Business Week reports that eBay’s auctions business model is being increasingly overlooked for fixed price transactions. Ease of use is a primary driver. Another is the ubiquitous presence of comparison shopping engines.
“What happened to auctions? Not only do shoppers want convenience, they’re also looking for value. And the proliferation of pricing information online has made it easier for consumers to bargain-hunt and lessened the need to risk overbidding in an auction. Hershenson recalls when a new $40 toaster could fetch $80 on eBay, thanks to a bidding frenzy. Now, a buyer can figure out the retail price with a few mouse clicks.”
Remember how I have been clamoring for eBay to buy a bunch of comparison shopping engines and get better situated in that segment of the market? They still haven’t listened, causing me to state that I am not bullish on the company. User experience still remains iffy. I use Amazon, who gets more and more compelling everyday.