Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Daryle Lambert: EBAY SERVES SCRAMBLED EGGS
I hate to admit this is my opinion but, it is. Ebay has served us the fluff. Yes, they have taken their plan, confused it, and are expecting us not to know that it is just fluff, all puffed up. In fact, if you take an egg, fluff it up into an omelette, it's still an egg. I call this a "Lambertism": Confusion can't trump the truth."
Now it's evident why Meg Whitman announced her retirement. She knew that the market would explode with criticism over the changes that were coming down the line. Why should she stay and ruin the ten year legacy of being one of the top executives in the whole world when she knew the bubble was about to pop?
No matter how you slice it, Ebay's new changes is an attempt to increase revenues so that the stock will reverse its downward spiral. But I think I have news for them. It ain't going to work, and in my opinion, if these changes stand, this stock might be the best short in the market.
I can now hear the stampede of feet searching for other places to sell their merchandise. In fact, if these changes stand, I predict that there will be several new auction sites that will be opening in the near future. This pie is going to be sliced into thinner and thinner slices, and Ebay will be the loser.
Their competition must be in shock today. They were thinking that they might have to rearrange their own marketing plans, because Ebay would be taking away their advantages. Instead, they find themselves in an excellent position to take more market share from Ebay.
Now, it will be wise to evaluate each week where the best service is for the members of the 31 Club and recommend these companies. Does this mean never telling people to use Ebay? No. But we might tell them to wait until Ebay has a day of no listing fees, or other special offers, because under the present plan, these increases don't provide the best value in the marketplace.
One of the "interesting" changes, is that the seller can no longer respond to a buyer's feedback. Now what is this all about? The seller, under the new plan, can no longer respond to negative feedback given by a buyer. The sellers are just asking for a fair shake and the opportunity to defend themselves against unscrupulous buyers.
Stay tuned. I don't think you have heard the last of this yet. It will be interesting to see if the new CEO can stand up under the pressure that is sure to be coming over the next few weeks.
In the South we have an old saying: "Keep your powder dry." This might be a great time to practice patience.
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