Can eBay Withstand the Competition?

Will eBay be able to withstand the competition or will it perish? Well, eBay’s John Donahoe feels that eBay’s big time is yet to come. eBay which saw a mammoth growth in its initial years is facing a tough fight from other e-commerce dealers giants like Amazon and Groupon. According to market reports, while eBay has only grown by 8 percent in the last year, with Amazon still maintaining a good lead in the market. ebay is also having to deal with various other small retailing online sites as well.

Although under Donahoe the company has not seen a giant surge, it has also not derailed from its tracks as such. Although Donahoe wants eBay to be on the offensive now to grow, analysts like J.P Morgan doubt if the e-commerce market would grow in the same manner it did last year.

Wikileaks Paypal Funds Released – Account Still Restricted

Paypal has been facing the brunt of the Anon after the company admitted to being browbeaten by the American government to block funds to Wikileaks. The company website has been facing extreme DDoS attacks from the Anonymous group called ‘Operation Payback‘. While looks down still, appears to have recovered at the time of writing this post.

Perhaps in a bid to pacify the attackers, Paypal has announced that the company has decided to release the funds it had accrued through donations made to Wikileaks from donors from across the world. However, this does not mean Wikileaks’ supporters can use the channel to make their donations once again. The group’s account remains restricted which means it will not be able to gather more funds.

Paypal has however noted that the government had no say in its actions and it was their management’s decision.

Facebook Valuation Now Higher Than eBay’s

Facebook has technically overtaken eBay to become the third largest technology company in the United States. The company’s shares are now trading at $16 on SecondMarket – an exchange for shares of privately held companies. At this price, the valuation of the company stands at $41 billion that is a tad more than the $39.3 […]

Facebook has technically overtaken eBay to become the third largest technology company in the United States. The company’s shares are now trading at $16 on SecondMarket – an exchange for shares of privately held companies. At this price, the valuation of the company stands at $41 billion that is a tad more than the $39.3 billion valuation that eBay holds at the NASDAQ stock market. Only Amazon – at $74.4 billion valuation and Google – with $192.9 billion value are above Facebook.

The revelation comes on the heels of speculation that Facebook is announcing a new email product to take on the likes of Gmail and Hotmail. An announcement in this regard is expected later today. The news is also likely to give a major impetus to anticipation about the social network’s IPO plans. Will Facebook open to the stock markets next year?

eBay Group Buying Site – GroupGifts Launches

eBay has launched a new group buying portal that will let a group of friends or family members to get together in purchasing an item. Group buying is not entirely new to the internet landscape, but when eBay does it, it can be big. The new service will let members of a group pitch in with their own contributions and notes that will all add up towards the purchase of the product. Any item that is available for purchase and is not up on bids can be purchased this way.

The USA Today explains how it works,

“Anything on eBay that’s available immediately, rather than up for bid, can be purchased this way starting today at If members of an extended family wanted to buy a gift for one member, one person would choose a gift — or have one recommended by eBay — and invite family members to chip in using Facebook or e-mail. Those who wanted to join in would choose an amount to contribute (or agree to pay a requested amount) and pay using either PayPal or a credit card. They could also add a personal note. If enough people don’t chip in, the organizer can ask people to contribute more or choose a less expensive gift.”

What do you think of this new service?

eBay Instant Sale To Trade Used Electronics For Cash

Have a relatively old gizmo that you would like to throw away for some petty cash? Or at least how about disposing it the green way so you wouldn’t suffer from guilt pangs? eBay has launched a new “Instant Sale” program that will let users to sell off their old electronic goods and make some decent cash. Of course, these gadgets do not bring you too much cash. But eBay will ensure that you are sent a free shipping label that you may use to send away your gadget so that you can either make some nominal cash or at least let eBay greenfully dispose your gadget for free.

All you need to do this to get started is visit this link and answer a couple of questions regarding the condition of the device. Once done, you will be shown a tentative cash value that you can checkout with if interested.

Android Apps Purchase Using Paypal Could Be Coming Soon

eBay and Google are reported to be in talks over a possible integration of the Android app marketplace with Paypal’s payment processing system. The rumor, which both companies have not confirmed so far, will allow Android phone users to make app purchases using Paypal. At present, this is only possible over a credit card or Google’s payment processing system – Google Checkout.

Paypal is one of the leading online payment gateway systems that is however often criticized for its extraordinarily high charges on transaction fee. While many users would any day prefer a Paypal payment over possible direct credit card checkout (which can lead to possible wireless thefts), it is not clear how customers will view Paypal vis-a-vis Checkout in a Google-controlled environment. Also, it is not clear if Google stands to make a commission on every transaction made via Paypal over the Android marketplace.

