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Google vs. eBay/PayPal 197

Posted by Zonk
from the ready-fight dept.
That's Unpossible! writes "Google has today made a small announcement on their blog which could shake up the landscape of buying things online : they are going to start allowing certain parties to sell items through Google Base, which people can buy using credit cards linked to their Google Account. According to another blog post, Google already accepts payments in this fashion for Google Video, Google Earth, Google Store, etc. How long until Google Base is directly competing with eBay? The framework is now in place."
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Google vs. eBay/PayPal

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  • by Acid-Duck (228035) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:22AM (#14799812) Homepage Journal
    Don't forget that eBay already has a HUGE customer-base established, in addition to having some odd categories which I never thought would get any attention but looking at the listings there's quite a few items already :P Not to mention that thanks to goldenpalace's advertisement stunts (ie: buying odd objects off eBay for exorbitent prices) eBay already got a pretty good spotlight on TV. Two things to keep in mind here:

    - When buying the shop that has lots of selection will hold lower prices
    - As a seller, I'm looking to get maximum exposure when I sell something.

    Those two factors, I believe, will give google a pretty good run.

    Erik
    • by bigman2003 (671309) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:26AM (#14799833) Homepage
      A few years ago, there were many announcements about Microsoft getting into different businesses:

      Microsoft getting into the business financial software space
      Microsoft getting into XXXX space

      And the world thought the sky was falling, and Microsoft was going to take over everything and nobody else had a chance.

      Ended up not being true. Away from their core businesses, Microsoft ended up being 'just another competitor'.

      Will Google get away from their core, and have they same thing happen? Can the magic last?

      eBay is very well entrenched...
      • Sure, but ebay is pretty crappy. One big weakness (among many) is its search capabilities. I'm guessing Google could do that part a bit better.
        • by vux984 (928602)
          Sure, but ebay is pretty crappy

          A solid competitor, or at least the threat of one, might light the fire under ebay, and make *it* a better place.

          • A solid competitor, or at least the threat of one, might light the fire under ebay, and make *it* a better place.

            I agree 100%, but I hope google lights a fire under Paypal more than Ebay. I get Paypal "policy updates" frequently and they almost always take away some protection for users or increase the protecton of Paypal's profits. I once had a vendor overcharge me $24 on Paypal and after six months of Paypal's investigation they finally agreed that it had been a mistake... and refunded me a whopping $0.
      • by stevesliva (648202) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @12:22PM (#14800355) Journal
        Google's trying to become the next Microsoft by opening up their APIs to web developers for free, and more importantly, ASAP. They want to be the web platform the same way that MS became the desktop platform by providing a number of bundled applications and cheap SDKs. The larger the base of established sites using Google services, the better for them. Google's differentiator seems to be providing the content along with the services. Its competitors offer the content and services ala carte.

        In five years will google APIs be as ingrained in your average website as windows is ingrained in your average desktop application? Google will continue to provide the framework for that to happen, ASAP. Think of it as Windows 3.0, with 3.1 coming soon. Unless wikipedia suddenly morphs into free maps and free storefronts and free classifieds and free file hosting and free email and free search, I don't see an open alternative to Google's free--as in beer-- content. You can mock the betas the same way people mocked early versions of Windows, but have no doubt that now as then, developers will use what is cheap and easy and available. It doesn't matter if it's coming out of Mountain View or Redmond as long as it pays the rent. Moral qualms are for Stallman.

      • by slavemowgli (585321) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @03:21PM (#14801031) Homepage
        eBay *is* very well-entrenched, that much is true, but eBay also sucks big time - they're expensive, unpleasant to work with, and will bow to corporate pressure (deleting your auctions because the RIAA/MPAA/BSA/... demand it without even looking at them etc). The *only* thing eBay has going for itself is the amount of users (and thus auctions).

