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Alternatives to Selling on eBay - Free Services From Google May Dominate Small Business Online Sales Market

May 15th 2006

Alternatives to Selling on eBay - Free Services From Google May Dominate Small Business Online Sales Market

Google Base

Google is beginning to cut into eBay profits by offering free services.  Any business owner will tell you that it takes money to make money, but because of eBay’s high cost per sale, sellers are trying new options including Google’s Froogle Service and Google Base.  By the time you add up the costs associated with listing fees, final valuation fees, gallery fees and other promotional fees, sellers can end up losing money selling on eBay.  If your item does not sell the first time or second time out, you are still out their listing fees. 

Mary Crane writes in Forbes Magazine that while the new Google Base service has not become a significant driver of sales for e-commerce companies as of yet, 50% of the conference attendees said they have started to list products on the database.  These eBay users include people that make 75% of their income from eBay and are considered power sellers.


eBay is still the premier site for sellers because of the volume of buyers.  When compared to Overstock, Yahoo and Amazon, eBay is the place to be.  But how can Google compete?

Google makes their money primarily from search advertising.  The company can afford to offer free space as long as they can place their ads there.  Froogle is a free service, but many of the search results will be dominated by paid advertisers.  So if you are looking for a sandblast cabinet, the top search results will be taken by paid advertisers.  But you can still advertise for free, but you will just be down the list of results.


Googles new online database called Google Base, offers sellers the opportunity to store information for free. This information can be queried like eBay, where potential buyers can find your items for sale. 

Google needs to add more features including an automated checkout or capability for third pary checkouts, and possibly a payment system to their Google Base.  They also need to get online market-helpers like Andale, Marketworks, Channel Advisor and Zoovy onboard as partners.  Some of these “helpers” have created channels for Yahoo, Amazon and Froogle.  Hopefully, sellers will need to do some minor adjustments and checkbox a list for the Google Base option, just like they do for Yahoo and Amazon right now. 


I believe Google can keep the service free by placing their text ads among search results.  Sellers could benefit by keeping their costs down.  Google should add some sort of feedback system as well.  Google Base

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Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

eBay Books

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:48 PM