Posted October 11, 2012 1:03 pm by with 1 comment

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Poor Groupon. Ever since its IPO there has been nothing but difficult news. The most difficult is that the current stock price is languishing about 80% off its IPO price.

Now add yet another competitor in the increasingly crowded deals space and you wonder what else can get in the way of Groupon being what it claimed it would be.

The latest entrant is none other than eBay as reported by Reuters

EBay Inc has been quietly testing an online marketplace for deals on local services, expanding into a multibillion- dollar market currently led by Groupon Inc.

EBay is also re-designing its website, adding Facebook-like features it hopes will spur more sales.

Called eBay Lifestyle Deals, the offers are being run in a limited number of urban areas, including the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles and Washington D.C., according to the company.

Recent deals included $12 for a one-hour dog-walking service worth $25; $50 for a month of Yoga classes worth $110; and $180 for six private gym sessions worth $360.

This addition to eBay’s lineup is coming also at a time where the company is has redesigned their site.

eBay executives unveiled a big website re-design on Wednesday that includes a new “Feed” service which makes product suggestions on a consumer’s eBay home page, based on their shopping history.

Feed also lets consumers tailor their eBay pages. For example, a user can have the feed automatically add a hard-to-find record by a favorite band, or the latest item available from an eBay seller by a favorite designer.

The math is pretty simple here. A lot of people use eBay and they use it for many categories. The more eBay can offer the visitor while on the site the better so adding new usability features in conjunction with an offers / deals approach makes good sense. The less people have to move around to get stuff the happier they are.

Will this eat into Groupon’s business? It could but it will depend just how far deals are extended on eBay. If you can get restaurant discounts at eBay and eBay isn’t incurring the costly sales overhead that Groupon has well you may have a recipe for success with eBay and more trouble for Groupon.

Do you think this move will impact either company?

  • The dynamics of local offers are changing. Everything must start with the social and local experience when it comes to discover and sharing of local merchants and products/offers. ShopZooky is working to change how local search works for shoppers and local merchants. It leverages the Facebook network directly with Facebook Offers. ShopZooky, allows merchants to reach their local shopping community via Facebook Offers and other mobile tech such as Apple Passbook. It is all about the social network to make local commerce work for local merchants.