        Of course, this doesn't mean that eBay will go bankrupt when Google becomes a real competitor; there's also the possibility that they will improve their service and lower their fees. Either outcome is fine with me; the problem is not so much eBay as such (i.e., they're not inherently more evil than other companies), it's the problem that they have no competition.
    • Yes, but keep in mind that the reason people use Ebay isn't because it is the best as far as service/experience, but because it is the biggest. You can try and sell your stuff on one of the other auction sites, but no one will see it.
      I would welcome a service where I could sell my stuff that was better than ebay. Keep in mind that there are a ton of services (be it a kitchen remodeling company or a restaurant in your town) that are ripe to be smashed by someone who comes in with a new business and provides
    • Until reality kicks in.

      Many Ebay Newbies looking for high dollar items get scammed. Almost all of the products that are very popular and expensive are at an amazing scammer to legit ratio. Simply look at items like the Canon XL1/XL2 most of those with really good prices are scammers (I know I spend months going through auctions I won tryin to get a camera... Most claim thay are out of the states and I need to send them CASH or wire funds to a friend in germany and refuse to use an escrow service.)

      Ebay ne
    • Ebay has a huge userbase, but they have a lot of unhappy customers. When combined with the number of people who have been screwed over due to paypal issues, rising ebay fees, I don't think it's too far off base to discount google.

      Consider that only a few years ago no one thought much of google and altavista was king.

      Many dislike ebay, but have no alternative that has nearly as many users. google not only has the name brand, but the search engine - one that even ebay uses to draw in users.
    • Dont forget that ebay charges seller fees and there is a lot of stuff on ebay that goes unsold. I think google is going to do well here. Never underestimate the power of free listings.
    • At first, Google will offer a service to compete with PayPal, then once people are familiar with Google Payments (or whatever it's called), they could launch their own auction site. Don't forget, eBay and Paypal, having a virtual monopoly on internet auctions, charge quite a bit of coin to use their services. I recently sold a laptop for $979, and after the eBay listing fees, eBay final value fee, and Paypal fee, I only actually received $920.

      Did I really get $60 worth of value from eBay and PayPal? They
  • I assume (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Michalson (638911) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:25AM (#14799820)
    That the service is going to be a Beta?
  • by cycledance (812080)
    the internet? the google name? id love a big competitor to ebay...but its not THAT easy...
  • by DarkClown (7673) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:26AM (#14799829) Homepage
    Failing to see how ebay is specifically singled out here.
    It does give folks another avenue that the ebay 'buy-it-now' provides, but there isn't anything within the google framework that does the auction thing.
    I mean, amazon provides the flea market thing as well...
    • by Acid-Duck (228035) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:47AM (#14799896) Homepage Journal
      If you've looked at eBay, there is more then just the buy-it-now auction type. There are multiple auction types [ebay.com] depending on what type of items you're selling. As far as eBay being singled out, I admit there are other auction sites which are probably doing as good, but none of them are as well known to common luser as eBay. Now think about searchh engines... Doesn't Google feel that same type of way? even ppl who don't own computers know what google is. That's called visibility. Google going in the business of running an auction site, it has alot of visibility compared to other auction sites competing with eBay, not because it's better established (it's not even open yet, no customer-base) but because they're already getting lots of visits at their page b/c of their search engine services.

      The conclusion is that you can offer the best product in the world but if you have no visibility to your target audience, you won't sell.

      Erik
  • Risky move (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    eBay combined with Paypal currently is a fraudsters dream, its the worlds number 1 place to buy stolen (from burglary,robberys) merchandise and fake/counterfit goods, eBay try to keep a handle on it but with the shere size of the userbase and cashflow the incentive to crack down isnt really there and is probably impossible to stop,

    iam suprised that the Police/FBI havent shut them down a long time ago for aiding and abetting, i guess that lobby money talks again

    • Re:Risky move (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bubkus_jones (561139)
      Shut ebay down because of illegitimate auctions? What's next, shutting down the internet because it helps terrorists build weapons?

