Continued from page 1
eBay is another online service that is now causing serious problems for their customers. And, like Yahoo, they have a stranglehold on market so they can do whatever they like: For now.
In February this year, eBay posted a multi-million dollar profit, and not 2 weeks later they hiked their fees by 60% crying they were losing money! Do they really think internet users are that stupid? Perhaps they are ones who need their heads examined.
If they are losing money, it’s not hard to see why. They are going out and buying up all sorts of small websites, claiming these will add ‘value’ to their service. Take their recent acquisition of Half.com for $US350 million. How can any little website that sells books online be worth that much? How many books will eBay will have to sell just to get their money back? We already know that biggest online bookseller, Amazon.com, is losing money hand over fist. Where does that leave eBay’s bookselling efforts?
eBay conducts between 2 to 3 million auctions a week, and they charge for everything. If you pay to list a single item, say a 9 karat gold ring with a ruby, and you can supply exactly same ring but in 18 karat gold, eBay say that is 2 items. You have to pay to list each one.
The biggest problem customers report is their ‘back office’ program. It is, to put it in words of one irate client “Neanderthal”. He said it takes up to 1 month to learn how to use it well. But even worse, it often breaks down for up to 40% of time.
A few companies have tried to set up sites that work better than eBay. They accept your listing and then link it to eBay through their software. The problem is, eBay puts a spike in this by changing their program and even HTML code so that 3rd party sites suddenly don’t work. They then have to waste time trying to figure out what eBay have done and update their sites.
The fact is, eBay clients report it is now impossible to make money from their auctions. Of 100 auctions submitted, only 3 will sell, despite extravagant claims by eBay. When you consider amount of time needed to set up your auction pages to achieve this paltry result, it becomes unprofitable to even bother. When one of their clients was asked why he continues to use eBay he replied, “What choice do I have? They are only game in town.”
Admittedly, there are other auction sites around, but eBay is only one that everyone uses. He said he has posted items on others and never even received one bid after 4 weeks. So, eBay can continue doing what it likes right now. But for how long?
Marc Holt Managing Director, Holt WorldWide Co Ltd, Thailand Phone: (662) 940-7414, 579-6605 Fax: (662) 940-7413 Mobile phone: (661) 828-0871 Website Design & Promotion, Virtual Server Hosting, and the following businesses: Web Design: http://www.holtww.com/