Has eBay Hit The Wall Or Is The Economy The Reason

Motley Fool has reported that holiday spending at eBay this year is lower than last year, despite the fact that one would expect them to be a good source of lower priced gifts in these hard economic times.

Meanwhile Amazon has reported higher sales numbers over last year.

Are people forgoing secondhand for discounted new items? Or is there another reason eBay is being bypassed?

To truly see what is happening I would like to be able to track the number of sales being done through Craigslist. Given you have to generally pay for shipping when buying through eBay, is it possible people are going through Craigslist to save the shipping and increase the buying power of their total dollar spend?

If we had these numbers maybe they would give eBay a way to continue their growth potential.

Online spending did have a spurt for the last weekend before Christmas as we reported the other day.

Could eBay have another growth spurt if they made localization easier to organize? Right now they have hit a wall, but it could be one they can move by making the interface a little more intuitive for new users and add better access to local auctions.

If you guys over at eBay use these ideas don't forget to drop a few bucks in my Paypal account.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.