But when I worked at eBay in 2003, they had the mailroom put a sticker on every amazon box that said “Next time get it on eBay!”
And now the tide is swinging back a bit as people get fed up with fakes and commingling at Amazon. At least with eBay you know the product you’re getting is actually from the seller you bought it from.
The likelihood is generally higher, but I've received drop-shipped items from eBay that come directly from Amazon & Walmart warehouses. Took me by surprise at first, but it was still the lowest available price. Unsure if they are still cracking down on that.
eBay has always been fantastic for used/refurbished electronics compared to anything else.
> The likelihood is generally higher, but I've received drop-shipped items from eBay that come directly from Amazon & Walmart warehouses. Took me by surprise at first, but it was still the lowest available price. Unsure if they are still cracking down on that.
> eBay has always been fantastic for used/refurbished electronics compared to anything else.
This is a method used to cash out stolen credit cards as well. Buy the item with a stolen card and ship to the unwitting purchaser. This is why they can afford to sell at a perceived loss.
Also a method used to make a few % margin on a discount code. Amazon and Walmart don't give out re-usable flat X% discount codes (AFAIK) though so that isn't the case for when something is drop shipped from those sellers.
But yes, this is a common method used to liquidate stolen CCs info.
But it makes me think -- Are they taking a hit on the sale to offer the item lower on eBay? I canceled Prime a few years back, but with a list of known eBay dropshippers, I can take advantage of Amazon Prime like prices at-cost (or lower) when compared to Amazon.com. And all without paying the Amazon Prime fee (obviously, I don't get the other benefits, but it's the 2 day shipping I'm primarily after!)
you mean when eBay employees received a package from Amazon at the office?
That isn't actually happening at all. That comes across as what you wish were occurring. Unless you're referring to eBay's share of online commerce persistently contracting as they stagnate. It isn't a new problem, eBay as a force in ecommerce has been eroding for many years now.
It's why eBay has a $22b market cap and their market platform has entirely stopped growing. Their stock multiple is so low because nobody believes in their growth story (it doesn't have one). Over four years they've seen an average of about 6% annual growth, although that includes other non-auction businesses they had acquired. It's also why they're a juicy takeover target: the lack of growth gives them a cheap valuation, combined with good margins and a difficult to remove quasi-monopoly position in auctions. There is no future for eBay other than in the belly of someone larger, and soon.
Amazon of course has been going gangbusters on growth during that time, becoming ever more dominant in online retail. The exact opposite of what you're describing.
Why is that the only option? What's wrong with a stable, profitable company staying a stable, profitable company?
I rarely use Amazon for this reason, and order from Target, Walmart, and Ebay instead.
Amazon also plays games, like not letting you sort search results by "Best Selling."
This is a great video showing how stolen credit cards are laundered through eBay “Nina Kollars - Confessions of an Nespresso Money Mule”
Wait, how is this different with eBay compared to Amazon?
So if two sellers are selling the same item, with the same exact SKU, and both send their inventory to Amazon to be warehoused and shipped, Amazon will happily send you either seller's item, depending on which is more convenient to send. (Perhaps seller A's stuff is in a warehouse closer to you.) This sounds good in theory, because all those products are identical, right? What if seller B's products are all counterfeit? So you buy from seller A who you think is legit (and for the example is), but you get seller B's fake crap, and seller A was powerless to stop it.
They could select the "Amazon barcode" option (instead of the default "Manufacturer barcode") under "Barcode preference" which prevents commingling (but requires the seller to apply seller-specific barcode labels to all units).
Amazon's checkout process is 99.99% in the Amazon context, only showing a "sold by" on the order page itself in a 12px font. There is no mention of the seller at all in Amazon's order notification emails.
wow. Seems relevant today.
But no, there was an Ebola outbreak in the mid 70s. Kind of scary to see a disease that can keep popping up.
I worked there on contract a couple of times, got to know some of the folks - and it sure seems like it was a breeding ground of interesting Internet ideas. Matt Dillon, who has clearly proven his mettle in the time since, was developing his keen sense of social stewardship by keeping BEST's internet services up and running - I'll never forget the shock of discovering that they ran the entire thing on a database system Matt had developed himself...
I wonder what other things came from that incubator. It was a wild scene, indeed.
The reality is that eBay (that is AuctionWeb) got its initial traction from spamming Usenet as the story correctly states.
Very quickly they moved from spamming themselves to letting their users spam Usenet.
This is the "growth hacking" model still followed today by many. The question is there any moral middle ground?
If you can search Usenet archives you can find remnants of that AuctionWeb spam and people complaining. Soon others tried to copy them but it was too late.
This was in mid 90s after the first mass spam from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Canter_and_Martha_Sie... .
- You can sign up for a store newsletter
- in the past few months, ebay is sending auction time notifications, and pinging sellers to offer discounts to viewers. That's the only thing that has the spam smell, but the discount offers do help distinguish who wants to make a deal :)
I'm sure folks who use the platform consistently either know how to avoid that content or are much more efficient at sifting through it (or my anecdata of its frequency is way off!). I agree in my limited experience there isn't much in the way of "true spam" itself.
The reality is always much messier, more diffuse, and too much of a long story.
PayPal is on a somewhat similar trajectory.
The lesson here is to keep your customers happy or someone else will.
Also found it interesting to read about the people and companies who thought eBay wouldn't work for various - good - reasons. You can always make something work!
That seems trite. Why couldn't ebay/paypal keep their customers happy?
It looks to me like these companies epitomize the management philosophy of "software doesn't matter". Having established a lucrative niche with strong network effects, they offshored their software development. The CEOs are pure managers without software backgrounds; they could just as easily be running Proctor & Gamble. And so they run it like Proctor & Gamble.
Stripe, Amazon are run by people with software backgrounds.
PayPal as well to a similar extent. There are a litany of problems that its users have been complaining about for years that have not been addressed. I see PayPal rolling out certain new services but ignoring existing services. If PayPal was ahead of the curve, there would be no need for services like Venmo (now owned by PayPal!) Or even Stripe.
Then you have Amazon on the B2C side.
And Aliexpress doing their damage on the low-margin direct-from-Asia side.
Facebook Marketplace competes with kijiji/craigslist. Doesn't really compete with ebay.
Amazon, Wallmart take brand name product sales. Ebay is left with what is rare. Ebay's problem is shipping.
And ebay shippers can’t consolidate shipments. They’re stuck at many-to-many. Amazon is one-to-many.
Aliexpress has much better software in my experience. :(
If I were buying anything expensive, I'd care, but it's still better than Amazon for many things.
You might want to try:
- using 188.8.131.52 for DNS
- a different browser in case there's a plugin problem
- a different location in your city, like an Internet cafe
It's been compounded by the sales that force use of the shopping cart when I otherwise might not use it (because the discount is one time).
I am fascinated by how many key technologies they had without those parts being integrated into something bigger than their sum.
Marketplace is also based on the abundance and quality of contents (merchandise). Scale effect is good at the globalization period but not sure for the next era.
As Chris MacAskill wrote:
In 1995 the ebola virus had its second major outbreak, 19 years from its first, and I discovered a fascinating website about it called eBay. It turns out Pierre owned it and wrote the ebola information. The traffic it drew would help his new auction site get off the ground.
> The untold origin story of eBay that I lived...
(Submitted title was "The untold origin story of eBay and Ebola that I lived...")
I think the original title is much more interesting and also correct.