Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Level Playing Field, redefined

Just a few days ago we were treated to an 'interview' of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar by CEO John Donohoe by eBayINK blog. In the third clip Pierre stumbled through the now famous level playing field speech

"...to have people by virtue of their stature outside of the eBay community somehow be treated better—special deals behind the scenes because they’re a big retailer and we want to get them to come on eBay, that kind of stuff. That would have been, that's a disaster. That is what I meant by level playing field."
which is now receiving the full PR spin via eBayINKblog. as quoted here
It’s my assertion that Pierre was talking about the conditions and approach to the Marketplace at the company’s founding. It has obviously evolved since then and it’s pretty clear that eBay has been, and continues to, expand and experiment with new pricing and business models on the site. Again, all geared at providing the best possible buyer experience. (I know, I know, there is PR-hack / kool-aid speak in that sentence… I just can’t help it sometimes).

Loosely translated as "that's what he said but not what he meant"

The reason for all the spin is the astonishing news (NOT) that Buy.com, which has been selling on eBay since December of last year, has cut a special deal, congratulations to ex eBay seller Randy Smythe on his remarkable nose for news.

Playing with numbers, a single DVD Flubber is listed on Amazon.com at $12.49 plus $2.98 shipping (assuming you don't take advantage of Amazons free shipping by spending $25) and on Buy.com's eBay store at $12.63 plus $3.40 S & H, a difference of $0.56. If Buy.com were paying standard eBay fees their IF and FVF (0.35 + 1.11= 1.46) together with PayPal fees (0.30 + 1.9% = 0.60) would be $2.06, (less 15% PS discount off FVF = 0.17) total $1.89, if they can keep their DSRs up. I think we can safely assume they are not paying standard fees.

It will be interesting to see the response of major sellers to this news, especially those who are not getting PowerSeller discounts and are about to loose PowerSeller status altogether.


Next post . . . Who knows! . . . Y'all come back and be sure to click VICTORIOUSLY on any interesting links in the sidebar!

1 comment:

Boycott Ebay said...

Sadly, some sellers of the 'unique' or 'collectible' do not think this move to bring in big retailers like Buy will affect them.

I hope they have a backup plan because the counterfeits and reproductions will likely take over the collectible categories as soon as word gets out that deals can be made with Ebay. The Chinese counterfeiters will probably be first in line.

Just think, people: One million fake collectibles and art objects (most not clearly identified as fake) ahead of your listings in search results.