eBay Elsewhere : links for 19th October 2008

If you only read one eBay-related post this week, make it the one that Alan Lewis wrote:

One of the ideas that I had voiced many times was to add each employee’s eBay user ID in the company web directory. When eBay bought Skype, it added everyone’s Skype ID to the directory, making the omission of eBay IDs all the more striking. This small change would give those who don’t use the site nowhere to hide (and come to think of it, eBay IDs should probably be added to public announcement board posts too). “Oh, Bob, I see you haven’t sold anything for six months… are you sure that the changes you are suggesting to the SYI page are a good idea?” Working at eBay without using the site is like being a chef who won’t eat what they cook.

And if you haven’t already read the Forbes piece that Alan refers to, that’s worth a read too.

Unsurprisingly, the Q3 results and gloomy forecast for Q4 brought about a lot of comment. The Motley Fool calls eBay this morning’s most popular four-letter swear word. CNNMoney asks has eBay hit its twilight? And Barron’s, who predicted the eBay staff layoffs a month ahead of time, predicts that more radical moves may be ahead.

Biggest surprise of the week though, is perpetual eBay bad mouther Gary E. Sattler who says he’s not giving up on eBay yet. He calls eBay’s shares “a serious bargain right now”. His one sticking point? Sellers not being able to leave negs for their buyers. Feedback is the least of the issues that eBay sellers, buyers and the company itself face right now: analysts shouldn’t base their opinions on their wives selling off a few of their kids’ old clothes.

Myself, I’m with JPMorgan analyst Imran Khan, quoted on computing.co.uk: “We believe eBay’s biggest challenge is an inferior technology platform, which is making it difficult for the company to compete with other e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon’s.”

‘And finally’, there’s a lively discussion going on in AuctionByte’s comments about who should replace John Donahoe as eBay CEO. I wasn’t aware there was a vacancy.