Is The eBay Affiliate Program Evil?

For long, the story of Shawn Hogan has been a popular gossip story among affliate webmasters. Shawn, as some may know, is the founder and CEO of DigitalPoint, one of the most popular webmaster forums on the internet and one who at one point made over $1 million a month referring traffic to eBay. He is currently fighting eBay on 15 counts of FBI charges relating to alleged fraud on the eBay affiliate program. He stands to face a jail sentence of close to 20 years and fine of up to $250,000 per count if convicted.

Shawn Hogan has finally opened up about his legal fight with eBay on his blog and it makes for an interesting read. Of course, take this with a grain of salt since there are always two sides to a story. But there are some great insights in the story Shawn has shared. Here are a few excerpts.

“When I asked them why they would knowingly allow affiliates to violate their terms of service, they were very good at avoiding answering my actual question. Finally after pestering them with the same question for weeks, they broke down and informed me that their terms of service (and even the entire affiliate program to some degree) was a bit of a facade. It allowed eBay to do things they wanted to do (like spam search engines, deploy in countries where they had no actual presence, etc.), while also giving them a way to wash their hands of any wrong-doing when any of their large partners (like Google) would question them about it (like why there are so many spam sites directing people to eBay). They could simply say, “It’s our affiliates, and they are violating the terms of service we set forth.”

“I first heard the name Ben Edelman towards the end of the summer. Apparently eBay contracts with Ben to do random compliance checking on their affiliates and issues a monthly compliance report to them. I showed up on his compliance report because this was the time they gave me the go ahead to play with non-compliant things. eBay then proceeded to amend what they told me prior. I was free to do experiment with whatever I wanted, as long as I didn’t show up on any outside compliance reports. They said outside compliance was something they had to do as a publicly traded company, but wasn’t something they paid much attention to internally.”

“One topic that was discussed was eBay secret “black budget”. This was described as a large allotment of money that eBay was free to do what they wanted with, without it being reported on accounting sheets (and in turn shareholders). eBay wanted me to REALLY ramp up spamming the web with eBay ads. I told them I wasn’t interested at ALL and in fact still wanted to quit the program completely, not “ramp it up”. I explained to them that Google was pretty good to me as far as sending me traffic and that I had no interest in spamming Google search results. Then they offered to buy any hardware I wanted with their black budget and get it co-located offshore if I wanted so that no one could trace the spamming back to me or I still told them I wasn’t interested.”

Check out the complete article on Shawn’s blog at DigitalPoint here. Is the eBay affiliate program evil? You decide.

Charity Shopping Launched On eBay India

eBay India has announced the launch of a new charity category that will showcase products from NGO (Non-Gazetted Organizations) like CRY,  Save The Children, Sparrow Shelter, Women’s India Trust, etc. The category is expected to give greater prominence to products sold by these NGOs to a worldwide audience of tech-savvy online shoppers.

At present, more than 40 charity organizations are learned to have signed up with eBay. The new launch will also offer an easy way for interested people who may want to support charity work but may not have the know-how.

Though the new category has been launched only now, the eBay India Charity Fundraising platform has been around since 2005 and has raised over 2 crore ($432,000) since then.

[via India Infoline]

Paypal Grows Ten-Fold In Australia

eBay’s online transaction service provider, Paypal has announced that the company’s growth has been on the up, down under. In a recent statement, the company has announced a ten-fold growth in the Australian market with close to 50% of Australia top 100 online retailers now using the Paypal platform as a payment option on the website.

Paypal has not revealed the time-frame for which the growth was measured. However, the company says that the terrific growth in the region will bring a new head for the Australia Merchant Services Division. Elena Wise, who previously served at American Express as the vice president of B2B will now be taking over as the head of merchant services division.

Paypal is noted to have over 30,000 online merchants from the market who serve over 3 million customers.

[via ITWire]

Skype Not Strategic Fit For eCommerce : eBay

Why did eBay buy and then sell Skype with just marginal profit? It has everything to do with incompatibility, says John Donahoe – the CEO of eBay. Justifying his company’s decision to sell Skype, Donahoe says that the VoIP service provider was not a useful tool for real time communication between buyers and sellers to negotiate a deal.

Another potential reason why Skype may not have succeeded on the eCommerce front appears to be the global nature of the process. According to Ian Fogg from Juniper Research, buyers and sellers may not be comfortable communicating outside email since it is not within everyone’s comfort level to talk to a person who does speak the same native language.

Donahoe says that the lessons learned from the unsuccessful acquisition of Skype will help the company moving forward.

[via Zippy Cart]