      No, they can not and will not do that. There is too much of a legitimate userbase for ebay, and too many people around the world (because, as you should know, ebay is available in many countries as a subsite tailored to that specific country, featuring auctions by people in those countries) who use it daily.

      Besides, if they did shut it down, another would pop up to take it's pl
    • Re:Bullshit FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jasonditz (597385)
      there's no more legal basis for shutting eBay down because of that than there is shutting down a public school because some of the kids sell drugs in the hallways, or shutting down a Walgreens because the guy in the Santa Claus suit out front isn't really from the Salvation Army.
  • by coaxeus (911103) *
    I, for one, welcome our new google overlords. Really. I was perfectly happy with paypal (aside from obsurd fees) until I had to dispute anything or required their customer service for anything. Paypal/Ebay is a nightmare to deal with, and will screw you over if anything anywhere in their pages and pages of small legal print says they can (it probably does in almost every situation). I'm right onboard with http://www.paypalsucks.com/ [paypalsucks.com] now.
    • by bigman2003 (671309) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:34AM (#14799860) Homepage
      I got screwed over by PayPal.

      I sold something on eBay, and opted to print out a UPS label, and pay for the shipping directly through their PayPal system. Started the process and everything was fine, I paid for it, and only needed to print the label out.

      Crap! I didn't have the right kind of paper (I wanted to use label material) so I had to go find some in my wife's office.

      By the time I got back, my session had timed out. I went back to my original eBay item, and followed the same process. Thinking that it would register as the same shipping/payment. Wrong, it charged me again.

      Okay...fine, I'll just cancel the first one.

      Can't cancel a shipping payment until UPS receives the electronic statement from PayPal. Okay, I'll check back the next day.

      Whoops- can't cancel a shipping payment after 24 hours have passed.

      eBay customer service did ONE thing for me when I contacted them about this. They confirmed that I was screwed.

      $46 down the drain because their sessions time out too quickly. Fuck them...
      • Can't you bill them for the amount? Plus consultancy fees for time lost calling their reps? And if they don't pay, send a collection agency? (This is a serious question, any legal buffs?)
      • "eBay customer service did ONE thing for me when I contacted them about this. They confirmed that I was screwed."

        That kind of response is actually very common when a company has no real competition or perceives of having no competition. Maybe this little shake-up will give them motivations to be more helpful.

      • For me, I never keep any money in my paypal account. If I need to send a non-cc payment, it comes from my bank account. Anything else gets paid by credit card.

        I'm curious though, did you try calling UPS again to cancel the shipment. Since no package was ever shipped, they should be able to cancel and refund the shipping to Paypal. Do remember to get their name and a reference number to the transaction. Paypal will be getting money back and you should be able to call paypal and say now that UPS has refunded
      • There are very good reasons for sessions to time out. How long did you take?

        The transaction was probably deemed to have completed the moment the "label" was displayed on your screen.

        So you should have just printed it out anyway. Print to a file or print to an actual A4. You can then either print to the real label later, or photocopy to the real label depending on whether you do the former or latter.

        Or save the page to print it out later (which is why javascript or flash tends to suck for this sort of thing
        • I was opening up a paypal dispute last year and following through the process. I couldn't even go through the process without my session timing out. I had to copy/paste my responses to all the questions into vi and copy/paste them back in in order to get through the process without timing out.
      • Yep! I've always refused to use those automatically printed shipping labels for that very reason. Just last week, I was in a local UPS Store and a frustrated customer came in wanting to know how to receive a credit for a UPS label they tried to print, but were unsuccessful due to printer problems. The UPS Store employees not only claimed to have absolutely no clue, but denied responsibility completely, claiming they were technically "not even UPS employees, but rather, independent agents".

        This isn't even
  • when they can make more money from it, than they currently make from Ebay's ads.
  • It's competition! Time to announce layoffs!

