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Reply to "A Message from Bill Cobb: Resetting the Balance of the eBay Marketplace"

Auctiva - hurry. You can do this!

Interestingly enough when I first started Auctiva in April 98 I already knew I couldn't beat eBay even if I built a site 5x as good. They already had the grip on sellers and buyers that was too quickly feeding on itself. And that was with only around 300,000 items on eBay. Now there is 14 million auction items and something like 60+ million store items.

eBay wasn't really all that feature rich then. There was no photo hosting, no help at all for sellers to list a lot of items, no eBay software, no templates, no scheduling, no counters, no HTML editor, no spell check, nothing. That of course is why my product was so successful almost instantly and where we are today. There was a big need for that. Originally I thought that could give me a way to get a lot of sellers using it. Then I could hope those users may give a site I built a try. Then Amazon got into the game, and Yahoo, and Microsoft, and everyone and their mother. At that point I really didnt want to try and compete with any of them and their fat pockets. I figured sellers would have enough choices and competition between those sites to keep eBay honest. So what I did was a deal with Amazon to build support into Auctiva for listing to Amazon and we were the first site to support listing to multiple sites I think. A little while after that we added Yahoo.

I suppose I was just before my time. People didn't see the value in multi channel sales back then, things were just fine on eBay they thought. There weren't as many professional businesses on eBay then, people doing it full time and bringing a real business side to it. eBay was growing very fast then, sales were good profits were good, and so on.

There aren't any plans here to compete with eBay, no AuctivaPop, or thigns along those lines. What I have put a lot of thought into are ways to help drive more traffic to our sellers listings. I have many ideas and I'd love to be doing them all now but time and budgets are a reality I have to deal with. After we complete phase 2 I'll have a lot of engineers here with free time and you can expect to see some innovation and new ideas. Some will bomb I'm sure but hopefully I come up with a few keepers. That's how it's worked out in the past 8+ years.

I want to help sellers make more money. Because in doing that I believe it will lead to growth for Auctiva along with those sellers we're helping. Hopefully then you feel like we're making money with you, not from you. Right now on eBay it feels a little more like taking than helping you to make it. Not every eBay seller feels that way perhaps, and it wasn't always like that, but more and more it's heading that way.
Last edited by auctivajeff
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