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Summary:

This week’s PodSession is about eBay shopping for partners. This is inspired by recent buzz about eBay looking to take on Google with new allies such as Microsoft and/or Yahoo. EBay is voicing its concern with its checkbook and looking for new preferred advertising partners and […]

This week’s PodSession is about eBay shopping for partners. This is inspired by recent buzz about eBay looking to take on Google with new allies such as Microsoft and/or Yahoo.

EBay is voicing its concern with its checkbook and looking for new preferred advertising partners and cross-promotional opportunities. Should eBay be afraid of Google? How many management consultants did it take for eBay to wake up and realize its business direction? Is anyone safe from the growing power of Google over search and commerce?

Here are five things we suggest they do instead of mucking around with half-baked alliances.

1. Come up with eBay 2.0 and figure out a role for the company in the digital future.
2. Focus on core strengths. Buy Intuit (Quicken) to give eBay buyers and sellers accounting features.
3. Focus of the company should be Paypal and turning it into Citibank of online world. (Very Very Important.)
4. Figure out a way to get into shareware sales business. Perhaps acquire eSellerate. This is where Ebay can put its heft to good use.
5. Get into digital media sales. The recent Skype-EMI deal could be a good start.

This is just for starters. In the very near future, I am going to write a five-day series on eBay’s strategy and what they can do to grow even bigger. Funnily enough, Skype might be part of that strategy, though not as eBay might have thought. And the best part – all the advise is going to be free. McKinsey not required. I am sure one of you can even cook-up a nice PowerPoint presentation as well.

Anyway more here in week’s PodSession which is 20 minutes in length, a 9 MB download.

By Om Malik

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  1. For #3, they could open up PayPal service here in the Philippines and other unsupported countries.

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  2. Yeah, a Paypal service would be great where eBay has presence.

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  3. is it all your mind is capable of producing? Come up with eBay 2.0? Are you stuck in this meaningless conceptual fog?

    Digital media? Intuit? Bank? If you were running eBay, you would run it straight to the ground.

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  4. With a market cap of nearly $10b, Intuit would be a big pill to swallow. Although if they could figure out a way to make it integrate seemlessly with PayPal it could pay off for eBay’s ‘power sellers.’

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  5. I think #2 and #3 should go together. All in one merchant solutions should be a driving force and will increase the switching costs for ebay customers to go to Google Base or elsewhere.

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  6. “Get into digital media sales. The recent Skype-EMI deal could be a good start.”

    You must be kidding. That would be the wrong way to go…

    The should figure out paypal though

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  7. “Funnily enough, Skype might be part of that strategy, though not as eBay might have thought.”

    Or may be just as eBay did think. May be you are the one finally getting it and eBay has it figured out all along.

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  8. i believe they bought skype for:

    a. consumer brand, which could be expanded to yahoo!/google like services (email, portal, etc.)

    b. pay-per-call business

    c. the potential of skyple becoming one of a select few communications networks of the future

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  9. I WISH the Intuit deal would come true RFN!

    I’ve just had one of the worst experiences (as a merchant) with Intuit’s little merchant services branch called Innovative Merchant Services.

    What PayPal does in it’s sleep, Intuit’s little merchant services group just can’t quite seem to get straight.

    I think that would be a good marriage on a LOT of levels.

    Look out BCG & McKinsey and Co… GigaOM has arrived on the scene! And is dispensing more good ideas for free than you’d charge $185,00 for!

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  10. Om is right, ebay has no real idea of its strategy: I know it fro, there, and has lost its start up flair.
    Skype and PayPal are crown jewels though and should not be estimated.
    Intuit buy is a good idea as it would fuel the US business which is not growing as much as people would like, but it is not solving the global issue (Intuit is nearly not existant in Europe/Asia) growth.
    eBay more than anything has to reinvent itself while solving lots of internal issues such as its brand, its value proposition, its positioning, its technology …

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