Is there any reason for eBay to do away with auctions? That would have been unthinkable even a few years ago, but after CEO Meg Whitman left the company in 2008, her successors seemed to have a hate-hate relationship with the auction format that – together with market forces – diminished the practice of online bidding on eBay.
In fact, eBay CEOs used to brag about how auctions went from 70% of listings to 30% of listings. (We’re not sure what percentage of listings are auction format these days, but with all the free fixed-price listings eBay offers sellers, it’s likely a fraction of what it had once been.)
“I do believe eBay is going to stop the auctions and go Fixed price, a la Amazon,” a reader wrote to me this evening, sending along a screenshot of their auction re-listings showing the default option to “Relist as fixed-price.”
Today was the first time the seller saw the new default, and when they click on the drop-down arrow, the options are “Relist” or “Sell similar.”
The seller said they wouldn’t like it if eBay stopped auctions, explaining, “Many of us use auctions as a