  • It makes a lot of sense that google move more into online payment payment services, theres a huge amount of money to be made in trustworthy and simple e-cash transactions. It will also be interesting to see how this plays out in regards to people sellling software and services... I would expect this to do tremendously well and competition will make this much better for consumers!
  • Google is not evil (Score:2, Interesting)

    by it0 (567968)
    But too big = evil! first rockefeller then at&t, ibm, microsoft, etc.
    So is google too big, yes but what does that mean?
    Apparently they are so big, that when they do something in a certain market, all the other players are instantly obliterated. No this does not always happen, although this is what people think and expect I guess, basicly everyone is waiting for google to become evil, which is wierd.

    In the end competition is good as long as there will remain competition.
  • by tezza (539307) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:40AM (#14799877)
    The old arguments for Competition in the Marketplace can come out.

    * Drive to innovate
    * Prices closer to the actual cost of the service
    * External Innovators can become suppliers as the companies get creative to win market share.

  • by Sima (148367) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:41AM (#14799881)
    Considering how unresponsive Paypal is and how much of a maze Ebay tries to be, when you try to contact their customer support, this can only be a good thing.

    Maybe this move will force them to stop acting so arrogantly towards us, their customers. And try to provide some actual customer support.

    • Competition is a good thing, when the competitors are on even ground. If you have 2 roughly equal companies competing for customers, the customer wins.

      It changes completely when a company pushes into the market of another company while having a more or less monopoly in their original market area.

      Take Microsoft as an example. They do have a (more or less) monopoly in the commercial OS market. So when they decide to push into another market, they can afford to undercut their competitor, even going under their
  • by CGP314 (672613) <CGP@ColinGregory ... t ['Pal' in gap]> on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:42AM (#14799886) Homepage
    I don't quite get what google base is. From reading the FAQ this is part of google's plan to organize all the worlds information -- but sometime we need a bit more structure than that. I sell my photos on ebay [ebay.co.uk] and would love to be able to use a different service as payments to ebay are death by 1,000 cuts. But, are people really going to look for photos of London in the same place they'd try and find recipes and free web hosting?
  • Attract sellers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:43AM (#14799890) Homepage
    How long until Google Base is directly competing with eBay? The framework is now in place.

    If Google treats sellers well, they'll be jumping ship from eBay in packs. I'm guessing eBay will lighten up on their sellers and the new equilibrium will be sellers using both services.

    Competition is a good thing. More outlets for sellers is more business, also a good thing. I'd use Google before Amazon.

    • If this is all shaping up to be a Google / Amazon / eBay superfight, there's going to be a LOT of fun in the future.

    • I'd use Google before Amazon.

      Amazon is a ripoff. Just to see how well it worked, I tried Amazon once to sell a used book. After Amazon charged their fees and shorted me on the (fixed/mandatory) shipping stipend, I ended up making about three bucks on a $15 sale. Not even worth the time it took me to list it, much less pack and ship it.

  • by Manip (656104) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @09:44AM (#14799891)
    PayPal has lost so much goodwill, and annoying so many people that frankly I think people would move to a replacement if it was half-decent. Google need to look at what PayPal did right (simplicity, flexible, secure) and what PayPal did wrong (bad policy, account locking, 'random' charge-backs, poor complaints system, in escrow service).

    I must admit, however, that having my personal information (name, CC, address) linked to my search queries seems like a profoundly bad idea... Even if that is still technically possible with my ISP I don't think they care enough, or it is in their best interests to do so. Google on the other hand...
  • its not just the user base that ebay has, its also the reputation, and the name "ebay" which everyone knows, even if you dont have a computer, you know ebay. in general, only people who know computers know google.
  • If Google Base is tied with Froogle then here is your buyers' attraction. Looking for a great deal on Froogle? Here you go - check out our low prices at Gooble Base!
  • ebay's success did not really come because it is well designed, but rather because so many people are using it. Whether Google manages to attract a sufficiently large number of buyers and sellers remains to be seen. It might be a good tactical thing that Google allows people to post their ebay offers in Google base.
  • If Google ever does a storefront like Yahoo has with their Yahoo shopping, I'm there in a heartbeat. My company has had some major issues with Yahoo store over the years, and while it mostly is fine, there's some irritating things it does that they have no intention on fixing (which is obvious after a few years of complaining).

    Google seems to be headed towards this path, they just can't get there fast enough for me.
  • somebody needs to smash ebay thats for sure.. its a wonderful thing, but they've been screwing their customers for far too long.. prices have increased, making it nearly impossible to make a profit.. I sell historical documents, and business has been gradually decreasing over the past 4 years.. Autographs in particular, you could buy a autographed photos from hollywood actors at real auctions for anywhere between $100-$5,000... The same photo you bought for $100, could be found on ebay for $10... and why is
    • Autographs in particular, you could buy a autographed photos from hollywood actors at real auctions for anywhere between $100-$5,000... The same photo you bought for $100, could be found on ebay for $10...how do you expect every die-hard Marlon Brando fan to be on Ebay at that particular point in time?? They won't be.. And thats the problem..

      No, you have it backwards. Ebay actually is the solution. Autographs used to be artificially scarce because of the limits of geography. To use your hypothetical, do y

  • Does anyone have any idea why Paypal wouldn't let me reset my account by e-mailing them scans of certain documents, requiring me to fax it to them instead? This is one reason why I may be switching to GooglePay - I'm not opening a new e-mail account so I can have a new PayPal account. I didn't forget my PayPal password, I just couldn't remember which of my many passwords it was, and I got locked out before I could guess the right one. Another e-mail account, another PayPal account - this will just get worse
    • Crap. OK, here it is with the br-s:

      Does anyone have any idea why Paypal wouldn't let me reset my account by e-mailing them scans of certain documents, requiring me to fax it to them instead? This is one reason why I may be switching to GooglePay - I'm not opening a new e-mail account so I can have a new PayPal account. I didn't forget my PayPal password, I just couldn't remember which of my many passwords it was, and I got locked out before I could guess the right one. Another e-mail account, another Pay
  • but will they do micropayments?
  • by Hosiah (849792) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:19AM (#14799982)
    Omens that have yet to pass:

    Google Dollars: trade one-to-one with US currency a la Disney Dollars
    Google History: send actual wireless webcams back in time and space to search history
    Google Genes: pick your baby's DNA from Google's wide base of genetic data. Google Cyber-Implants: when you're *really* assimilated! Have the power of Google searches on tap in your own brain. Win every trivia game show. Ace every test. View porn just by thinking about it.

  • Poppycock (Score:4, Interesting)

    by altheusthethief (918055) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:20AM (#14799985)
    eBay is of the main advertisers on Google, they bought over 600,000 keywords last year alone. eBay doesnt have enough static pages for Google to index it properly so this is a nesscessary evil. Without eBay's support of Google, you're taking a loss of about 10M+. That's a pretty big hand to bite.

    eBay has traditionally always had competition, and if anything this only helped it grow even larger. Look at Yahoo and Amazon, they couldn't even take it. The fact is that eBay is a differenet company now, than before. It's shifted it's focus from being an "auction" site, to being a marketplace.

    Google is a great speculator, and it really has to be with the way it's stock is. A tighter integration of eBay and Google would be an intelligent move, eBay is a proven company, with rising stock for the last 10 years, and continuing to post profits well above expectations. PayPal, like it or not, is still the most reliable and easiest way to pay for things, and I'm sorry, but I've used it for well over 100 transactions and unlike my credit card and bank account, I dont pay an annual fees as a customer, and as a seller, it's a lot cheaper than the cost of getting a merchant account.

    The point is this, eBay stands to lose ground in the market it's saturated. Google will have to figure out how to deal with fraud, customer/seller debate and at the same time promote it's product in a non-competitive manner such that it doesn't lose it's main advertiser.

    Short of that, if Google decides to lock horns with eBay, I'm pretty sure you'll see eBay take a cut in it's stock to retain and regrow it's own markets. Competition is healthy, but I really doubt that this is anything more than posturing.

