Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed May 7 2014 21:47:18

Can eBay Lure Shoppers by Becoming a Digital Magazine?

By: Ina Steiner

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The president of eBay Marketplaces wants the site to become a content publisher, he told The Atlantic.

Devin Wenig shared his thoughts with Adrienne LaFrance, a senior associate editor at The Atlantic who previously worked for Honolulu Civil Beat, cofounded by eBay founder and Chairman of the Board Pierre Omidyar.

Wenig said eBay is set to dramatically expand its foray into content. He wants eBay to be a retail-publisher, not a social network.

Here's an excerpt from the Atlantic interview:

"We're now in the content business," Wenig said. "So, for the first time, eBay has a voice. We're telling stories. We have an editor. We have curators. And we have writers on-staff.  You'll see that evolve to some longer-form stories, some really beautiful pictures... It's media-like."

Content is a good strategy for engaging users, though some would argue eBay has moved sellers away from adding storytelling to their listings in favor of a structured catalog.

What do you think of the idea of eBay as a digital magazine? Can it capture the same kind of engagement as Pinterest, for example? Or is eBay chasing the wrong kind of "content"?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Can eBay Lure Shoppers by Becoming a Digital Magazine?   Can eBay Lure Shoppers by Becoming a Digital Magazine?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 7 22:59:44 2014

We're telling stories. We have an editor. We have curators. And we have writers on-staff......

Touching .... All BS, but touching none the less.

For a site that told the French courts that they are just a venue and as a company that doesn't actually sell anything ... what on g-d's green earth are they writing and telling stories about?

Unless the story is about the "Great MYTH of SELLER PROTECTION" (kinda like Moby Dick), or maybe "The Great Train Robbery ... er FVF Robbery" ... hes got nothig to write about.

another waste of bandwidth!

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

Wed May 7 23:08:16 2014

Truth is .... eBay doesn,t know what it is !  
First its an online auction site, then it wasn't to be the next amazon, a payment processer / loanshark, then a garage sale, an auction site again and now a magazine ?  maybe next an elephanr or mermaid or flying monkey ?

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by: LinneyPinney This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 7 23:16:20 2014

That is the most ridiculous thing I have heard all week!  

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by: froggie This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 7 23:34:57 2014

The scary thing is, these people can talk themselves into anything! Wow. They've got writers and curators. They've even got an editor. Amazing. I just wish they'd invest some money in real programmers and customer service for the marketplace.

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

Thu May 8 00:06:38 2014

"We're telling stories."

Well, Devin "Little" got that part right ...

eBay Inc, where the incompetent mingle with the malevolent and the criminal ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 8 00:21:53 2014

If eBay was a Game of Thrones House it would be House Greyjoy:::  We Do Not Sow

For thse not familiar with GOT::: House Greyjoy are Lords Of The Iron Islands and STEAL everything they own.

They call it "Paying the Iron Price"

Few others appreciate their methods.  

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

Thu May 8 00:42:34 2014

Ebay is already doing this.

They wrote the book on How to Commit E-Theft 101.

Not only have they distributed this content around the world, but they are constantly adding new techniques in new chapters and giving their readers a step by step primer teaching them how to steal from ebay sellers and/or exterminate their businesses.

The executives of this company are collectively mentally ill.

Remember the sandbox?

Remember the garden?

Remember the Hindenburg?

Space cadets all.

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu May 8 03:14:11 2014

A Complete waste of Binary Code.
HERE'S THE MISSION WENIG :
Lower Ebay's take rate to 2.5%.
STOP forcing PayPal.
Add STRIPE GATEWAY.
Allow Checks & Money Orders.
Wenig : Get your head out of the clouds and get your feet on the ground. Otherwise you're as useless as a screen door on a submarine.
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Americans have great things to sell. Ebay GREED is the ONLY thing stopping them.
Get With the PROGRAM !

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu May 8 06:25:17 2014

So based on news that ecommercebytes is reporting this morning, their search is completely mucked up, and yet this is how they spend their time.  

Seems like every other month there is some new gimmick.  I suspect that they are hoping for the press to pick up on one of their hair brain ideas for some free publicity, much like what Amazon is doing with their stories of drones and news delivery trucks.

