What’s in Store for eBay? Outlook Hazy

Wired Magazine has a short brief article on what happening on eBay. eBay has become a dominant force in the hobby. Whether it is a force for good is open for discussion. At the least, it has unleashed a wealth of items into the collecting community including many seldom if ever seen. It has changed the buyer/picker/dealer relationship and upset some apple carts.

While it doesn’t speak to our hobby , it does make some interesting observations.

This is what we know about eBay’s current state of affairs based on recent news: a) CEO Meg Whitman is apparently following Mitt Romney on the campaign trail; b) John Donahoe, head of eBay’s marketplace division, has been fingered as a potential CEO successor, and he’s complaining to anyone who will listen that the site looks like a flea market; and c) eBay users are mad as hell and they’re writing to the New York Times to complain about it.

The New York Times link on Disappointed Buyers contains a number of complaints by buyers including Lots of counterfeit merchandise, Lack of focus on unique merchandise and a Greedy business model. Certainly as a buyer of New York OA issues and Blue Book Editor for NY, the rash of Scouting fakes this strikes a chord with me.

The New York Times, also has a second article on Angry Sellers,

“EBay’s relations with sellers over the last few years have deteriorated and are, at best, poor right now,” Mr. Wingo said.

There has always been griping about eBay, of course. But now, Ms. Steiner said, sellers are just not making as much money there. The biggest problem is that eBay charges a fee simply to list an item, and then it charges a second final value fee if the item actually sells. Ms. Steiner said that the percentage of items that do sell is going down, so sellers feel they are wasting money on listings. Sellers also complain about big fee increases for eBay Stores, the fixed-price section of the site.

If you buy or sell on eBay, these articles are all worth a read.


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