- Business and Employment
Ebay: The Online Economy Crumbles
In 1995 when Ebay first came into being the internet was ready, willing and able to facilitate it's rise. The internet needed a market place and Ebay filled a void where it strongly needed. Throughout the late 1990s and into the 2000s nothing that came along could touch them in terms of membership, pricing. Indeed they even left competitors such as the now defunct Yahoo Auctions and Amazon in the dust. Although Amazon has remained a competitor I'd have to say they are worse off then Ebay because of the ridiculous prices they charge sellers to sell on their website.
In the early days Ebay made things very easy, their platform was simple and the prices charged to their sellers very low. They had few rules that effected being able to sell that were not fair. They were featured in magazines, television, even film and across the net as the next big thing. They became a household name and with good reason. However as time progressed into the late 2000s Ebay began to destroy their own business. They began raising the prices of listing, stores, etc and besides this they began to institute new rules for selling items and thus began the restrictive nature of the current Ebay.
As the economy sagged severely Ebay seemed to escalate their practices continuing to increase prices to sellers and again creating new rules to restrict the way and amount users could sell. As the economy lost it's momentum many sellers on Ebay began feeling the squeeze and over the next few years many sellers began at the very least looking for other options to sell their items. Many who enjoyed a full time business and large incomes went from making thousands on ebay to barely making a supplemental income. Sellers began liquidating their stocks many with the understanding that this would be their last stock to be sold on Ebay.
As things went from bad to worse Ebay's city to city tours went from jam-packed auditoriums to sparsely filled chairs and sometimes angry Ebay sellers that showed up and went on tirades only to be escorted out by security. Ebay spokesman gave speeches on how it was the end of the e-commerce era and that what Ebay was dealing with was mothing but attributed to that change.
In part that was an issue. The division of the internet from desktops on Windows and new technology such as smart phones and tablets drew people to other "applications" and away from Ebay. However there is no denying that the exodus of sellers put down by crippling restrictions on Ebay meant lest items and a lot less variety. Which of course in turn meant less buyers. All the while through sheer propaganda Ebay passed off their laundry list of new rules as helpful to sellers, that it was to somehow meant to help businesses when it clearly didn't.
These days Ebay is desperately trying to stay viable as a marketplace. They offer some free listings to sellers, and more frequently offer unlimited free listings on specific days. Whether this will reinvigorate their dying brand only time will tell.
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