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:
- eBay Desktop app – so you can bid and get current prices on your desktop.
- 3 new widgets for your blog or social network profile: eBay To Go, GiftBay and eBay Marketplace for Facebook.
- Bid Assistant automatically places bids for a buyer.
- eBay Countdown to track when auctions are ending.
- eBay Deal Finder find things for sale that will close soon but have no bids.
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.