Last night a friend emailed me to ask if the launch of eBay Express meant that Half.com would be going away soon, or somehow taking a back seat. Today another friend sent me a link to a LifeHacker post in which one of the comments posed a similar question.
Now, let me be clear in pointing out that I am in no way an official spokes-model for eBay. But, in the words of William Shatner*, "here I am to speak what I do know."
eBay Express is geared towards convenience-oriented shoppers who are looking to buy new, fixed-price goods within a more conventional e-commerce experience. If you just want to snag a copy of the Firefly DVD and get back to your regularly scheduled day, eBay Express is right up your alley.
Half.com is geared more towards bargain shoppers, who are primarily looking for the best price on an item, and are usually perfectly happy to buy used. If you're staring down the syllabus for your spring semester of law school or nursing, you will come to truly understand the wonder and beauty that is Half.com.
In the brick and mortar world, retail record/book stores and used record/book stores coexist quite nicely. The same buyer may go to one store for one type of shopping, and to the other for a different type of shopping. So I don't see how these two venues could be seen as anything but complimentary.
If they actually were planning on shutting down Half.com, you would all have heard a piercing, gut-wrenching shriek, which a Spaniard would correctly identify as the sound of ultimate suffering (with me at its epicenter). Instead, you see me smiling to myself and humming softly. All is right with the world.
* With apologies to William Shakespeare. Although Shakespeare probably would have loved Shatner's rap rendition of "No Tears for Caesar."