Posted November 6, 2007 6:25 pm by with 15 comments

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What goes up usually comes down – especially if you rest on your success. eBay has made a lot of changes this year to stave off competition from Amazon and to revitalize their site. Online auctions make up over 70% of revenue on the site but the number of listings has dropped 3% over last year. Bottom line: they need to do more to lure new buyers to the site.

And eBay learned something about how to turn off new buyers: make them register before they can bid. Internet marketers take note. eBay’s extensive research showed that requiring people to register was a deterrent. Today they announced that you no longer need to register to bid on an eBay auction as long as the item is for less than $2,000 and you use Paypal to pay. You’ll have to register if you want to leave feedback (I wonder if that’s a mistake – just note that they are an unregistered bidder).

Additionally, the site was going stale and got cluttered over time. eBay has recently responded by redesigning their site so it’s cleaner and easier to use, adding new features (like the social piece called My Neighborhoods), and improving the buying experience.

Here are the new things eBay has announced recently:

Wired Magazine’s blog said eBay recently hinted that they might give their top sellers volume discounts on listing fees. eBay sellers will be relieved to see changes like this since rising fees have angered and alienated sellers for years.

See how far eBay has come since 1997 (Google is still almost as simple as they started), courtesy of

  • I used to own one of the largest ebay consigment companies in the US and I can tell you that this would be our worst nightmare…dealing with PayPal is a Pain and now unregistered user…ugh…

    eBay must be hurting for buyers. They used to pay us $12/user for every user we referred and had signup for an account…I wonder what those new users are now worth??

  • It does sound as though ebay (who must, most likely be the biggest online marketplace?) is hurting. I suppose in the face of fierce competition, such measures are called for. That is some interesting information and insight, David Isserman.

  • In response to David’s question, you get up to $25 per referral now.

    You still have to have a paypal account to bid on items, so don’t think of it as unregistered users can now bid. Just think of it was paypal and ebay finally synching your accounts properly.

  • Zen

    It’s interesting to see that what seemed impossible a while back is being deployed in the present. Great info.

  • Poor eBay – the victim of its own success. How long, I wonder, before they admit they are auctioneers in the legal sense, and have a responsibility to buyers and sellers that up to now they have shirked. It’s hard enough getting help from an eBay “person”, imagine trying to deal with a dispute with an unregistered buyer.

  • This is a good move because it allows for more bids, thus pleasing the seller.

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  • I don’t like this idea at all. Ebay is wide open to fraud and this isn’t gonna help one single bit.

  • I don’t think this is a good move. Registration makes it easier to detect fraud and goes someway to protecting the parties involved. Bad idea.

  • It’s already raising too many questions from sellers regarding viability.

    And besides, eBay promises not to make changes during the all-important Q4, yet here we go again..

  • ocdcollectibles

    The reason why ebay’s sales are falling is because they provide way too littlem in fact less and less support for it’s sellers, and too much support for the delinquent buyers and bidders. The fees have escalated for sellers, along with the dysfunctional customers who have been regularly buying and selling and have been supported in publicly displaying their distorted feedback for the sellers who are knocking themselves out to build a decent reputation. The ma and pa ebay sellers have been replaced by big conglomerate sellers of commercial merchandise. Ebay is no longer ebay any more. There needs to be a way for sellers to rate their customers in DETAIL by putting the facts in such as date of cleared payment. date of email contact from customer. ebay non-compliance activities such as asking to modify terms after an auction is over. That information is always hidden, but the sellers get to be graed down for a priority mail charge of $4.60 being too high. PLEASE this is just one more nail in ebay’s coffin. Now that paypal is fractured I am freezing my selling activities and relying on my antique booth to sell. Thanks alot ebay for improving the seller’s experience!

  • Internet is already keeping the question of being secure. So, this move may make the users feel more incomfortable.

  • So much fraud is already there. eBay should think more about security of its users not making life easier for mass sellers and buyers.

  • Besides this, as far as I know they keep acquiring e-shopping companies worldwide.

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