Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Feb 17 2020 21:38:21

Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay auctions haven't changed much since the site launched. In a question submitted for next week's eBay Town Hall session, a seller asked if the company would consider offering live streaming auctions in real-time "to keep the site up-to-date with 21 Century Technology."

The seller, User ID walnutts-2.0, said sellers have been running live streaming auctions on Facebook. "Seller can show the potential Buyer their items in real time, like a real live auction house would do. The buyers watch on their computer or mobile device, while the "auctioneer" describes the item to the audience. The product can be shown from all different angles, and in close-up if necessary. The participants can ask real time questions, and request more information."

They add excitement and fun, the seller said, which can lead to bidding frenzy, "and the best thing for the Seller is that they don't have to spend hours writing listings and taking hundreds of photos."

It's a fascinating idea. However, state regulators might look askance at such a format. Some readers may recall when they came after eBay drop-off stores and trading assistants for failing to have an auctioneers' license in the mid-2000s. 

You can read the full post and submit a comment on this thread on the eBay discussion board.



Comments (23) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 17 22:03:44 2020

It's a good idea. But I think ebay turned it's back on auctions a few years ago. They probably definitely dont want this. I really dont understand why they soured on auctions. They were just about the only one doing it.

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 17 22:06:55 2020

Ebay already did live streaming auctions on multiple occasions. Many years ago they had ebay live auctions and then closed them. Then they briefly brought them back and it was a monumental failure. I participated in the live auctions when they brought them back the second time. Sellers were doing scam auctions like thouse found on Proxybid.com inserting fake floor bids to inflate prices and were not properly sending invoices at the end of auctions.

Ebay would do much better just to return to its roots as a buyer and seller marketplace, and go on a massive marketing campaign of awareness of reseller certificates to let resellers know they don't have to pay sales tax. I sell to resellers daily that are still paying sales tax and have no idea it is possible to register as a reseller, and the info to do so is buried deep in ebay help pages instead of glaring in everyone's face as they should be. If they can send those "still interested emails" they can certainly let resellers know they don't have to pay sales tax!

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

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

Tue Feb 18 07:33:00 2020

I am a licensed auctioneer, and I do know most states have no licensing authority over auctions held on the web only. If no bidders are in physical attendance licenses aren't needed, nor are these auctions regulated.  

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Tue Feb 18 08:07:31 2020

@plcombs, what do you think of the idea of sellers being able to do streaming live-auctions on eBay?

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Tue Feb 18 10:24:31 2020

Had this question been asked in the early 2000's. Absolutely.

Today, the magic and fun of ebay was systematically killed off a long time ago. Replaced with a narrative of unprecedented greed, bad will towards sellers, mass Chinese goods, a strong scammer community, clueless buzz-worded executives and Wall Street.

Couple that with no regulations whatsoever like no guarantee of payment, scams and 6 months to return, live auctions would surely fail. What's the incentive?

Until ebay makes it a fair platform for both buyers and sellers, addresses the scams and institutes some prerequisite requirements for membership other than a pulse, the platform will continue to erode.

When I think of the path ebay could have taken. A fun platform with kitschy slogans and avatars, genuine informative communication, contests, rewards, a seller mascot perhaps. An inclusive company that makes you feel welcome instead of hated. A company who values quality over quantity. But none of that happened. ebay is what it is and will never change.

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

by: ThebigR This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 11:41:23 2020

What would sellers and ebay think they could accomplish doing live stream auctions? 20 years ago you bought at auction to resell on ebay now you buy on ebay to resell at auction. There are some people still around that haven't figured out there are no luggage racks on hearses...

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 13:57:38 2020

Greedbay doesn't have the intelligence to do live streaming auctions. They can hardly do regular everyday auctions without mucking them up. They need to fix their site before daydreaming about some other money stealing scheme.

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Feb 18 15:57:21 2020

It might work, if eBay had various policies in place to protect the sellers. I'm thinking pre-qualification of all bidders (so they can't bid an amount they can't afford, which happened to me while I was doing auctions on eBay), immediate payment as soon as the auction ends (directly to a credit card the bidder has on file), and positively no returns. And they'd have to have every bidder e-sign an agreement that they understand what the rules are.    

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

by: quirkyantiques This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 18:56:18 2020

Deja vu-Ebay already tried this. Not sure why they're revisiting this old chestnut again.

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

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

Tue Feb 18 20:02:28 2020

@Ina,
I cannot think of a reason not to do them, other than it will require eBay to do a good job and handle the effort properly.  Something eBay hardly excels at these days.

SO yes they should do it, however with all of the turmoil within the company and the gutting out of the affiliate program who will not be allowed to promote these auctions I have doubts it would work given the state of the company currently and their divisive internal culture which is very negative.

Sotheby's re-entry on eBay has been a total bust from what I've been told by folks at that company. eBay did Zilch to promote them once they came onto the site.

THey have no one at the company who understands the auction market and their head of Antiques, Collectibles and Art for North American just quit for a better job.  SO far there is no replacement for her.  SO adding this feature might not be advisable at this time.  

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

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

Thu Feb 20 00:09:48 2020

If they do live streaming auctions - there are three things that are going to happen.

