How Quickly Everyone Forgets eBay Already Has A Buy Now Site

from the oh-so-forgetful dept

The press has been going crazy for the last few days over the fact that eBay has launched its eBay Express offering that lets its users buy and sell items at a fixed price, rather than an auction. What's odd about this, however, is that not a single article on the topic seems to mention that eBay has had a site for exactly that purpose for many, many years. Most of the articles do mention that eBay has had a "buy it now" feature (even if it's involved in a bit of a patent dispute over the feature). However, none of them seem to bother mentioning that eBay owns and operates Half.com, and has for many years. Half.com is a site for buying and selling goods at a fixed price... just like eBay Express. But, instead of pointing out the similarities, eBay gets extra publicity for basically launching something they already have. Still, the award for the most amusing headline on this story (which we think is accidental) comes from the Washington Post's version of the AP story (it's not clear if they just used an AP headline or came up with this gem on their own): EBay Launches Online Store to Sell Items. As opposed to all those other online stores out there that don't sell a damn thing, apparently.
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  • identicon
    Tin Ear, 25 Apr 2006 @ 4:41pm

    First POST!!

    I suppose a store that didn't sell any items would be an 'inconvenience store'? In any case, yeah, it's nothing new. Why the big huhu?

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

  • identicon
    Chris, 25 Apr 2006 @ 4:43pm

    True, eBay owns half.com, but I don't think it's been "many many years." Half.com was an independant site that eBay bought (a little while before they bought PayPal). I don't remember exactly when it was... but I'm guessing maybe around 2001?

    Feel free to correct me. All points of this article still stand; I'm not refuting a thing (except the "many, many years" bit).

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

    • identicon
      Antimatter, 25 Apr 2006 @ 7:03pm

      Re:

      In internet terms that might as well be an eternity.

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

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 25 Apr 2006 @ 8:17pm

      Re:

      True, eBay owns half.com, but I don't think it's been "many many years." Half.com was an independant site that eBay bought (a little while before they bought PayPal). I don't remember exactly when it was... but I'm guessing maybe around 2001?

      eBay bought Half.com in June of 2000, which in internet time, does seem like many, many years... It's certainly not a recent thing.

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

  • identicon
    aixkami, 25 Apr 2006 @ 4:56pm

    half.com is limited

    half.com is mainly for books, movies, music though. you CAN sell other items, but the search feature is pretty limited, i.e. not a lot of categories. maybe this will break out things, like coins, stamps, 50's collectibles, etc a little differently??

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

  • identicon
    Tora1188, 25 Apr 2006 @ 5:28pm

    Say what?

    This doesnt affect my buyer rating in any way does it? Are they going to have a seaprate rating system for ebay express users? Will i be punished for using auctions instead of the fancy new fixed price stuff?

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

  • identicon
    kegsofduff, 25 Apr 2006 @ 7:56pm

    how many times to I have to read some retard scream FIRST POST? There is a number next to your post that says "1" get over yourself, obviously you spend too much time online

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2006 @ 9:08pm

    "many many years." sounds much better than "a long time ago... in a galaxy far away". or maybe not.

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

  • identicon
    Michael Ward, 25 Apr 2006 @ 9:12pm

    Half.com vs Express

    eBay tried to shut Half.com down a little while ago, but the sellers there objected. Half is not the same as eBay: you can list something for sale, and it will be on sale until it sells or you remove it. You do not pay anything until it sells, and you don't have to keep renewing the listing.

    eBay Express, on the other hand, is simply a repackaging of current eBay fixed-price (aka "Buy it Now") listings. If you are not an eBay storefront user, you will have to keep re-listing the item to keep it on sale. I believe this will involve additional listing fees.

    Of course, you can set up an eBay storefront (for what is actually a low fee, if you have any volume to speak of). I don't remember if you have to pay relisting fees or if the relisting can be made automatic like you can do on the Amazon Marketplace (for a monthly sum).

    The Amazon Marketplace is what keeps eBay awake at night.

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

  • identicon
    ccc, 26 Apr 2006 @ 1:11am

    I sold on half.com for quite a while, before ebay took over, and a little while after. i sold on eBay for years, but eventually stuck with just amazon.com. After eBay took over half.com, it became clear that they wanted it dead.

    With a few thousand items in stock, it got to the point where amazon was the only viable option, in terms of fees and ease of use - from my perspective it seemed like eBay was trying to kill off that ease of use in order to invent reasons to charge more money... half.com, as someone else said, let you have thousands of items listed, permanently, with no fees until something sold. Sensible, easy, but without opportunities for ebay to nickle-and-dime you to death.

    eBay was great years ago, when I started selling there... then they went public, hired Meg Whitless and became evil.

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

  • identicon
    nastic, 26 Apr 2006 @ 4:29am

    press on this

    perhaps we should see how easily we are influenced by the media and how the media in turn is so easily influenced by industry. i am now goin to go back to my peaceful sleep by counting sheep.

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

  • identicon
    Ro, 26 Apr 2006 @ 9:45am

    sigh

    Mike- usually I don't mind the vitriol but this time you're just wrong. eBay Express covers a much higher number of categories than Half. As an example, take Vehicle Parts & Accessories...

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

  • identicon
    agodel, 26 Apr 2006 @ 11:35am

    express

    The hoopla is that you can now take fixed price items from different users and put them into a shopping cart and pay all of it at once. It is a big deal I think.

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


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