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Ebay reveals three year revival plan

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Ebay’s top executives have presented a three year revival plan to analysts, designed to revitalise the business and refocus it as a one stop shop for the secondary market.

“This business has continued to fall short of our expectations and customers’ expectations,” said CEO John Donahoe. “That’s not acceptable. The eBay you knew is not the eBay of today or the eBay of the future.”

Donahoe spelled out a laundry list of internal changes and specific plans both to improve the auction site and increasingly to focus on other businesses, Business Week reports:

The overall goal: To create a one-stop shop where customers can make purchases in a wide variety of ways — from bidding in auctions to clicking on ads, scanning classifieds, or making outright purchases. And he promised the site would be easier to use, offer even better deals, and provide a more satisfying experience. “The ‘buyer beware’ experience has run its course,” Donahoe said.

The company surprised many with its willingness to discuss previous mistakes, Business Week adds:

Adding to the credibility was some surprising frankness about the mistakes of the past. Time and again, executives admitted what most investors had long known — that the company spent years sitting on its lead in the online auction market and failed to respond as customers began shunning auctions for fixed-price sales. “We were the biggest and the best. And when you’re the biggest and the best, there’s a strong tendency to try to preserve that,” Donahoe said. “eBay has a storied past. But frankly, it’s a past we’ve held onto too much.”

Rather than talk tough about beating, the juggernaut of online retailing, eBay says it will focus on so-called secondary channels — making it easier for consumers to hunt for last year’s fashions, overstock supplies, and hard-to-find products such as collectibles.

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