Will eBay's new pricing and policies woo sellers from Amazon?
EBay Inc. in March announced an array of changes that amount to lower prices for most sellers. The moves, which take effect this month, aim to make the marketplace more attractive to sellers. "We believe the new pricing structure makes eBay the most competitively priced commerce platform in the U.S. today," the online marketplace wrote in a note announcing the update. "These changes continue to make eBay the partner of choice for merchants." However, the question remains: can the changes help eBay position itself as more attractive to sellers than its chief marketplace rival, Amazon.com Inc.?
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"Amazon is such a robust platform that it probably doesn't make sense for most merchants to shift from Amazon back to eBay in the near term. For eBay, the pricing changes are another step in making the platform more competitive and aligned with sellers to drive growth. This should help eBay maintain or even accelerate growth. Longer term, if both eBay and Google offer compelling marketplace alternatives, Amazon probably needs to become a bit more merchant-friendly to avoid some seller headaches." - Colin Sebastian, an analyst for private equity firm Robert W. Baird & Co.
"EBay is becoming more attractive in terms of price & access to funds but Amazon provides more reach/sales." - Sam Phillips (@EasiLogicLtd), director of U.K.-based e-commerce fulfillment vendor EasiLogic Ltd. via Twitter
"It is perhaps a category by category decision for sellers. Some categories would be more financially attractive on eBay, others on Amazon. Savvy sellers may operate their numerous categories on different platforms, using the advantages that may exist." - Chris Morley, general manager, Internet marketing firm Online Market Experts
"EBay is seeking to attract bigger merchants or to turn casual sellers into full-time ones by making it easier and more affordable to manage a store with many listings and customers." - Jordan Insley, owner of eBay electronics store Quick Ship Electronics
"The changes are appealing to those who are only selling on Amazon right now. And eBay starting to amplify concerns about Amazon competing with their sellers for sales might keep exclusive eBay merchants selling only on eBay." - Scot Wingo, CEO of e-commerce services firm ChannelAdvisor Corp.