    On an aside, pick a popular product, Froogle it, most of the vendors I've dealt with have had huge problems, lie or deliberately mislead me on price. Now add 10 million amateurs, wannabes, and fraudsters, and tell me that I can reasonably expect a better experience than eBay.
    • Re:Poppycock (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Excelsior (164338) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @11:27AM (#14800169)
      eBay is of the main advertisers on Google, they bought over 600,000 keywords last year alone. eBay doesnt have enough static pages for Google to index it properly so this is a nesscessary evil. Without eBay's support of Google, you're taking a loss of about 10M+. That's a pretty big hand to bite.

      There are two problems with your logic:

      1) There's a reason eBay can spend 10M+ on Google Adwords. It makes far, far more. In 2004 [forbes.com], eBay had 3.3 billion in sales, and 780M in profits! Google needs less than 2% of the market to make up for the loss of advertising. Google has the brand awareness to easily grab 2% of that market.

      2) It would assume eBay can afford to stop advertising with Google to get revenge upon Google. They can't. They would be shooting themselves in the foot, and giving Google Base more marketshare and more profits (see 1).

      I think its more likely you'll see Google Base pages with Adword advertisements for eBay in the margin.
      • Has anyone ever bought anything from eBay as a result of their Google ads? I have clicked on a few out of morbid curiosity, and every time I have found that there is nothing on eBay of relevance to my search. As an example, a Google search for minions [google.com] turns up a single advert, pointing at eBay, as my premier source of minions [google.com]. Sadly, clicking on the link shows me that there are no minions for sale on eBay. Still, it costs eBay a little bit every time I click on the link, so I still do it occasionally.
    • > eBay is of the main advertisers on Google, they bought over 600,000 keywords last year alone. eBay doesnt have enough static pages for Google to index it properly so this is a nesscessary evil. Without eBay's support of Google, you're taking a loss of about 10M+. That's a pretty big hand to bite.

      Even if Google does do exactly what eBay is doing, eBay will have to advertise more. If you're searching Google, and all you get are Google Auction results, you're going to forget about eBay completely. If th
  • Well, mostly good... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ursabear (818651) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:22AM (#14799989) Homepage Journal
    PayPal and eBay are both very successful venues and means. They've become (at least, in the US) universally known and serve as the Kleenex tissue of online payments and the Styrofoam foam of online buy/sell/auction, respectively.

    I do believe that it would be nice to get some real competition going for these companies - and perhaps Google has the chutzpah [wikipedia.org] to pull it off (not to mention the cash). I, for one, would love to see some new ideas in the auction/sell/pay space. It could also keep the costs of these services relatively in check, as well.

    It costs a very large percentage of a sale to sell something on eBay (that is, unless you are a super-seller who can get away with selling an item for .99 with $19.99 shipping {nudge, nudge}) and accept payment through PayPal at this point. It would be nice to see an alternative.
    • For me, the only reason eBay is successful is that it's successful... It's the biggest; you can find most things there; yada yada. But the interface is god-awful. Give me some clean HTML, make an attempt to reduce "SUPER COOL PRODUCT!!! NO RESERVE!!! L@@K!!", clean up the actual product pages to be somewhat consistent, and it would be no contest. Except that everyone still uses eBay. Chicken and egg.

      I haven't personally experienced the pain of selling items, but I've heard several people complain abou

    • PayPal and eBay are both very successful venues and means. They've become (at least, in the US) universally known and serve as the Kleenex tissue of online payments and the Styrofoam foam of online buy/sell/auction, respectively.

      Not quite. Google has become _the_ brand name for searches. It would not surprise me if "Googling" outlives Google.

      Kleenex has become the brand name for tissues, as Jello for gelatin, and Fridigidaire for "fridges".

      PayPal does not have that feeling, and never will.

      eBay is pretty m
      • eBay is pretty much a fad. The name is not compelling enough to be stuck with the service.

