Is eBay Going To Be Fun Again

eBay is stressing FUN as a way to get the buyers back

If you have seen the eBay TV commercials Shop Victoriously it is pretty obvious that eBay is stressing winning instead of shopping. In another move, eBay today announced eBay Countdown.

eBay Countdown is a new way to track and win items on eBay. Countdown provides buyers with a competitive edge by providing instant item updates for current bid and time remaining, an interface to monitor items in My eBay buying and a fast and easy bidding interface.

Countdown also provides a way to search for last minute deals. Unlike the eBay toolbar, no download is required to use eBay Countdown. Countdown is an optional tool and users can still access their items via eBay.com.

eBay Countdown is a flash application that lives inside a web page. All you need to have is a web browser with Adobe Flash Player 8 or higher. Bidders can utilize eBay Countdown on all recent versions of Internet Explorer, FireFox/Mozilla, Safari, Netscape and AOL Explorer. Most computers have Flash Player 8 installed. Adobe reports that over 96% of computers have Flash Player 8 or higher. If your PC does not have Flash Player 8 or higher, you can download it here.

You can read more about eBay Countdown and sign up for the service here.

So what will the effect on sellers be?  Obviously eBay is hoping that increasing the fun quotient will bring buyers back to the site. Countdown could also increase the number of bidders fighting over an item. More buyers mean more sales.

But on the downside, countdown will help snipers win items at a lower cost, so buyers could come under margin pressures. It will take a while to see if margins erode.

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