one stop under left a comment on the entry about the top 20 auction sites.
"Top 20 auction sites? Isn't there only one that matters? This is pretty much a "winner takes all" industry, with numbers 2 to 20 fighting over scraps."
So I have been thinking about it, and the simple answer to that is no. Look at my previous entry.
You will note that the retail world is going to change drastically over the next five to ten years. Online Auctioning is going to become a big part of e-commerce for many small and large companies. Yes eBay currently have a monopoly in the market, especially the consumer market. But the model is just to simple, i.e its easily copied. What protects eBay? Perhaps patents around the way they display and the tools they have used. Can someone work around that. Yes I think so, but in this case I am only talking about the consumer market. The business market is open to the world and thus why Yahoo has bought a stake in www.alibaba.com. eBay have been unsuccessful moving into the Japanese market and now they are going to have to put up a fight to stay in the Chinese market.
Ok so big deal you may say since eBay's core market is the consumer market and no one break that. That's incorrect. An auctioning site can open up their site to allow people to reference their eBay seller status for a start. I don't know if this is legal...something I have to look into.
The other thing is, eBays growth is coming from online eBay stores, i.e the power sellers. But once they move to the more sophisticated alibaba.com model, eBay is going to loose a lot of its clientele.
If they then create a relationships in alibaba.com they can keep that relationship when moving to Yahoo auctions for example.
I don't think eBay is going to remain number one in this game. Only thing going for eBay is PayPal which if they can become large enough quick enough and work out the micropayment model, that alone is going to become a multibillion dollar business. The micropayment model is a hard one to crack and if it is cracked chances are all the banks will be there sharing the spoils so may not end up being as big a cash cow as eBay hopes.
Something to watch for.