Some companies are losing customers these days and some are losing businesses. eBay falls into the latter category and they can't really blame it on the economy. Ever since eBay reworked its fee structures last year, sellers have been jumping ship faster than you can say "Hummel collectibles"
The acquisition of Half.com didn't help either; leaving many sellers feeling undercut in sales by it's prominent position on the site.
Maybe this will help.
eBay has announced a contest to attract some new blood and perhaps renew some excitement in the community. The auction giant is offering $25,000 to be used to launch a new eBay business going not to the highest bidder, but the one with the best business plan.
If interested, check out their contest portal page to get started. Entrance requires not only a business plan, but an online video pitch too. The eBay community will be able to view the v-pitches and pick a winner (somehow?).
Yes, sounds like a good way to re-energize the eBay community. Will it be enough to heal the wounds? I doubt it. Getting Half.com off the site and resending those fee structures would be more helpful. Call me crazy, call me madcap; but I think the best way to fix a problem is to actually fix the problem. To use an overused phrase from last year's Presidential campaign; this may be more like lipstick on the pig.
That being said, I was nosing around the contest portal site and would actually recommend it as a good primer for anyone starting out on eBay whether you enter the contest or not. It has some pretty decent tips and advice to help an entrepreneur get focused.
When they start posting videos of business plan pitches, I suspect it will be a good resource, as well.
Last updated: Jun 12, 2009
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio