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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Going, Going, Gone....... Ebay is officially retail.

I am not new to the Ebay scene. I started early on with the website and its massive appeal back in 1999. While I wasn't smart enough to buy stock or work as a janitor for this company, I was keen enough to recognize a great thing when I saw it.

Ebay used to be the epitome of fantastic online deals, the world's largest virtual flea market, where nearly every purchase made you feel good about logging on and bidding. The excitement of the bidding was only outweighed by the occassional loss to a last-second sniper bid or perhaps slight buyers remorse on a product that you probably didn't actually need.

On rare instance, some items would be vastly overpriced due to the seller's greed or simple misunderstanding of the market value, but that was certainly the exception. Now with most sellers fronting their small business marketplace models, the opposite pattern is true, nearly all auctions are at retail prices. I search nearly every single day on Ebay for one thing or another, usually niche antique pieces with plenty of supply and the auctions are always indentical. Overpriced, retail junk.

Due to Ebay's marketing of business models and its own greed for hefty fee collection, it has transformed this one appeasing online bazaar of savings into nothing but a store front company. In most cases, usually more than 90%, you can actually purchase new items from Amazon cheaper than you can from Ebay once you pay for the ridiculously over-priced shipping charges from most sellers.

It is sad to see it go, but Ebay will not last at this rate IMHO.
People will grow tired paying retail and simply move on to a better designed auction model for their purchases. A simple place where they are still in control of market demand, prices, and yes, somewhere where they might actually get a good deal on something for a rare change.

Thanks for the memories....

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