I think what would be much more interesting reading are the thousands of ways that sellers on eBay get thrown under the bus by eBay and scammed by buyers. We pay enormous fees to eBay for no visibility, no seller protection, and selling limits put on our accounts.  And before someone screams "go somewhere else", that is exactly what we are doing.  

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by: RAOTFLMAO This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 8 06:41:27 2014

ebay is a place I go to buy cheap car parts and lawn mower parts and tools, things that I cannot find as cheap on Amazon.  I don't want to read thier crap and I won't.  All lies and geared to grab your money anyway.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Thu May 8 06:43:19 2014

Oh eBay! Johnny D said we would not recognize you in a few years.

Johnny didn't say he would be hanging on forever.

Oh eBay, you are a social hub, you are a blog, you are a radio show, you are a fashion outlet, you are a mall, you are a conduit for Chinese goods, you are a resume notch for all the little business grads you consume and vomit out...

and now you want to be a magazine.

I wish you were a place that let people list stuff that ended by time. I wish you were a place that did not teach and preach. I wish you would let people search to get what they want, and see what sold.

You could have left well enough alone. But you have your own butts to look out for and "the shareholders" to answer to.

It's always easier to start a new project than to repair what is broken, isn't it, eBay?

Your new magazine will be what? Not entertaining I will bet. If you guys were chefs, out to make a buck with the best kitchen and all the ingredients in the world, you would emerge into the dining room with a huge plate of homemade Spam.

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by: Oldguy This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 8 07:20:47 2014

I agree with Mr.Me on this.
I like the wording ''lure shoppers''. Sounds like Mr Evil trying to get you trapped into something you don't want.

It is pretty obvious that ebay has lost way too many shoppers. They don't realize that the sellers who make money on the site are also BUYERS on the site. They ''were'' (as in no longer) the best free publicity ebay ever had.  Someone high up in that corp really messed up big time.

Go back to the basics like it was and lay off all the high priced ''brains'' that ruined a good thing.  

The word ebay no longer brings smiles - just frowns and tears.  Way to go JD and the board of directors.  

Just what will it take for you to wise up?????    

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

Thu May 8 07:36:48 2014

Ebay should just go back to basics. As it is it's like a ship without a rudder lost in a fog of its own making.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Thu May 8 08:21:38 2014

I didn't realise that California legalized "magic mushrooms".

Let's follow Alice, er eBay, down the rabbit hole.

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by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 8 10:19:51 2014

We're telling stories? Ummmm...Devin...ebay's been doing that as long as I can remember. They call 'em things like 'seller updates' and tell us stories about 90 days notice before changes - you know, that kinda stuff, stories.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu May 8 10:21:58 2014

eBay digital magazine?

We're gonna need a bigger spam folder.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Thu May 8 10:57:23 2014

''and now you want to be a magazine.''

Tales From the Crypt.

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

Thu May 8 12:41:54 2014

eBay.... kiss your sorry $%^&%^* GOODBYE ! Alibaba is on its way with a HIGHLY PUBLICIZED IPO. Even though I am not a huge fan, ALIBABA does have a game plan , will be well funded, already has momentum , 11 main will be on-line soon.  Paypal is getting real competition from many sources, and their new blue-butcheek logo wont save their sorry &^&%&*( !!

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by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 8 15:50:58 2014

Gee, writers, editors and Curators, HUH??
I see, my fees now go to Paypal ads and new staff for this "magazine" that NOBODY will EVER read, and I have to deal with the same disgusting and broken down site.
I see.
Ebay, in the last 30 days we have finally been able to CONVINCE EVERYBODY of your true nature.
(EVERYBODY).
The same WORD OF MOUTH that built you, is TEARING YOU DOWN.
Your success is OVER.
$49.99 anybody- LOL!
$45.99 Say it ain't so!
BELOW $39.99- That is THE GOAL.
MH
(Sec.gov) File "Pump & Dump" reports NOW with the SEC.

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by: gramophone-georg This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 8 23:09:55 2014

ecommercebytes: "Where do you see eBay in another year?"

eBay: "Wanna ride bikes?"

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