Ebay to Try Selling Auto Mechanics' Services in New Offeringc

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), July 29, 2014 | Go to article overview

Ebay to Try Selling Auto Mechanics' Services in New Offeringc


Byline: Bloomberg News

EBay Inc. plans to experiment with selling auto mechanics' services alongside car parts, said Devin Wenig, president of the marketplaces business, in an expansion of the e-commerce company's offerings.

"EBay will start a small test this fall in a couple of U.S. cities" for providing mechanics' services, Wenig said in an interview today at Bloomberg's headquarters in New York. He declined to be specific.

The plans indicate that EBay is seeking to capitalize on the boom in online services and sharing applications. Companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc. have created online marketplaces for car rides and room rentals and shown that Web companies can sell services as well as hard goods.

The trend started by sharing economy apps such as Uber and Airbnb "is in the very early beginning; we tackled ride-sharing and house-sharing but there are so many other possibilities," Wenig said in the interview. "The ones that get us excited are those where we can add value."

EBay, based in San Jose, California, has recently faced some setbacks in attracting customers. In May, the company asked users to change passwords after hackers gained access to login information. Google Inc. also changed its search software earlier this year, curbing some of the traffic to EBay's website and preventing potential shoppers from searching for items online.

"No doubt it was a challenging summer and I put, at least for our business, the privacy breach at the top of the list," said Wenig, who added that he couldn't rule out breaches happening again.

Password Reset

To remedy the breach, EBay decided to do a "dramatic password reset," he said. More than half of EBay's 149 million customers have since returned to the e-commerce site, he said.

"It was probably the largest password reset in history of any business," Wenig said. "I wouldn't recommend that as a frictionless process for an e-commerce business, but we did it because what's most important to us is our brand and that customers feel secure inside EBay."

The events have impacted the company's outlook for the third quarter. EBay said on July 16 that revenue for the current period will be $4.3 billion to $4.4 billion, lower than the $4.42 billion projected by analysts polled by Bloomberg. Profit before certain items will be 65 cents to 67 cents a share, lower than the 70 cents estimated by analysts.

EBay still grew its consumer base more than 14 percent after the privacy breach, Wenig said. …

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