First, as former president of the Auctioneers Association of North Carolina I will file complaint after complaint with the licensing board in our state to require that eBay become a licensed entity with a designated auctioneer who is responsible for 100% of the complaints that will be generated from eBays foray into the live auction category.

Second, I will ensure that every single person who is wronged by anyone on the venue (people with products and buyers) are set up with representation at the licensing board meetings and will ensure that all of them know their rights as a victim.

Third, if they are cheap enough - I may just use them.  But eBay will need to become a full member of the National Auctioneers Association, abide by the NAA code of ethics, as well as every single state Auctioneers Association prior to engaging in that business.

Plain and simple, there are 10,000 auctioneers out here who will put eBay out of business or put a dent in their profits via fines and levvies.

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 01:08:24 2020

Remember me? Yeah, still around.

Ebay is a sick marketplace. Very sick. People have expectations that prices are very low, and sometimes an item I buy is cheaper on Amazon, sometimes not..

I have said all this before. Back before it got all screwed up you could put your item up a $.99 and if it had to sell for $600 it would.

Now it might sell for $1.25.
I am not rich enough to sell $600 items for $1.25 so I no longer fool with ebay, except for buying stuff cheap, mostly from China.

Ebay was how you found out the value of the item. This worked great on rare IT and computer items, and on collectables, I think. I never sold collectables. I suspect most collectables are BIN now, but it's outside my expertise.

I wish the healthy marketplace that ebay had 10 or 15 years ago would be resurrectable, but I don't see how.

As to live streaming auctions, I have been having fun on Tophatter. Chinese junk, mostly, but it can be very cheap. Flash sales.  

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 02:38:01 2020

I have not the least interest as either a buyer or seller.  

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 05:10:24 2020

Live streaming auctions only work with high-end items.  First EB would charge a mountain of money to live stream.  I'm sure those FB auctions are pay auctions.  I'm doing great with auctions, but I don't sell high-end items.  My clothing is doing great on EB auctions, and I'm not charged fees that gobble up the revenue.  There's a site, Estatesales.org that often list online and streaming auctions.  But their auctions are for artwork and jewelry, high-end items.
I think EB could do it, if they invested and advertised.  They could be a Sotheby's if they wanted and it would enhance their name brand.
BTW, there are several pro and con videos about FB live auctions.

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 05:16:32 2020

Question - Does FB auctions have IMMEDIATE payment if you win the auction, because EB doesn't have that feature and it will need that feature.  Not waiting for payment like they do now.

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 07:13:31 2020

@BlueHoundAuctions

"Plain and simple, there are 10,000 auctioneers out here who will put eBay out of business or put a dent in their profits via fines and levvies."

Didnt we already go through with this with ebay, and nothing became of it?

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 08:54:01 2020

@ Geetar, Yes, eBay tried to have live/internet auctions and failed, but nothing became of it -- not only because it was so poorly run it imploded (if I am not mistaken, the people who were involved with the auction process, not their fault it didn't work, departed and later became Live Auctioneers - correct me if I'm mistaken), but because at the time, it was in the infancy of that type of selling and most private auctioneers were not into the internet.  Many actually resisted it for years.  

Now, unlike back then, today's auction houses are linked through organizations like unions and live auction hosting platforms. They are incredibly more knowledgeable than they were in the beginning and a large proportion have dived into internet auctions themselves. And there are strong organizations through which they could band together as a force. My experience is they are honest and dedicated and do their best to play by the rules. eBay just isn't going to fit into this crowd, and I support them.    

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

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

Thu Feb 20 08:57:33 2020

@by: BlueHoundAuctions

You can try to get the State to act, however it will be tough to do. I dealt with the issue a few years ago with a crooked online only auctioneer here in MASS.  I was told by legal council for the State, that they had no authority as the auctions have no Physical presence and physical bidders here.  

Then of course you have all of the states with no licensing required at all. Many states allow anyone with a gavel to run auctions.

As for the NAA, they have no authority and can only suggest legislation and ask folks to join, it is not mandatory. They are professional organization, not an arm of the Gov't.

So in the end, I doubt there's anything your State can or will do.  

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

by: Junkminer This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 11:35:16 2020

Speaking from an antique/vintage perspective only: Livestream auctions are mostly boring and time consuming. People are mostly busier than they want to be. They want to shop when they feel like it and have the time. I don't see people sitting around waiting to bid on an ever increasing supply of antiques/collectibles as the aging population downsizes and saturates the market. Auctions require at least two people who really want something to achieve sustainable selling prices for the seller. Buy it now only requires one.  eBay auctions used to be the place that generated competition and it was very good to me 10-15 years ago. But now I run maybe 1 or 2 pieces through auction per year. I'm not going back as a seller and if I'm looking at it as a buyer I'd rather browse through my local auctions online listing at my convenience and see everything on offer at once, place my absentee bids, turn off the light and go to bed.  

Perminate Link for Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?   Should eBay Do Live Streaming Auctions?

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 20 12:20:01 2020

fleecebay tried this a few times.

it was just another failure

Click to view more comments
1 2  [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.