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.
Wed May 14 2014 14:18:46

Should Google Buy eBay?

By: Julia Wilkinson

Sponsored Link

I have to admit, that question sounds crazy to me. And yet, the question is floating out there on various business sites such as MarketWatch and Bloomberg Businessweek. I think part of this is the foofaraw around China-based ecommerce giant Alibaba's impending IPO, with other headlines out there like "Alibaba Files IPO, Challenges Google and Amazon for Ad share."

In this Bloomberg Businessweek video, Baird analyst Colin Sebastian says people like Carl Icahn triggered the discussion, and the feeling is  the "value of PayPal is locked inside eBay."

And while some say Google should be buying just PayPal (this is assuming eBay agrees to sell it), Sebastian says "a better option"...instead of splitting eBay and PayPal, "would be combining it with a larger, healthy Internet platform like Google, which also...we think needs ecommerce and payments."

Though he acknowledges it is "more of a thought exercise," he says his firm looked at companies that "need payments, need commerce" which include "Google, Facebook, and eventually Yahoo and Twitter as well," and they think Google has the resources to pull it off successfully.

Hmm. I don't know that Google buying eBay would be such a great idea. It wouldn't be the first time with a huge merger that 1+1 does not necessarily equal 2. Ideally it equals 3, but sometimes it just stays at one. The other thing is, would there be no anti-trust issues with such a large merger? I'm sure some of you business brains out there could answer that better than I.

To me it feels a bit like too many big companies commingling into one big blob, which is reminiscent of the utilitarian but ultimately, well, gross concoction of Soylent Green.

You laugh? There's really a product out there now called "Soylent," hailed by The New Yorker as "The End of Food." (Who wants food to end?). But I digress.

What do you think of the idea of a Google - eBay merger? Would one and one make two? Would you dare eat Soylent for two weeks? Post a comment here!



Comments (26) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 16:12:48 2014

This has actually come up before, most recently a couple of months back during the Icahn-eBay standoff. What's surprising is that Google hasn't entered the auction and BIN market. They already have everything in place- the deep pockets, the search capabilities, it would be a natural. Why haven't they done it yet?

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 16:27:40 2014

Only if they throw out ALL top management - IMMDIATELY upon signing the dotted line.

I'd rather Google (OR ANYONE!!) create a NEW 'eBay' and replicate the eBay of old.  They way eBay is now, just a new owner won't change anything - EVERYTHING will have to be fixed in the software, search engine, etc.  It would be MUCH easier to just start a new marketplace that is RESTRICTED to collectibles/antiques/OOAKs ONLY and has a robust, viable Auction model.  I want a site that REPLICATES what eBay started out as.  When sales were hot, and it was known as the Online Garage Sale.

Drop Shippers and sellers of new stuff have LOTS of other resources to utilize.

Hell - I wish eBay would just spin off the collectibles to their OWN site.  Can you imagine the Live Auctions they are brining back??  HA HA!  They said they aren't even going to place the Live Auctions in a special area - just pepper them in with everything else on the site- including the millions of chinese entries.  Good luck with THAT, Invaluable!

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Wed May 14 17:50:13 2014

''Would you dare eat Soylent for two weeks?''

I'd be afraid that some Stanford MBAs would decide to improve ROI and begin making it out of dead people.

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

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

Wed May 14 19:29:06 2014

Clearly, the eBay supplied “PreyPal” pie charts indicate that although >30% of PayPal’s revenue comes from eBay transactions, ~50% of PreyPal’s profit comes therefrom (that is, on-eBay transactions are more than twice as profitable as off-eBay transactions), indicating that PayPal’s off-eBay operations are problematic, as one might expect from such a clunky operator when it has to stand on its own feet—at places like Home Depot—LOL …

http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y14/m05/i14/s01

So, much of the “value” of PayPal is reliant on and indeed forever “locked up” in eBay transactions. Outside of eBay, “PreyPal” is problematic; regardless, eBay and “PreyPal” are indeed an ideally suited couple, and should be allowed to keep each other company on their journey to the sewage farm …

Regardless, do all these analysts not realise that “PreyPal”—and all the other pretenders: Amazon, Apple, Google, et al—are little or no more than Credit Card Merchant Account operators (via their own retail bankers), as are the great majority of the retail merchants of the world? Google could get into “payments” for their own operations just easily as Apple and Amazon have done, simply as a credit card merchant, without wasting their money on buying all the problems that come with the clunky “PreyPal” or, heaven forbid, eBay …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Wed May 14 19:40:17 2014

LOL Puck...what makes you think it isn't made out of dead people? (That is a joke!! Please, anyone reading take note..a joke).

Netwatch you have a sharp eye...Ina was one of the ones who wrote about it; I found this post by her after I wrote this one: "Would eBay Improve Under Google Ownership?" http://www.ecommercebytes.com/C/blog/blog.pl?/pl/2013/7/1372726713.htm
l

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Wed May 14 19:42:52 2014

Another thought...I was pondering if it would be awkward for Google to create such an entity from scratch, only because in the beginning it would basically be a small marketplace, and then need to grow from there...but they could call it ''Google Garage''... or how about GBay lol? GSale?  

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 20:17:14 2014

'Fleagoole'.  (Flea Market Google...)

'Boogle' or 'Boogoogle' (Boot sale Google for the UK market!)

'Gargoole' (garage sale Google, complete with cute Gargoyle mascot!)

'Swapoogle'  (Swap meet Google)

'Bidoogle' (Auctions On Google)

You can see I have thought about this a LOT.