        A fad? eBay, Inc. was incorporated in 1995 [wikipedia.org]. Google, Inc. was incorporated in 1998 [wikipedia.org]. It's been around much longer than Google, and survived the dotcom bubble. It's not a fad.

        And you've never used, or heard anyone say "I'm going to eBay that piece of junk?" I hear it all the time, about as much as someone saying they googled something. That kind of branding is a company's wet-dream.

        • And you've never used, or heard anyone say "I'm going to eBay that piece of junk?"

          No. I "used" eBay once, got ripped off from some dude in China, and never looked back.

          I love the choice phrase you picked "I'm going to eBay that piece of junk".

          That is pretty much what eBay is and is known for. Junk. Fees. No accountability. If you want accountability, you have to pay a 3rd party escrow service. Returns, support? Nothing.

          I've known people that "made it rich" by going to the dollar store, and selling th
  • Google becomes the new behemoth, bestriding the world like a colossus, and abusive monopolist.

    Don't tell me about that "Do No Evil" thing - it's just a neat marketing slogan.
  • Here's some food for thought
    1. Regardless of all the selling fees and paypal issues, eBay has done so well with their branding that they will probably get (if they don't already have it) a dictionary entry like google has. Even Weird Al did a song about eBay.
    2. 50% of the items I find for sale on eBay come from google searches.
    3. eBay is slow! Fees aside, eBay's biggest challenge is how time consuming it is to sell stuff on there. I am sure Google will find a way to speed up the whole buying and selling p
  • Just announce it and I am gone from eBay. I am sure at least a few others have this same mindset.
  • Is that called "GBuy"?
  • Google may try and go head-to-head with Ebay/Paypal however the smart buyer and seller may think twice. Ebay/paypal has some nice policies in place to protect both parties from nonpayment and other unpleasantries; does Google offer such services?
    • "Ebay/paypal has some nice policies in place to protect both parties from nonpayment and other unpleasantries..."

      Heh, just about made me snort coffee onto my monitor! I'd give you "+1 Funny" if I had the mod points!

  • I'd like to see a non "screw the customer" PayPal type service. Before I think that Google can do it, I'd like to see what percentage of PayPal comes from eBay.

    Obviously, without a court order, eBay won't let GPay (or whatever it's called) be used on the auction site. I use PayPal once every two or three months, and mostly for eBay.
    • Obviously, without a court order, eBay won't let GPay (or whatever it's called) be used on the auction site.

      You may not have noticed, but it's not up to eBay how buyers pay the sellers. You could demand payment in nickels, or mcdonalds coupons. Clearly they push PayPal, and offer the incentive of tight integration to get people to use it, but they can neither force you to use paypal, nor be forced to tightly integrate a thrid-party payment scheme.

  • Has anyone else noticed how much Google's long term business plan seems to mirror that of Neal Stephenson's 'snowcrash' novel?

    Not that this is a bad thing mind you, I thought the concept quite cool, but rather its interesting to see a straight sci-fi concept taken and built in reality (okay, with a few minor differences since google's primary engine still searches other sites instead of holding all data, but the main concept is still the same).
  • Mottos (Score:3, Funny)

    by Centurix (249778) <centurix@NoSPam.gmail.com> on Saturday February 25, 2006 @10:47AM (#14800052) Homepage
    Google has "Do no evil"

    pfft, PayPal has nothing, except your money.
  • by asv108 (141455)
    We really need more alternatives to ebay. Every few months I get another e-mail informing me of fee increases on eBay. The eBay management has done a good job of not appearing as a dominating monopoly, but the fees and acquisitions just keep coming.
    • The real ripoff action is the double whammy. You get charged seller fees on ebay (which is a double whammy in itself, listing fee plus percentage of complete auction) and then paypal takes a cut also.

  • Is due to one and only one fact, that is that buyers can get good deals, if a new auction site had the money to subsidize auction sellers for a few months while buyers got really good deals ebay would have a real problem, remember buyers are only one click away.
  • Ebay is a monopoly. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by queazocotal (915608)
    At the moment, ebay have essentially no competition.

