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A New eBay After 17 Years

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Following in Microsoft’s (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) footsteps in more ways than one, auctioneer eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY  ) is looking for a new corporate identity after 17 years. It's revamping its aged logo, which still looks like it’s straight out of the 1990s during the dawn of the Internet itself. Oh, wait. That’s because that’s exactly where its old logo came from.


Old eBay logo (top) vs. new eBay logo (bottom). Source: eBay.

The company has announced that it’s changing its logo to one that’s "cleaner, more contemporary." Like Microsoft’s new digs, the design is clearly based on typographical minimalism, being little more than a modern-looking font. Incidentally, both companies also use the same four primary color palette. That was very intentional on eBay’s part as a link to the past. Starting next month, eBay will use the logo throughout its site and ad campaigns.

Devin Wenig, president of eBay, says the new logo represents the company’s "dynamic future." Like most tech players nowadays, eBay is also fully cognizant that the future is mobile, and has likewise been focusing its development efforts there. Wenig calls eBay a "mobile commerce leader," and expects to process over $10 billion this year in mobile transactions.

Historically, eBay has been known for second-hand items, like rare antiques or one-off items, but has quickly transformed into a marketplace for primarily new items, further intensifying its competition with (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) for e-commerce dominance. Amazon even has an Amazon Payments service that competes directly with PayPal. Over 70% of the items on eBay are now new items, and 65% sell at fixed prices, a move away from the auction format that made it famous.

Presumably, most of those payments will run through PayPal, which is really the belle of the ball these days, growing 26% last quarter, compared to the marketplace division’s 9%. What’s next? A new PayPal logo?

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Fool contributor Evan Niuholds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft and Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft,, and eBay. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a synthetic covered call position in Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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  • Report this Comment On September 15, 2012, at 11:32 AM, SteveFF wrote:

    For years I sold on eBay but lately it is harder and harder. I used to show people how easy it was. Not any more. My advice, don't even get started. It is very labor intensive, full of arcane rules, screens take forever to load, very dictitorial, simple rule infractions are harshly punished, you need lots of memory and faster computers every two years....and VERY expensive. I don't understand half the services offered any longer. It is a big seller site now...the little guys like me are being shunt aside. And, it is essentially no longer profitable for me. Big sign in my warehouse reads: DON'T BUY ANY MORE INVENTORY FOR EBAY SALE. Meg Whitman ruined them...good thing she was not elected to office in California.

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