eBay took another step today toward becoming Amazon.com and away from the collectibles auction site we all fell for more than ten years ago when they bought Milo.com, a website that locates in-stock merchandise on the local level.
According to Business Insider, eBay payed $75 million for the company and they seem to think it’s a good buy. It may be because, as we all know, when it comes to deals and shopping, local is everything these days. Local isn’t even a buzzword anymore, it’s a god marketers must bow down to every morning and I don’t like it.
I’m a huge eBay fan, but of the old, original eBay where I could find a rare Japanese Lost in Space doll for $400. A steal at twice the price. These days, eBay is all about electronics and brand name shoes and perfume, the kinds of things you buy in a department store. They’re becoming just another deal site and that’s sad.
But I digress. Milo.com is a cool tool, especially during the holidays when you’re looking for that special item that’s sold out all over town. I used Milo to find a toy that is sold out at my local Target store. If a mom and pop toy store in town showed up next to that listing with an In Stock label, I’d be over there right now with the cash. That wasn’t the case as all of my searches turned up big box retailers such as Best Buy, Sears, Office Depot and Toys R Us. Though it does appear that Milo accepts one-off stores, I didn’t come across any in my test runs.
Overall, Milo.com is a good idea. I often take advantage of the “in-stock” options on sites such as Best Buy and Walmart, and Milo lets me do that all in one place. A true time saver. The search engine needs a little fine tuning and the stores searched need expanding but I imagine all of that will come now that they’ve got eBay money to spend.