I listened to an informative 22-minute audio clip titled Going Going Gone by James Surowiecki and published by Wired magazine in 2011. Mr. Surowiecki discusses the rise and fall of auctions on eBay and claims that consumer behavior and expectations have radically changed as a result of the web, eBay, Google, and Amazon. eBay auctions grew like mad through about 2007, then began to lose steam. Auctions comprised only 30 percent of eBay sales in 2010.
I think that one flaw in the eBay auction model is that the time that an auction ends is preset. A real world auction ends only when bidding stops. The eBay auction model encourages “sniping” — waiting until the last second before placing a bid. (I use eSnipe. It works well. Why put your cards on the table early?) Sniping discourages new eBay bidders.
The growth of Amazon Marketplace has hurt eBay. So has Google: shoppers use Google to easily find even rare items across the web.
Like Craigslist, eBay’s failure to police its neighborhood has resulted in a chaotic marketplace. On the other hand, Amazon’s tight control of its sellers has created a relatively safe, stable marketplace.
If you’ve ever bought or sold on eBay, this is a worthwhile listen.
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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695