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ebayA lot of material “partnering” has been going on in the auction business lately.

May 8, 2014, Invaluable and eBay announced a partnership: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/invaluable-ebay/

July 14, 2014, Sotheby’s and eBay announced a partnership: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/sothebays/

February 5, 2015, Proxibid and eBay announced a partnership.

What is the common denominator here? eBay.com

Proxibid and eBay’s partnership appears to be involving equipment and industrial property. But who knows what will be next after that? I would think likely everything else Proxibid offers?

As I understand, eBay would potentially drive bidders to auctions on Proxibid, and Proxibid customers (clients?) will then have access to those additional bidders.

Yet, as we have discussed before, the typical eBay buyer today is not the same eBay buyer ten years ago.

eBay basically has moved from an auction-style marketplace to a listing service with buy-it-now or best-offer options … because the online buyer wants their purchase now, not ten days from now.

The typical eBay users doesn’t want to wait for an auction to close, nor the bidding to be concluded a week from now. They want to find what they’re looking for and make their purchase.

For any auction company to suggest that they are “opening up [their] platform to eBay’s 155 million users” is somewhat disingenuous. We have a weekly auction in Groveport, Ohio which using that same logic is open to the world’s 7.3 billion potential bidders. In fact, isn’t every auction open to that many bidders?

Of course, not all the world’s population will be in Groveport, Ohio on a Wednesday; nor will all these 155 million active users bid on Proxibid’s auctions. More importantly, however, most of those 155 million eBay users won’t pay any attention to anyone’s auction-style listings.

Just as I was not confident in Invaluable’s eBay partnership, and Sotheby’s eBay partnership, I’m not confident in Proxibid’s eBay partnership either. But we won’t have to wait long to see how all this works out.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Hondros College of Business, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School and Faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University.