eBay is preparing to do battle with Amazon for the title of Top Shop. They made several announcements this week that were both smart and surprising.
First, AdWeek says that eBay is now prepared to open up their big data box to advertisers. With both buyers and sellers and their parental link to Paypal, eBay has access to an enormous amount of customer data.
eBay’s head of digital display in North America, Stephen Howard-Sarin spoke about the change at AdExchanger’s Programmatic I/O conference;
Someone might be OK with—and even appreciate—eBay knowing who they are and what pair of shoes they’ve bought or are looking to buy. However, “they expect eBay not to tell anybody else who they are. But that doesn’t mean we can’t create segments of shoe shoppers and let someone like Zappos—or actually not Zappos [which is owned by Amazon]—to target against those shoe buyers.”
As always, privacy will be an issue but come on people, this is the new world. . . time to let that fear go.
TechCrunch is reporting an upgrade to eBay’s RedLaser shopping app. The app started out as a bar code scanner. People used it to easily find the best “online” price while shopping for items in a physical store. eBay bought the app in 2010 and soon expanded it to include coupon deals through RetailMeNot. The latest upgrade adds on a Local Deals tab. They’ve also created profile pages for stores so the user can follow their favorite brands. It also includes push notifications so you get deal alerts when you’re near the store.
Basically, they’ve taken this app from a showrooming gadget and turned it into a full-feature shopping and deal app.
The biggest news is the upcoming change to seller fees on eBay.
As of March 16, they’re virtually eliminating the cost of listing an item for sale on the site. Basic users have been able to upload 50 free auctions a month for awhile, but eBay was still charging around .50 for Buy It Now listings. These listings are the ones that compete with Amazon’s marketplace – which is free to list. It’s not a lot of money, but you had to pay it even if your item didn’t sell so it kept people (like me) from listing a lot of iffy items.
eBay is also changing their post-sale fee structure. Instead of a sliding scale based on final value and category, they’re moving to a flat 10% of the final value up to $250. That makes it so much easier to calculate the profit prior to listing an item. It’s a huge change. It means people will be paying less per auction, which should encourage them to list more items – thus increasing eBay’s profit margin.
They also made extensive changes to the store programs. You can read about it here.
I’ve always been an eBay fan, as a buyer and a seller, so I’m very excited by the changes and I’m anxious to see a positive effect in my bottom line as well.