My Column in eBayAdvisor Magazine

I have had my first article published in a national publication.  All my own work but I didn’t come up with the title!



People love eBay.  In the UK it accounts for 11% of all internet surfing and the average eBay member spends 2 hours on the site every month.  Worldwide the company has built an impressive community of 233 million members in 37 countries

However, there have recently been rumblings of discontent in the eBay community.  Sellers have been complaining of high fees, low sales and bad customer service. There was even a (tiny) seller strike in August 2006 over the change in eBay shop listing fees.  Amongst many eBayers there is a feeling that it is not looking after its members.  Most worryingly for eBay, the company’s growth has slowed

So what has eBay done to strengthen its community and boost sales?  Like everyone it has been jumping on the Web 2.0 bandwagon.  Web 2.0 refers to web based applications which encourage people interact and collaborate online.  Recently the company launched eBay neighbourhoods where people with similar interests can get together and discuss items as varied as coffee machines and diecast toy cars. It has also launched blog widgets and a Facebook application both of which allow users to promote their products across the internet.  eBay is clearly hoping that these new Web 2.0 style applications will encourage people both on and off eBay to spend more time discussing eBay items and trading.  As well as new applications, eBay has also been revamping its website to make it easier to use

I have been impressed with how the company has recently responded to criticism and made efforts to improve its service.  People love to whinge, but there is no evidence of a mass exodus to other auction sites. It remains a great place for both individuals and businesses to trade online and reach a huge international audience. Most importantly, eBay is still fun and a place to interact with interesting and varied people.

So what does the future hold for eBay?  Many industry experts think that it should merge with another big online player such as Yahoo or Microsoft.  There are also rumours of a takeover of UK based online auction site QXL, which will enable eBay to get a foothold in the booming economies of Eastern Europe. Whatever happens, eBay is still very much a force to be reckoned with.


Well I was wrong about QXL! 

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