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July 05, 2006

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compare and contrast essay

The problem is that eBay's business model ids not up-tp-date now.. so they are facing different problems. There is a sharp need to implement new model that will cope with all the problems.

Robert

Hi Allan,

I agree with Roger. I don't think lowering transaction costs was ever a driving motivation for Ebay or its users. The key to ebay is product selection - and this supports the consumer demand seen in the Long Tail. I do think that you're right about Ebay's mistaken seller-centricity. They want to cater to their customers (and make more money) but don't realize that both the buyers and the sellers are their customers. Catering too much to the sellers could offend the buyers.

About the aquisitions, I think you are right. They seem to be losing focus. Also, maybe they should start to look at actually lowering transaction costs for their customers. Striking a deal with (or owning) a courier company could be a wise move. Everyone who buys something on Ebay needs it shipped. How many people need to talk with their seller on Skype? Not me.

So far as whether they have a future - they definitely do. They would have to do something catastrophically stupid not to. They are the de facto online auction and the place where millions find those hard to find things - things that, as Roger says, would otherwise be thrown away.

Robert

AlanMitchell

Hi Roger,

You may be right. But I think the key issue is information. eBay has a 'caveat emptor' approach; it doesn't help buyers navigate their way to 'best value', except by the age-old retail approach of putting a load of stuff on the shelf and letting potential buyers sift through it. It has created a market-place, not a consumer service. And from what I can see of it's leaders' priorities, they are much more interested in the selling 'community' (power sellers etc) than the buying community.
Yes, it has bought a lot of different companies which do a lot of different things. The question is, what is it going to do with them?

Roger

@ Alan,
Interesting thoughts, but I don't think that eBay (and other websites that put the consumer in control) were set up with the idea of lowering transaction and interaction costs.

In The Netherlands they bought marktplaats.nl (Dutch for marketplace). This is a website that has a lot of profesional (but small) entrepeneurs, but most of the users (buyers AND sellers) are just normal people with some second-hand stuff to sell. Things that a few years ago would have been thrown away, but now finds a new life somewhere else!

So as you put it: person-centric commerce!

And eBay isn't much different in my opinion, it puts the consumer in the driver seat and gives him/her a ignitionkey as well.

To answer your question: yes, I do think they have a future.

timkitchin

Alan...

It's fair to say that eBay is moving to a utility strategy, and that its 'marketplaces' approach to matching services is rather seller-centric...

Already, though, hybrid models and derivatives of this are emerging, which are much closer to the BCCF ideal...check our www.etsy.com for example.

Employs producer-centric (mutualist) logic and effective search-brokering...

This is where the long-tail logic goes...self-segmenting producer-consumer communities...

timkitchin

Alan...

It's fair to say that eBay is moving to a utility strategy, and that its 'marketplaces' approach to matching services is rather seller-centric...

Already, though, hybrid models and derivatives of this are emerging, which are much closer to the BCCF ideal...check our www.etsy.com for example.

Employs producer-centric (mutualist) logic and effective search-brokering...

This is where the long-tail logic goes...self-segmenting producer-consumer communities...

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