by Mike Masnick

eBay Goes Catalog

from the but-who-gets-chosen? dept

eBay keeps trying to move into other mediums, though it's not entirely clear if it makes sense for them. For years and years eBay has been talking up an eBay TV program without it getting very far (though they keep trying to get it going). Now, they're going to be sending out a paper catalog to people, on the assumption that holiday shopping is often done by catalog. The article mentions how other online retailers, like Amazon.com and Red Envelope, offer paper catalogs -- but doesn't discuss the fact that eBay is quite different from those sellers. Amazon and Red Envelope are the retailers in question. eBay is just a marketplace for buyers and sellers -- so it's not at all clear how eBay chooses what sellers get their products featured, and how they guarantee that the products will still be available when people log in to find the products they see in the catalog. It's also not clear how they deal with the "auction" aspect of eBay. eBay does have more and more fixed-price stores, nowadays, but you would think that plenty of products in the catalog can't have a price included, because no one knows what it will be. They have an online version of the catalog which, as of this posting, is incredibly buggy (the front few pages said "try again later," but further in it worked). To get around the pricing problem the catalog says things like "pricing from..." and "average selling price..." but that might not get people that excited.

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  • identicon
    RJD, 15 Nov 2004 @ 11:32am

    Just trying to get the message out

    Hopefully they are only trying to draw eyes and interest and not necessarily highlight a particular product. I'm still amazed at the number of people I work with who haven't made at least one purchase on Ebay. It's mostly thought of as an auction site (meant to bring images of 'other peoples junk') but numerous store fronts exist which sale new to you merchandise, often discounted well below the amazon's and overstocks of the world.

    When I know what I'm looking for, ie model, year, label, size, etc, Ebay is my first stop and more often than not, the lowest price available.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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