Seller Update: Half.com Is Not Closing

Unless someone out there is playing one hell of an evil prank on me, today is a beautiful day! I have confirmed that today is, in fact, not the first of April, and I have been pinched so I am fairly certain that I am not dreaming. So I was very happy to receive the following email this morning:

Seller Update: Half.com Is Not Closing

Dear Seller, In our last announcement earlier this summer, we said that Half.com would be closing on October 14, 2004. We have decided not to go forward with this plan and will keep Half.com open indefinitely.

Over the last year and a half, our efforts to prepare for a consolidated marketplace for Books, Movies, Music and Video Games on eBay have helped many Half.com sellers transition to eBay, especially during this past back-to-school season. Many of you have reported being successful on eBay while growing your overall sales by selling on both platforms. This has contributed to the biggest back-to-school season ever experienced on eBay. However, with all the growth in the Books, Movies, Music and Video Games categories on eBay, we have not seen a corresponding drop in business on Half.com. In fact, loyalty to Half.com has remained strong as we witnessed yet another outstanding back-to-school season on Half.com. The buying and selling activities of the eBay and Half.com communities have proven that the Books, Movies, Music and Video Games marketplace can be more vibrant with both Half.com and eBay.

We have heard from many of you that you want the Half.com site to remain open and to have the option to sell on both platforms. Your input, as well as the data and experience we have gained during the transition efforts, are the basis for our decision to keep Half.com open. There will be no substantive changes to Half.com in the foreseeable future. We encourage you to sell on both Half.com and eBay to maximize your sales, as many of you have already done throughout the transition period. Going forward, we will invest in both platforms and allow sellers and buyers the flexibility to benefit from the unique opportunities they each allow.

If you have further questions, please read our Frequently Asked Questions page or attend one of the following live interactive Q&A sessions with eBay and Half.com executives:

- Thursday, September 30 @ 10:00am PT -- REGISTER

- Tuesday, October 5 @ 4:00pm PT -- REGISTER

We appreciate and look forward to your continued loyalty to Half.com.

Sincerely,

Mike Aufricht
VP/GM, Half.com

I would love to say that my evangelistic tendencies toward keeping Half.com alive had something to do with this, but the fact is that I haven't even finished writing my proposal yet (which, now, will need to be updated anyhow). This decision appears to have been made purely on the numbers and the overall community feedback. The eBay way.

I love it when the good guys win!! :-)

3 Comments:

  1. Weird. Hey, maybe they realized that it’s a good easy way to get new customers into eBay that isn’t actually losing money.

    Or maybe my email telling them they were total dumbasses for buying half.com only to kill it off was actually read and part of an overwhelming chorus.

    • See, that’s the thing that sets eBay apart from most companies, in my mind. All companies make stupid business decisions every now and again. But unlike most of them, eBay realizes that it is the community’s bitch, and not the other way around, and is therefore willing to listen when the community speaks loudly enough.

      It may be true that the PTB at eBay have more MBA-type business experience than inherent instinct on how the users think and use the site(s). But the one thing that has been proven time and again in eBay’s history is that listening to the community leads to profit and ignoring it leads to loss.

      I think “listen to the needs of the community” could be the missing Phase 2 that the underpants gnomes were missing!

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