eBay Buys Shopping.com for $620 Million
Why did it do this?
- More distribution for eBay merchants
- Popularity of comparison shopping/shopping search
- Moving beyond the auction model
- ePinions reviews/ratings/community
- The growth imperative — its stock has taken a beating in the past few quarters for not showing Google-like growth. And its umpteenth effort to raise sellers' fees has met with a mutinous response
- It's still in a buying mood (not yet sated after consuming classifieds sites in the U.S. and abroad)
Anything I left out? (Consolidation is in the air.)
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I first encountered Shopping.com about 8 years ago when they were running out of a small office in Newport Beach, CA.
The founder of HomeBase (who had lost the big box retailing war to Home Depot) has a few of his cronies on the cutting edge of e-commerce.
At the time, they were selling items like Palm Pilots at a discount. When a sale would come in, they would dispatch a runner to one of the local retailers to buy the items at full price. Then they would ship the goods to the customer.
I remember being appalled at what I perceived to be a scam operation. The more they sold, the more money they lost.
A few years later, the company had been sold at ever increasing multiples of the greater fool theory.
Exactly WHAT was Google thinking? Doesn't smell like good business to me.
They should have bought YellowPages.com, because then they would have a broader platform for their local search initiatives.