Will eBay Ever Be Caught?

August 2nd, 2007 | Categories: markets, networks, social media, strategy, trends

eBay logoeBay has been at the top for a long, long time. It is one of the few to have successfully weathered the dot-com crash of the late 90s and early 2000s. In doing so, it has established itself as the premiere online auction spot. Ask anyone to name an online auction service. Chances are they will name eBay 99 times out of 100.

Why has the company been so successful? Why hasn’t any other auction site been able to make a run at eBay? After all, an auction is not sophisticated technology. The underlying concept itself has been around for centuries, perhaps even milleniums. The reason eBay has been at the top for so long is because of the Network Effect. Please read the preceding post to gain a full understanding of the rest of this post.

So what is it going to take for someone to challenge eBay (if indeed it is possible)? eBay must have an Achilles’ heel………. right? I sure hope so. Anytime a monopoly emerges, the best interest of the consumer is in jeopardy.

The way I see it, some company is going to have to pour a ton of money into a killer auction app to have a fighting chance against eBay. Even then, I’m not so sure the giant can be beaten. eBay isn’t trying to create a market. eBay is the market.

Anyone have any idea how eBay can be conquered? Or what it might take to do so?


  1. Michael Says:

    A lot of these great sites were started by accident. I believe Ebay was started as an experiment to see what would happen with an even playing field. It’s amazing to see what happens when you let your mind wander.

    Aka I don’t know if the next greatest competitor to Ebay will get there by someone sitting in a chair going: “I’m going to kick Ebay’s ass”. Look at Youtube.

  2. Joe Anderson Says:

    Sue. Winning a massive lawsuit is the only way I can think of bringing it down!

  3. Josh Harrison Says:

    I don’t see anyone taking down ebay. But I do think you could tailor an auction site for a specific category and then provide unique features specific to products in the category. ebay won’t be able to provide customization down to that level.

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