Shoestring Theory

Currently documenting the house that is eating our lives, we will return to regularly scheduled programming in a couple of more months

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Boycott update/ Are more visitors bad for eBay competitors?

February 19, 2008 at 8:22 pm by thetheorist

Boycott stats
More stats from PowerSellers Unite.

We’ve got today’s updated auction statistics from PowerSellers Unite You can visit them to see the current volume versus the same time on the previous day at their site anytime.

So, total listings have dropped about 400,000 more, or a 2.78 percent decline from yesterday. A two day trend downward, but what will tomorrow bring?

iOffer logo

Yesterday, I suggested people should explore other sales channels even if they aren’t participating in the boycott. Now I’m wondering if this could actually be bad for some of eBay’s competitors, particularly the smaller ones. Taking my own advice, I played around on iOffer last night. The experience in three words: buggy, slow and frustrating. After a half-hour, I had no desire to be there anymore. Page loading and search times were horrendously slow. Maybe it’s fine normally and the first day of the boycott was just driving too much traffic to them to handle. But, the last thing you want as a business is for a new potential customer’s experience to be so poor. To be fair, I’ll go back in a couple of weeks and judge it again, but how many other people will? I couldn’t recommend seller’s try to transfer their inventories there this week, that’s for sure.

Also, I think they may not have thought out their Mr. Grabber program very well. iOffer’s Mr. Grabber will go to eBay, Overstock and and import all of your active listings. Sounds great, but some people were clearly lazy about it. Almost every item I checked out had the vestiges of an eBay listing left in them (graphics for eBay stores, notes about a listing being updated, etc). It made some of the listings ugly, others silly and gave me a generally low opinion of those sellers for being too lazy to properly touch up their listings. This all reflects kind of poorly on iOffer too. The idea of Mr. Grabber is great, but if the result ends up leaving buyers unimpressed, you’ve hurt your site. Perhaps the next version of it could automatically strip out the code for things like eBay stores (though that would potentially have its own negative impact).

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The Submit button may not be appearing or working correctly in IE6. I would suggest upgrading to IE7 or Firefox 2 for full functionality (I'm still looking for a solution to this if anyone knows one).

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