A Great Find & A Defense of E-Bay

From: Mark Gregory <mgregory_at_vantageresearch.com>
Date: Fri Jun 16 10:57:40 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: William Donzelli <aw288_at_osfn.org>
To: classiccmp_at_classiccmp.org <classiccmp_at_classiccmp.org>
Date: Friday, June 16, 2000 9:29 AM
Subject: RE: A Great Find & A Defense of E-Bay

>Ebay does not want keep all of the auctions as a publicly accessable
>database, simply because it is not their job. After a few months, they
>can "wash their hands" of the deal, and with it, any disputes that may
>come up afterwards (problems in the car auctions leap to mind). They don't
>want the legal hassles, basically.

Given that collecting (of anything) is a very large industry, they're
missing a chance to _make_ a lot of money.
Every bookstore has dozens of price guides to collectibles in it, which
sell for upwards of $40 each. A lot of those are based on the results of a
few hundred auctions a year. eBay could "publish" (whether in print or
electronically) guides based on thousands of auctions a year.

If they published electronically, they could charge a nominal fee for
access to the price guide - say 5 cents per successful search. They already
have a structure in place to bill all of their sellers. It would be easy to
require that anyone searching the price guides register as a seller (and
provide credit card info) first. Then you bill them for their accumulated
search charges monthly, or whenever they have another sales transaction.

I don't understand your point about eBay wanting to avoid "legal hassles"
over auctions gone bad. They are just the middleman, all of their contracts
state that they are not responsible for the authenticity, condition,
delivery, etc. of the items. The buyer and seller voluntarily assume all
the risk. I don't see how providing a database of past transactions
involves them any further in a legal sense.

Just my 2 cents (Cdn).

Mark Gregory
Received on Fri Jun 16 2000 - 10:57:40 BST

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