What eBay Could Learn From Craigslist Matt 06 Jun 2005

13 comments Latest by www.sbkicks.com

What eBay Could Learn From Craigslist (NY Times) points out how fostering a dialogue between customer and company has helped CL steer around icebergs.

Were eBay interested, it could learn something else from Craigslist about doing business: how to reach decisions while consulting with its community, eliminating surprises and ill-considered choices. Mr. Newmark, who works full time performing customer-service chores, remains certifiably 100 percent hubris-free…”Folks, we’re considering charging apartment brokers for apartment listings in N.Y.C.,” Mr. Newmark told the community earlier this year, explaining in great detail the pros and cons. He added that he would “need your help figuring out what I’ve missed.”

CL’s success also shows you don’t need to staff up to some big number in order to enjoy big traffic growth.

Data collected by Nielsen/NetRatings show that eBay’s page views in April 2005 grew by less than half a percentage point, compared with the previous April. At Craigslist, page views grew 130 percent in the same period. According to the company’s data, its traffic is now about a fifth of eBay’s. And the operational efficiencies are astounding: Craigslist has 18 employees; eBay has 8,800.

13 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Mathew 06 Jun 05

8,800 employees! Any information about what they are all doing?

JF 06 Jun 05

8,800 seems like a lot, yes, but $0.25 of every dollar spent on the internet flows through a eBay property (remember, they own PayPal too), so I suppose they’re all pretty busy.

Brad 06 Jun 05

According to the company’s data, its traffic is now about a fifth of eBay’s.

Okay, but so what? Comparing the growth in page views between craigslist and eBay seems irrelevant. Craigslist’s revenue is not based on page views, it’s based on employer-placed job ads. Did craigslist revenue increase by 130 percent from April 2004-April 2005? Seems to me that’s a more interesting indicator of growth than page views.

Michelle Lee 06 Jun 05

Depends—page views are important to the bottom line if the site receives significant advertising revenue. EBay is, Craigslist isn’t (yet?).

álvaro 06 Jun 05

According to the company’s data, its traffic is now about a fifth of eBay’s.

And CL revenue is one fifth of eBay’s? Until that comparing that indicators doesn’t make much sense…

dmr 06 Jun 05

Seems like a lot of web biz could benefit from more open communication about a site’s features and development plans with their audience. I wonder… what are some ways in which you could improve the quality (and quantity if very low) of customer feedback?

Jeff Wheeler 06 Jun 05

I saw this article as well, and was absolutely amazed. It is impressive that such a large amount of people know about Craigslist, as I almost never see links to it.

I found it funny the other day when my brother came telling me about this site he’d found that let him buy the furniture he needed for college. He explained it, never mentioning the name, and it was very easy to know what he was talking about. He thought it was somewhat exclusive though, and that he was cool for finding it. Then he realized he wasn’t so original.

Jon Konrath 06 Jun 05

Looks like a reporter at the Times needs to do their research and maybe pick up a copy of A Perfect Store. Pretty much every major eBay has implemented in the last decade is one they’ve asked their customers about.

mal 08 Oct 05

joe you’re a screw up..don’t ruin a good thing

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