    This does not make for a healthy marketplace.

    There is of course competition between sellers, but if ebay raises prices, makes it impossible to find items by completely eliminating categories, or decides that it'd rather heavily weight the market towards those who pay for featured ads, the users have no comeback, other than to not use ebay.

    They can't just go to the 2nd highest auction site in many cases, as there effectively isn't one.

    Competition would

  • since ebay has a patent on holding auctions online. You can't compete with someone who has a gov't supplied monopoly, since you're paying them to 'compete'.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    A payment service that still depends on the credit card infrastructure is only a mild advancement.

    As bad as you think the PayPal and EBay fees are, they a dwarfed by the blood credit cards suck out of our economy.

    I'm not talking about the interest on unpaid accounts, I'm talking about the merchant fees. Those are the 2 to 6 percent fees that every merchant pays on credit card transactions.

    These fees are hidden from the consumer, because the credit card mafia forces retailers to charge the same price for cas
  • Froogle is crap (Score:3, Interesting)

    by br00tus (528477) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @02:32PM (#14800871)
    To start off with I will say one good thing about Froogle - it is free. So everyone uses it. But it sucks for buying items. I know Base is slightly different than Froogle, but I doubt there will be much difference.

    First off, there are people who spam the system with thousands of items (often directly, or redirecting to Amazon) where they say they're cheaper than everyone else. When you click on it, instead of being "$40", it is actually "$50". Often the first three or four links are spam like this - you can buy the item, but you're told it's one price and then it's another. When you e-mail Froogle help to report this fraud, they are very slow to respond, if they ever respond.

    Another thing is Froogle has started this stupid thing where they group items together, so if yous search for say "onetouch ultra strips", you'll get a first response where it says "Compare 47 prices" currently. But when I click on that I see not only OneTouch Ultra strips but Basic Profile strips, and Surestep strips. I click on the 2nd link, "OneTouch SureStep Test Strips, 50 ea" from Drugstore.com, and nowhere in that page does it say Ultra. Now if I put Ultra in my search, and there are dozens of pages which have those 3 words in my search, why am I being redirected to a page that does not have Ultra? This is not a case of spam, this is a case of Google screwing up.

    I actually have a store that has Froogle entries, people get redirected to my store on a false thing like this (the ultra to drugstore.com surestep thing), buy it and then want to cancel their credit card sale or want to send it back, because they think I screwed up somehow, when actually it was Froogle and they who screwed up. Froogle should get rid of this stupid, broken new system and put back the old system where when you looked for the word ultra you'd actually wind up with a product or blurb that had the word ultra in it. I'm using "onetouch ultra strips" as an example, but this goes across many products.

    These are both major problems, so I won't even go into minor ones like how they're rating system for merchants has problems. The thing about Froogle is both of the problems I mentioned are new - their search system was working fine until they added this new grouping thing which doesn't work and which I'm sure no one likes. Don't put it out there until it works. And spammers were not around, but now they are, and Froogle doesn't deal with them. If they wait a week to deal with them each time, then they will never go away - if they can get a few hundred sales for each week on the fake prices, I'm sure the spammers will just set up a new storefront each week and make a ton of money. They should fix what's broken instead of coming out with whiz-bang new features every few months. Respond to e-mails about people spamming with fake low prices.

  • Please provide a link to something I can purchase using Google Base.
  • I can't see Google successfully taking a chunk of eBay's market share. This is one place where a natural monopoly exists. I seel stuff on eBay because it's maximum exposure.

    I might buy off another auction site if the prices are lower, that's about it. I'm more likely to find what I want on eBay than anywhere else.
  • All your base are belong to us.
  • My prediction is that, contrary to what everybody expects, Google, or one of its descendants, will be the first company to make use of real artificial intelligence, and they might even invent it.

    You heard it here first!

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