January 3, 2005, 12:00 AM

Out of the Skunkworks

(Page 3 of 3)

And to help shoppers find something-in effect, to have sellers find buyers-eBay also launched in the fall its Want It Now service. In its first week, more than 29,000 would-be buyers opted into the free service at WantItNow.eBay.com with lists of things they were looking to buy.

EBay registered sellers can freely browse the Want It Now listings and click a link to respond to a buyer. The seller is allowed to send only a 10-digit item number that the buyer can then input into the eBay search function to find the seller’s product page, a restriction that prevents the seller from using the Want It Now service to immediately cross-sell additional merchandise, eBay says.

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