Thursday, July 26, 2007

Singapore Airlines Sells Seats For First A380 Flight on eBay

Singapore Airlines Ltd. plans to auction off seats for the first commercial A380 flight on eBay Inc.'s Singaporean auction site, with all proceeds from the auction going to charity.
The A380, built by Airbus S.A.S., is the world's largest commercial jet liner and can seat up to 555 passengers, although the aircraft ordered by Singapore Airlines are designed to seat fewer than 480 passengers. Singapore Airlines is the first airline to put the new jet into service, with the inaugural flight set to take off in October from Singapore to Sydney.
Anticipating high demand from aircraft enthusiasts for a seat on the inaugural A380 flight, Singapore Airlines decided to auction off tickets on eBay's Singapore Web site. Proceeds from the auction will be split into thirds, with one-third going to Singapore's Community Chest; one-third split between the Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, and The Children's Hospital at Westmead; and one-third donated to Midecins Sans Frontihres.
"Bids will be invited for seats on this history-making flight, and winning bidders will know that every dollar they pay will go to worthwhile charities," the airline said in a statement. Exxon Mobile Aviation will donate fuel for the flight, it said.
Singapore Airlines did not say when the auction for A380 tickets will start, but is accepting registrations from people interested in bidding for the tickets.
The lowest price for a single round-trip ticket from Singapore to Sydney costs S$900 (US$597) on the Singapore Airlines Web site. However, that price is only valid until Sept. 30.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

***Making it Easier to Watch Items in My eBay***

Hi everyone, I'm Subha Shetty with eBay's Buyer Experience team, with some good news for buyers who watch items in My eBay.
Currently, here's how it works. Let's say you're searching for an item and, on the search results page, you see a few items that look interesting. You click on one of them to read the complete description. It does look interesting, so you decide to watch it in My eBay by clicking the "Watch this item" link on the item page. The page refreshes to display a message saying that you're watching it in My eBay. Now, if you want to go back to the search results page to find more items to watch, you have to click your browser's Back button twice – once to go back to the original item page, and once more to get to your search results. Many buyers have said they'd like to return to search results faster, so we're changing how this works.
In the next few days, when you click the "Watch this item" link on an item page, instead of the entire page refreshing, it will quickly change to display a confirmation that you're watching the item in My eBay. And after that, you can get back to the search results page with only one click on your browser's Back button. Result? You get a faster confirmation that you're watching an item, and no additional clicks to return to your search results.
Note: the "Back to list of items" link at the top left of the item page will continue to work as before – it's an alternate way of getting back to the search results without using the browser Back button.
Sincerely, Subha Shetty, Buyer Experience Team

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

eBay and Google make ad amends, sort of

eBay said on Friday the online auction leader plans to resume placing Web advertising through Google, but that it would rely on alternative advertising services to a greater degree.
eBay is one of the biggest buyers of keyword ads on Google's leading pay-per-click advertising system, AdWords, using them to promote its online auctions. It canceled all Google ads 10 days ago in protest over the Web search company's bid to woo eBay customers to a rival payment system.
Hani Durzy, a spokesman for San Jose, California-based eBay, said his company later on Friday would begin advertising on Google, but at reduced levels than previously. eBay had been buying tens of millions of keyword ads on Google each year.
"I will tell you it will be in a much more limited way than it was before," Durzy told Reuters. "What we found is that we were not as dependent on AdWords as some people thought."
eBay owns PayPal, which, with 143 million accounts, is the world's most popular online payment service among merchants and consumers. Last year, Google introduced an alternative payment system called Google Checkout and has been seeking to woo eBay merchants to accept direct payments via the rival service.
Now eBay plans to rely to a greater degree of competing advertising systems from Yahoo, Microsoft's MSN, Time Warner's AOL, and IAC/InterActiveCorp's

Google generates virtually all its billions in revenue from AdWords, which shows related ads alongside Web search results tied to the words a user types into Google's search service.
The growing rivalry between the two companies' payment services spilled over at eBay's annual conference for key merchants last week in Boston when eBay protested Google's plans to hold a competing party outside the conference hall. Google was seeking to put pressure on eBay to accept its system on eBay auction sites. In response, eBay moved to eliminate all U.S. advertising on Google-affiliated sites. Amid the controversy, Google aborted its own promotional event.
Despite a broad sell-off in U.S. stocks--the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 1.3 percent- shares of both eBay and Google rose on Nasdaq. eBay was up 2.2 percent at $31.81 while Google added 1.5 percent to $521.77. Yahoo was down 0.8 percent at $27.45.
Story Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 22, 2007

