Wednesday, August 06, 2008

For Jerry Yang to ponder

A little over a a year ago Yahoo threw in the towel on its US Auction business. However as Ebay continues to weaken due to craigslist and sellers become dissatisfied with Ebay's practices, now would be a good time for Yahoo to go on the offensive against Ebay, if they had stayed in the game.

Every time Ebay makes a move that upsets their sellers, Yahoo should be there offering an alternative. As Jerry should well know, the web can be a fickle place. Yahoo Auctions, could benefit from Ebay's bad PR if they were still around in the US.

One long term sore spot for Ebay sellers and a key potential differentiator is payment handling. If Yahoo had an open payment interface so that sellers could accept payments with a number of payment options (Checkout by Amazon, Google Checkout, PayPal, etc.) that could win them many defecting sellers. And we all know Jerry needs the revenue.

Between Ebay fees and Paypal fees Ebay is taking around 10% of small to medium transactions. Seems like plenty of room to beat them on price and still make money.
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