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Automotive News author Richard Truett published an article titled “Why eBay Motors is losing traction” yesterday.
This is a good article about the current state of eBay Motors telling of late model automobiles just sitting in their virtual showrooms hardly noticed.
It goes on to say than even with the lower price of an eBay Motors vehicle it didn’t make much sense to buy a common everyday late model vehicle in another state. Shipping charges could raise the cost of buying out of state to what buying local would cost. Then add in the trust factor of buying just by looking at photos, it just didn’t make much sense.
The Automotive News article also tells the authors opinion of the vehicle parts and accessories section of eBay Motors.
And most of the everyday cars such as Toyota Camrys, Ford Fusions and Chevrolet Malibus listed by dealers are sitting on their virtual lots unwanted, and worse, unviewed.
It says collector and classic cars are still selling but unless a car is a classic or upcoming collectible, it gets fewer eyeballs on eBay Motors than it once did.
I reviewed 200 completed auctions for all makes of cars. I counted 21 vehicles sold. That seems like a respectable percentage — until you look deeper. The sold vehicles were mostly muscle cars, sports cars and old trucks. One sold vehicle was a clapped-out police cruiser; another was an old, beat-up tow truck. Seems like the only vehicles selling consistently these days on eBay Motors are classics and the oddballs you most likely won’t find on your local car dealer’s lot.
Richard didn’t mention the vehicle search muck up. When eBay Motors switched the vehicle pages to the eBay core format, they also changed the search to eBay core Cassini. But from what i can tell the programmers imported all the vehicle makes and models then threw in the year as an afterthought. The result of this huge boo-boo is a prospective buyer can no longer search by year alone. Due to the way the database was complied it requires selecting a Make AND Model before selecting a year or years range.
Collector car buyers are screaming like hell about this. Guys used to go into eBay Motors and search vehicles by lets say 1931 to 1944 years range, and sort by time listed soonest. This search brought up just those years range of available autos. Not no more – the new eBay Motors search will not allow it.
I did a comparison review between eBay Motors and AutoTrader.com AutoTraderClassics.com and Cars.com to see how their vehicle searches worked. It’s below in this video.
Richard also explained why he believed eBay Motors parts and accessories was loosing traction.
The parts section of eBay Motors is also rapidly losing its appeal to me. Not long ago, you could find nearly thousands of new, used or reproduction parts on eBay Motors for even the most obscure cars.
EBay used to be gold mine for those trolling the Internet for parts to restore their project cars. Surfing over to eBay was like going to a never-ending garage sale with great new items appearing every minute. Now searching for that rare part is mostly a time-suck.
Clicking through the parts listings reveals tens of thousands of generic parts listed automatically from robo-sellers, components with vague descriptions that do not fit or match the vehicles for which they are listed.
EBay was great when you could turn on your computer and wade through thousands of items owned by individuals. You never knew what treasure would turn up or how much it would sell for.
But eBay decided that businesses and new- and used-car dealers, not individuals, have deeper pockets and can provide a more consistent source of revenue. That’s probably not bad logic because, after all, eBay has shareholders to satisfy. But the change has made eBay more like a trip to the dollar store. And I ain’t buying very much anymore.
I commented on the article and also emailed Richard Truette but my comment was not approved, and he has not returned my email as of this posting.