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Holiday Shopping...On eBay?

Techstination feature for Thursday, November 22, 2001

Doing your holiday shopping... .on eBay? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Forget the image of bidding for stuff that's been collecting dust in somebody's garage on eBay. You can still do that. But CEO Meg Whitman says new features should attract holiday shoppers...

"Historically, if you go back four years, eBay wasn't really a holiday shopping destination. But we saw that change last year where people really did come to eBay for vintage items... for items for real value. And with our fixed price formats now... Buy It Now... and, it extends the holiday shopping season for eBay."

eBay has attracted 30 million registered users... .and has been unfazed by the problems plaguing the rest of the economy...

"Trading on the site dropped dramatically in the two weeks following September 11th. But by the first of October, we began to see the resiliency of the community. That said, in tough economic times, people come to eBay for two reasons... unique and hard to find items... .but also for items that are a real value. So you might want a DVD player, but you're happy to have last year's at forty percent off retail. So I do think in some ways the softening economy has helped eBay as a marketplace."

More and more manufacturers are setting up eBay shops as well where bargains can be found. Kodak is selling some brand new digital camera models at a discount. Palm has refurbished organizers for as low as sixty five dollars. Some buys are better that others... but if you do a little online research... you can come up with some pretty good deals. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.