our buyers will straggle along with us... but that won't matter to eBay because those aren't the buyers that eBay wants anyway.

@Ron... I fear that your post will be deleted. But I wanted you to know that it WAS seen... and yes, you're correct, he certainly is!

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: Joe Average

Wed Jun 15 19:40:54 2011

eBays mission is to control and manipulate sellers, in order to extract maximum revenues in the short-term, to support share prices. It is not complicated.

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: anyone out there

Wed Jun 15 19:41:49 2011

uh what he say. He talk with fork tongue.

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: Me

Wed Jun 15 19:46:33 2011

'On eBay, there were 2.3 billion searches in the fourth quarter for products'

Yeh, these were sellers checking to see if their products were showing in search.

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: Ron

Wed Jun 15 19:51:24 2011

@Anonymous Annie

Yeah, I've seen prior posts by this guy, but have always refrained from commenting.  He's obviously out to either create controversy or he thinks that he's smarter than the rest of the posters here.

Really, he has nothing to contribute, because the type of comment that he made is neither here nor there.  It is quite besides the point and belies a lack of understanding of what has transpired with eBay over the last 2 years.  Ebay has taken an approach to business growth that involved throwing away a unique and well-entrenched strategic business model to exchange it for one that has a lot of competitive vulnerabilities.  And, in the process, they ruined what was a well functioning marketplace for specific classes of sellers, mostly small in scale.  And it didn't have to be that way, in fact, eBay management has done their own business a disservice in the way that they implemented their plan.  They're getting away with it now due to their mass, but it's only a matter of time before their business is seriously eroded by more targeted competitors.

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

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

Wed Jun 15 20:03:20 2011

Lawrence A. Dickerson displays many of the characteristics of those suffering from schizophrenia.

I believe he actually is mentally ill in the classic sense.

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

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

Wed Jun 15 20:13:42 2011

One internet publication today headlined their article concerning Chris the Pain's speech, "Ebay Pitches Parterships."

Wonder what all the ex ebafia "partners" they destroyed would tell prospective new ebafia "partners?"

Thiose potential "partners" smelling quick and easy bucks to be made on ebafia are in for a very unpleasant surprise.

They'll deserve exactly whatever they get doing business with the sleazliest, tech laughingstock outfit in Silicon Valley/Utah.

We need to redouble or triple ur efforts to tell our friends and the public in general what a greedy, dishonest, job outsourcing, Chinese communist loving this despicable corporation is.

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: nadine

Wed Jun 15 21:43:51 2011

eBay is a social network? What a hoot! after all eBay's steps to intrude into buyer-seller communications, down to removing the Email buttons and automating the communications? Heaven forbid that buyers and sellers actually communicate freely; they might decide to do business off eBay. We wouldn't want that, would we?

eBay is the anti-social network.

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: Rich

Wed Jun 15 23:57:00 2011

Connecting buyers and sellers worked better when sellers paid 5% commision and $9/month for a store.  That was when sellers had low prices and buyers flocked to Ebay for the best deals on the internet.  6 straight yearly fee hikes have ruined Ebay's efforts to connect buyers and sellers.  But they've certainly helped Amazon to connect buyers and sellers

eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers   eBay Tells Retailers Its Mission Is to Connect Buyers and Sellers

by: buck efay

Thu Jun 16 00:58:55 2011

2.3 million searches, but how many completed sales resulted from those searches? How many buyers repeating the same searches in slightly different manner hoping to find something UNIQUE to buy instead of DRECK from China?
Hey Lawrence, DICKerson:
Why is it that my sales are good everywhere BUT ebay? Why did I have an item that sustained me for years fall off the grid in sales on Ebay, but are my top sellers everywhere else? Answer me those questions, Dickerson. Not the product, must be the FALIURE of a venue.

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