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eBay Failing To Move Beyond Auctions

It's the same ho-hum story for the folks at eBay. The online auctioneer is struggling to move beyond its core business. Its eBay Express Web site has been "a tough sell," says newspaper.

One eBay clothier reports being excited about the new site, which lists products for sale at fixed-prices, but last month, she didn't sell a single item on eBay Express. It "doesn't seem to be any help," she said. She's not alone, either.

The Professional eBay Sellers Alliance, an independent group of the site's sellers who collectively sell more than $1 billion a year in merchandise, estimates that eBay Express accounts for less than 1% of the group's sales. According to Web traffic monitor Hitwise, eBay Express was 87th on its list of the top shopping and classifieds sites in November, while eBay's main site remained No. 1.

Overall, 2006 has been a mixed bag for eBay. The year started out terribly, its stock at one point was down more than 30%, but in October, an increase in commissions taken from sellers Web pages led to increased sales on eBay.com. Later, came a search and click-to-call partnership with Google for its sites outside the U.S. This led to a 13% bump in its share price.

However, yesterday came the news that eBay was shutting down and handing its China operations over to another company after failing to grow its share of the tricky market.

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Read the whole story at The Wall Street Journal »

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