Fans of shopping at eBay's
One can hardly blame eBay for pulling the plug on half.com. The consumer commerce site that allowed users to easily sell books, videos, and music in a fixed-price format, tried moving beyond media. But the other markets never really took off. At the same time, eBay is able to sell anything that half.com can sell and it's a lighter business model (read: more profitable), as the eBay site doesn't perform any middle-man activities.
For consumers, little is lost as books and other media can be picked up new from eBay or a number of locations such as Amazon
For sellers, it may be a different story. I am aware of a couple of sellers that greatly preferred the half.com site and model for selling used books. Faced with moving to the eBay model, one of the occasional sellers has chosen to go in a completely different direction, one I find very Foolish indeed.
Instead of selling her used books for a small amount of cash, she has signed up on bookcrossing.com, a free site that facilitates the giving away and trading of books. Apart from getting to read many titles she never would have purchased, she's also quickly clearing her shelves of books she read once, but is never going to read again. In doing so, she's sure they're finding a good home and quite probably enriching someone else.
Might fickle sellers be forcing eBay to keep half.com open a bit longer? Perhaps, but the couple of sellers I know do not make a pattern. And since half.com is a small piece of eBay, it's doubtful losing some sellers would have an impact on the company. In turn, spending a few extra months to pull over as many sellers as possible to the eBay site should help maximize recurring auctions and, in turn, cash flow.
Fool contributor Nathan Parmelee owns none of the companies mentioned.
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