Just when you thought that it couldn't get any harder for eBay.com, along comes Go Daddy.
Go Daddy Marketplace launched on Tuesday, offering sellers a compelling model where they pay $4.99 a month for unlimited item listings. They are charged an additional 10% commission on any completed sales.
eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY ) is unlikely to lose any sleep over a new marketplace competitor. It has taken on the consumer auction initiatives of dot-com heavies like Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) , Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO ) , and Overstock.com (Nasdaq: OSTK ) in the past, and it's still the undisputed belle of the bidders' ball.
However, eBay is in no position to be cocky. It is coming off a quarter in which its marketplace revenue tumbled 16%. It's not a matter of it being susceptible. It's been hit, and hit hard.
Between niche auction sites, edgy retailers like Bidz.com (Nasdaq: BIDZ ) (that takes anentertaining spin on moving jewelry), and a plethora of Craigslist wannabe free listing sites, eBay is unlikely to ever command the type of market share that it once owned in its prime.
Does Go Daddy Marketplace have a chance as a fixed-price bazaar? Of course. You have to love the timing. Go Daddy attracts more than 2 million monthly visitors, according to comScore. They are drawn to the site's cheap domain name registrations and competitively priced webhosting services. Traffic at the site tends to spike this time of year, as the company dusts off its racy Super Bowl ads. It is letting its visitors get in on the interactive fun, allowing them to vote for one of two steamy Danica Patrick ads to run during next weekend's big game.
$5 a month is a pittance for most cottage industries, assuming they can live with the 10% commission fees on completed sales. The site already draws Web entrepreneurs for its domain services, so it's already reaching plenty of budding e-tailers. The product marketplace will also draw in sellers that Go Daddy can then try to convert into hosting accounts. All of the pieces fit, even if the Go Daddy Marketplace is slow to get off the ground.
Either way, it's just one more shovel of dirt over eBay's shallow grave.
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