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eBay Neighborhoods Something to Watch
October 10, 2007



600 New Neighborhoods Coming to eBay

Since late 2006, eBay, the online auction giant, has been working to maintain their growth rates. The company, though still huge in raw traffic terms, has been seeing declines in their numbers of listings and total sales in dollars during 2007, leaving openings for competitors in specific fields. Companies like Amazon.com, with lot's of business in entertainment products including secondary market sales hosting, Overstock.com which offers a wide array of household products and uBid Inc. which is structured much like eBay, offer extra services, simple formats, fewer fees and a cozier atmosphere, making them attractive alternatives to the larger eBay.

To combat these circumstances and keep their customers loyal, FOXNews reported today that, eBay is developing a Neighborhoods program, which will offer more community based initiatives. This new look for eBay will incorporate much more user content, such as product reviews and guides, Blogs and 600 Neighborhoods to allow people with similar interests to communicate in a more open and dynamic atmosphere. One might compare this to Amazon offerings, which display product reviews, user best of genre lists, industry reviews, product information and other data designed to assist the potential buyer in finding the appropriate item for purchase.

What effect this new development might have on new issue coin sales, or secondary market numismatics is not too clear. I would guess that it may make the development of successful new community based numismatic systems more difficult, unless they have an edge like the extensive price guides available through NumisMaster.com, or the narrowly defined collecting community appeal of country specific auction firms like Noble Numismatics or club based information exchange sites like Zeno.RU the Oriental Coins Database.

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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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