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

by: JoyfulA This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 23:16:58 2014

Google makes billions from its ads. If it ran its own marketplace, eBay or otherwise, wouldn't it be in competition (or seem that way) to its ad buyers? Auctions, OOAKs, maybe antiques might seem OK, but BINs? They wouldn't want to risk killing the goose laying the golden eggs.

Google did have a payment system for a while but dropped it.

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

by: tb This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 23:21:40 2014

Google certainly has deep pockets, and don't get me wrong, eBay is as evil as they come, but would you really trust your business to Google? They almost never finish anything. Many things they start then abruptly end (Google Checkout).

You think it's hard getting anyone to understand your question at eBay? See if you can even CALL anyone at Google! For Checkout's short existence, they have never had a number to call for assistance.

Google? No thanks. Amazon? I can maybe see them doing a better job than Google.

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles

Wed May 14 23:36:14 2014

If Google buys eBay. It will be the same attitude. eBay needs powerful competition no other manager.  

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Wed May 14 23:36:41 2014

Tb interesting idea re amazon. Hm I don't know. ebay is still different enough from amazon; I feel like it's better to sell x on azon and y on ebay. I think it's good for sellers to have apples and oranges. (Nice metaphors lol). That's assuming amazon wouldn't dismantle ebay too much.

Maybe you can't get the phone answered at google because the employees are in a nap pod or getting a massage. ;)  

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 15 00:08:16 2014

@JULIA--

The reason you can't get a phone call answered at Google is--they apparently do not HAVE phones.  OR--at least not ones the PUBLIC can access to CALL them.  Just TRY finding a phone number ANYWHERE on Google or elsewhere FOR Google--better then I have tried and failed.

They must have SOME way of communicating with their ad placers but for the REST of us--not so much.

At least--I cannot BELIEVE I am even THINKING this---ebay has a half assed Customer "Service" division.  It doesn't WORK well but it is there and sometimes the stars align and our needs get met.  Rarely.

I see Google buying ebay as just about as healthy as Time-Warner and Comcast---incest is illegal still right? Didn't we force the BREAK UP of Ma Bell for the EXACT reason we CANNOT let TW and CC get together?  

Not to mention that I expect ebay would just be a "Jewel in the Crown"  and left to it's own devices with the SAME BOD and CEO etc. If I thought for one minute that they would take on the PROBLEMS endemic at ebay---yes that I could get on board with.  As is--nope!

Ebay NEEDS  robust competition from at LEAST one other site preferably more than one.  However they have sued and squashed and bullied MOST other sites to their untimely deaths.  And BONANZA and the other "Auctions"  sites--well there is deafening SILENCE from them as far as advertising and driving CUSTOMERS to their sites.  The ONLY place I have EVER seen advertising from was Ruby Lane---which sells higher end items that are nice but spendy---and even there I have seen little lately.  

Bonanza
Ebay
eCrater
11 Main

Where are they now?  Do they attract YOUR attention as a buyer OR a seller? Have you EVER seen any kind of promotion of them?

Nope?

Anyone?

Hello?  

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu May 15 06:33:27 2014

Careful what you wish for.  There are a lot of young "gotta make my mark" MBAs at Google too. I am finding these days that the bigger and more powerful a company is, the more arrogant their management is.  

As for Google, isn't that where Stephanie Tilenius went to work, with eBay's playbook in hand?

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

by: wallflower This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 15 07:19:38 2014

Google may be even stricter than ebay. Wouldn't want that.

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 15 08:11:09 2014

>>Should Google buy ebay?<<

Goodness no, the internet might implode!

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 15 08:16:53 2014

>>Bonanza
Ebay
eCrater
11 Main

Where are they now?  Do they attract YOUR attention as a buyer OR a seller? Have you EVER seen any kind of promotion of them?<<

@comet - I'm an ecrater seller with over 4000 orders to my credit, so yes it has attracted my attention. From the get go there we were told we had to do our own promoting. Which I do. Which is why I most likely have the sales I do while others at times whine and complain about lack of sales on ecrater and some of the other venues. I think many sites wanted to be like the ORIGINAL ebay, not the MBA destroyed ebay.

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu May 15 09:35:44 2014

Love moonwishes term "MBA destroyed eBay".

So true.

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 15 11:25:16 2014

I would see major problems if Google purchased ebay.  Also, why would google spend billions to acquire ebay. ebay that is sinking fast so why invest in the Titanic???

The other sites, Amazon, etsy, Bonanza ecrater etc. will pick up the customers of ebay. They have been doing it slowly for some time now. What the lame brains at ebay does not realize is that where you sell items and make money from is where you will also be buying stuff from. Obvious with the ploys of ebay that the are hurting for legit buyers, but they never can figure out the sellers are also main buyers. When ebay ''upsets'' its sellers, they just lost buyers in addition.  I don't think you need an MBA to figure that out.  

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu May 15 12:03:14 2014

Should Google buy eBay? No. The problem I see is that eBay now has such a bad reputation among sellers, and a lot of buyers, that the name eBay is going to be forever attached to the JD-run eBay of today. If Google started a new site it would take a while to become competition for eBay, but eBay didn't start as the mega-million-dollar monster it is now. With Google's capability for advertising, and incentives, maybe free listings for six months or a year if you're one of the charter member sellers, I do think they would be eBay competition quite quickly.

In closing I would like to state: SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!

Perminate Link for Should Google Buy eBay?   Should Google Buy eBay?

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 15 12:08:02 2014

NO! eBay is JUNK..... Google should build their own venue, free of eBays stench!

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment, 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.