eBay's Latest Skype Plans No More Convincing

from the still-no-answer dept

Ever since eBay announced it was buying Skype for between $2.6 billion and $4 billion, we've wondered exactly how they were going to make the money back. Apart from billion-dollar winners like selling ringtones, all the eBay talk of integrating Skype into its existing businesses really isn't that convincing from a business standpoint. Now, just nine months after announcing the deal, eBay has finally gotten around to putting a "Skype Me" button in auction listings in certain categories on its site. It says the Skype function will help facilitate transactions in certain areas it's identified as having the potential to benefit from instant communication, but some sellers say they've got no interest in live communication with potential buyers. This announcement raises a lot of questions: Do people really want to talk to eBay buyers and sellers? What took so long to roll this out? And most importantly, why did eBay need to drop billions of dollars to get this functionality? The other things being mentioned, like "integrating" PayPal and Skype so people can easily send money to others on their Skype contacts list, don't look like they'll provide much of a boost to the bottom line, either, and at this juncture, it's really hard to see the Skype buy paying off for eBay.

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  1. identicon
    thecaptain, 14 Jun 2006 @ 8:52am

    Considering some of the incredibly stupid questions some of my friends who sell on eBay get (from the general public and from bored internet trolls) the LAST thing they want is to have users Skype them

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

  2. identicon
    anonymous coward, 14 Jun 2006 @ 9:28am

    if ebay needs another television show idea, it could be an ebay version of crankyankers where comedians call ebay sellers on skype and act like idiot buyers asking stupid questions. hilarity and profits ensue...

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

  3. icon
    rijit (profile), 14 Jun 2006 @ 9:52am

    No way in hell am i gonna add Skype to my listings. I get some of the stupidest questions now, I can imagine trying to actually talk to these people. I sell on Ebay so I do not have to talk to the public. Email is good for hiding that fact I think the question is stupid, live I wold not be able to keep my mouth shut, I would have to ask someone if they were a total moron or just part....

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

  4. identicon
    windhorse, 14 Jun 2006 @ 10:07am

    I'm still waiting to see how Netscape is going to integrate with AOL's serverce too. How about the billion dollar Snapple purchase? For that matter whts up with the whole Myspace purchase...is News corp making any money on that one? There's lots of bad aquisitins out there....this is just another!

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

  5. identicon
    doubledoh, 14 Jun 2006 @ 10:22am


    I happen to think myspace was a good purchase just in terms of gathering enormous nuggets of market data from millions and millions of 16-30 year olds.

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

  6. identicon
    krum, 14 Jun 2006 @ 11:32am

    PDA use...

    I got Skype to work on my PDA cell phone. Since I have an unlimited data plan I have unlimited outgoing calls with my mobile service using Skype. If the call quality improves, I could swich to a data-plan with my mobile provider, pay for Skype and have unlimited minutes for about $43.23/ month before tax....but I'm sure E-Bay's not going to advertise that funtionality.
    I still can't believe the amount of info that people post on myspace...if you read the T&C's, anything you post there on your site gives News Corp. the right to use it for any reason they see fit.

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

  7. identicon
    netcelerator, 14 Jun 2006 @ 12:03pm

    to my view.. use of skype of ebay depends upon the kind of product on sale.. and how much it is selling for.. for low margin products on sale..a seller could not afford to sit all day to answer queries.. and this could be 24x7 job..maybe seller would have to setup a call centre to respond..thats out of sight..
    skype could be used to settle dispute between buyer and seller.. again at present email is also effective.. skype is just another user interface..

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

  8. identicon
    Tin Ear, 14 Jun 2006 @ 12:19pm


    I can see where having a Skype line on an eBay auction can be a problem. On resolving a dispute, however, I can see that it would be a good thing to send the buyer/seller a 'Call me' link in an e-mail that you could use to talk to the other party in order to reach a resolution. That way your Skype Me link isn't available to every idiot online, and you can talk to the most important idiots that have problems with your auction.

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

  9. identicon
    anonymous coward, 14 Jun 2006 @ 12:22pm

    ebay could have partnered with click2call and saved a couple of billion dollars...

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

  10. identicon
    josh, 14 Jun 2006 @ 12:27pm


    stupidest is not a word,

    no one is making you put a skype-me button on your page - its a nice touch. Possibly for sellers selling real estate, cars, high value goods - things that people would like to discuss.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jun 2006 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re: Mule

    "stupidest is not a word, stupid. "

    Strange, neither is stupider, but that is what you have just proven yourelf to be by posting that.

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

  12. identicon
    John Hanger, 14 Jun 2006 @ 8:01pm

    It works for autos and real estate

    What eBay is doing with Skype may not be embraced by mom-and-pop sellers or ecommerce-type sellers, but based on documented successes from other online classified and vertical search sites (e.g. cars, apartment leases, attorney services, real estate) there should be no doubt that it will deliver real benefits to certain sellers and to eBay.

    ContactAtOnce! is a service that a number of eBay competitors in the online classified and vertical search spaces have utilized to similarly enable the ads and listings on their sites with presence-awareness and instant communications - with success.

    Look for eBay Motors and Rent.com to be the biggest success stories.

    Full disclosure - employee of ContactAtOnce!

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

  13. identicon
    Jeff, 15 Jun 2006 @ 6:48am


    Is it really so hard to understand how eBay will get its money back from purchasing Skype?

    This is why eBay has RESERVE AUCTIONS. When they realize they've screwed up, they can just sell Skype on reserve and some moe-rawn will be happy to buy it eventually. It worked for my old toaster.

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

  14. identicon
    jahaga, 24 Jun 2006 @ 1:15pm

    skype + voicemail?

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

  15. identicon
    LMY, 2 Jul 2006 @ 7:05pm

    Re: Re:

    From http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/stupidest.

    stu·pid Audio pronunciation of "stupidest" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (stpd, sty-)
    adj. stu·pid·er, stu·pid·est

    1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
    2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
    3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless: a stupid mistake.
    4. Dazed, stunned, or stupefied.
    5. Pointless; worthless: a stupid job.

    And for sticklers who prefer Webster, yes, stupidest isn't listed with stupid, stupidly, and stupidness. http://www.m-w.com/ BUT, let's not forget a little word called suffix, as in "an affix occurring at the end of a word, base, or phrase"
    Which brings us to "est: Main Entry: 1-est
    Pronunciation: &st, ist
    Function: adjective suffix or adverb suffix
    Etymology: Middle English, from Old English -st, -est, -ost; akin to Old High German -isto (adjective superlative suffix), Greek -istos
    -- used to form the superlative degree of adjectives and adverbs of one syllable , of some adjectives and adverbs of two syllables , and less often of longer ones "

    I'll allow you to confirm for yourself that "stupid" is a two syllable adjective.

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

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