EBay Returns to Google Advertising

SAN FRANCISCO // After a spat between two of the world's largest Internet companies, online auctioneer eBay Inc. resumed running advertising through Google Inc. on Friday.EBay pulled ads from the world's most popular search engine late June 11 in what the auction company billed as an experiment to determine the most effective means of getting customers to visit the shopping site. The move, however, had smacked of blatant retaliation as it coincided with a June 14 party that Google had been planning to siphon attention from eBay's annual user celebration in Boston.In the past week, eBay -- one of the biggest buyers using Google's AdWords marketing program -- increased advertising on Google rivals, including Yahoo Inc., IAC/InterActiveCorp.'s and Microsoft Corp.'s spokesman Hani Durzy said the experiment proved that eBay didn't need to spend as much on Google ads, which generally run to the right of Google's regular search results.Durzy wouldn't provide dollar or percentage figures but said that eBay's pullback from AdWords in the United States would be "significant.""Overall the takeaway for us was that we weren't as dependent on AdWords as some out there may have thought," Durzy said.He said traffic to the site was higher during its 10-day experiment compared with the same time a year ago, and eBay sales don't appear to have been dampened."Other partners -- Yahoo and AOL and MSN -- really stepped up and provided a lot of value," Durzy said. "And natural search continues to drive a lot of valuable traffic to the site."Google spokesman Brandon McCormick confirmed that eBay returned to AdWords on Friday afternoon."Over the last seven years, we have worked closely with eBay to drive customers to their site and build value for their business and the business of their sellers," McCormick wrote in an e-mail. "We look forward to a continued partnership."Analyst David M. Garrity applauded what amounted to eBay's snub of the search leader, noting that the 12-year-old auction company is older and more established than Google, which was founded in 1998."EBay can live without Google," said Garrity, director of research at New York-based Dinosaur Securities LLC. "EBay already has an established brand. People know what eBay does and where to go to find stuff there. If Google pretends to want to organize all the information relevant to Internet users, then it will be difficult to ignore eBay."EBay executives have insisted that pulling ads off Google was in the works for months, but the move came just as Google was planning "Let Freedom Ring" -- a reference to the fact that San Jose-based eBay, which owns transaction service PayPal, does not allow rival Google Checkout as a payment method.Google canceled the gala after eBay pulled its ads and eBay CEO Meg Whitman -- considered one of Silicon Valley's most diplomatic and unflappable executives -- said she was "not pleased" with Google's plucky party.The spat highlights the complex relationship between two of Silicon Valley's most high-profile companies, which depend on each other for traffic and revenue but increasingly compete.PayPal, which eBay acquired in 2002, is by far the most popular online transaction service, with 143 million user accounts around the world. PayPal, which had $1.4 billion in revenue last year, is vital to eBay because it is growing faster than eBay's older auction and shopping business.Google debuted Checkout only last year, though Google claims it is accepted by more than a quarter of the top 500 online retailers.Despite the complex business relationship and the blue chip status of Google and eBay, neither company has displayed much maturity over the past two weeks, said technology analyst Roger L. Kay, founder and president of Endpoint Technologies Associates Inc."Google has a ton of money and should have thrown its own party that didn't coincide with the eBay event, which was simply a guerrilla warfare attempt to draw attention on the cheap," Kay said. "And for eBay to cut ads from Google -- the old-fashioned metaphor is 'cutting off your nose to spite your face.' It was all very childish."EBay shares rose 63 cents, or 2 percent, to $31.76 in trading Friday, while Google was up $10.87, or 2 percent, to $524.98.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

PayPal Launches Payment Review for Riskiest Transactions

PayPal is launching Payment Review later this summer in order to reduce fraudulent transactions. PayPal will identify those transactions it believes may pose a risk and will keep those transactions pending while it investigates them. Once PayPal completes the transaction, sellers will be protected 100 percent - on those transactions. (All other transactions will be covered under the seller protection policy, as they currently are.)
PayPal said it believes the new procedure will have a big positive effect in reducing chargeback issues for sellers.
Jeff Clementz, Director of Product Marketing at PayPal, said it is optional for sellers, who may go ahead and fulfill pending transactions, but those transactions would not be covered under the Payment Review policy.
Clementz said when PayPal identifies a risky transaction and holds it, it will have clear messaging to buyers that it is PayPal - and not the seller - who is holding up the transaction. He said the hold time would be short, but would not be more specific at least until closer to the feature launches.
In related news, eBay took its PayPal Security Key out of beta testing and is making it available to all customers. The Key has a promotional one-time fee of $5.00 for PayPal and eBay account holders in the U.S. It will also become generally available in Germany and Australia, with more countries to follow.
The PayPal Security Key is a small electronic token that generates a unique security code approximately every 30 seconds. Members can use this code, along with their user name and password, to sign into both their eBay and PayPal accounts, helping to prevent unauthorized users from accessing them.
Editor's Note: See a demonstration of the PayPal Security Key live from the floor of the eBay Live convention.

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Big Affiliate Summit Auction on eBay

The auction on eBay to have Missy Ward, Shawn Collins, and all of the Affiliate Summit conference staff wear your company’s logo on their staff shirts during the entire Affiliate Summit 2007 East Show is almost over.
The auction on eBay ends on Monday, June 11 at noon EST.
The highest bidder will have their logo featured prominently on the front of the staff shirts. As I write this, the highest bid is $6,000.
Here is a photo from the last show when took the spot:
100% of proceeds earned from this auction will go directly to the March of Dimes.
If you are the lucky winner of having the Affiliate Summit team wear your company’s logo on the staff shirts, not only will you reap the benefits of your brand being prominently displayed throughout the entire conference (July 8-10, 2007 from 9:00am-6:00pm each day), your logo will also be featured on the Affiliate Summit site on the Affliate Marketers Care page.
And there will be lots of pictures and video from the conference, too.
Bid now - the auction ends on June 11, 2007 at noon EST.Top of Page

Monday, June 4, 2007

Oxygen Joins eBay's Ad Exchange Marketplace

Oxygen has agreed to take part in eBay's TV ad marketplace, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The cable network has bucked the precedent set by the Cable Television Advertising Bureau in agreeing to join the system. The Online Media Exchange created by eBay has the backing of several major advertisers, many of whom have committed at least a few dollars to buying commercial time through the platform. Oxygen said it made the decision to participate based simply on the potential it holds for exposure.
Advertisers initially promised to spend about $50 million within the system they commissioned eBay to create but, while specific numbers have not been released, the amount so far is assumed to be far short of that. Home Depot, Microsoft, Intel and Hewlett-Packard are among those backing the platform.