Ebay to close Half.com next year

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by medea, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. medea macrumors 68030

    medea

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Location:
    Madison, Wi
    #1
    EBay Inc. (EBAY) plans to shut down its Half.com Web site next year and the head of Half.com will leave the company, closing an independent site for book, music and video sales that eBay once hoped would compete fiercely against Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN).
    However, eBay executives say the company has already added many of the most significant features of Half.com into its main eBay site and that the bulk of its sales of entertainment products occur on eBay.com. Half.com's president Josh Kopelman said he plans to resign from the company next month and that Half.com's approximately 65 employees in the Philadelphia-area will be offered jobs in other parts of eBay.
    "I personally view Half as a success," said Jeff Jordan, an eBay senior vice president. "Half.com helped us develop a ton of initiatives."
    The changes represented a strategic adjustment in eBay's sale of entertainment products, a growing category that pits the San Jose, Calif., company against another important online commerce player, Amazon.
    EBay paid about $241 million in stock to acquire Half.com in 2000 at the tail- end of the Internet bubble, hoping to expand its business beyond auctions of collectible merchandise. Half.com blends elements of Amazon and eBay: it lets independent merchants post new or used merchandise for sale in a fixed-price format, a style of shopping more familiar to buyers of books, compact discs and DVDs -- Half.com's main areas of business. The site's catalog-style product listings resemble the Web pages of Amazon more closely than they do eBay auctions.
    Mr. Kopelman, who founded Half.com in 1999, acknowledged the similarity early on when he registered the Web address Ebazon.com, a name he later dropped. Still, some eBay executives saw the acquisition of Half.com as a strong competitor to Amazon -- one eBay executive once referred to the site as a "scary Amazon-killer."
    Instead, eBay.com itself became a more popular venue for trading entertainment products like books, music and videos. At the same time, eBay incorporated many of Half.com features, such as fixed-price purchases and electronic payments, directly into its main site. EBay merchants sold $1.2 billion worth of entertainment products last year, most of it through eBay.com, and more than 22% of the main eBay site's overall sales now occur in the fixed- price format. Efforts to expand Half.com into new categories like sporting goods and jewelry never took off.
    Amazon, meanwhile, has seen success expanding into sale of used goods on the same Web pages from which it sells new books, compact discs and other goods.
    More than a year ago, eBay talked about plans to merge Half.com with the main eBay site, taking some preliminary steps to do so, but it backed away from a full-blown combination of the two sites after complaints from some of its users. The company is now reviving those plans, but it won't shutter the Half.com site until the end of next year, at which point it hopes Half.com sellers will move to eBay.
    Mr. Kopelman said the change will clear up some of confusion among sellers. " Right now, when someone wants to sell a book, it's hard to tell them whether to sell it on eBay or Half," says Mr. Kopelman.
     
  2. Freakk123 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Bronx, NY
    #2
    :( Thats to bad. Half.com was a good site. I made a fair amount of money on it. Also bought lots of stuff on it. Goodbye, half.com

    PS: ebazon.com? Sounds awesome! they shoulda kept it.
     

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