eBay Sellers Alliance not high on Skype as sales tool

When eBay bought Skype for what could ultimately prove to be more than $4 billion, eBay CEO Meg Whitman said a key motivator was the capability of eBay sellers and buyers to use Skype to discuss items up for bid. In other words, "hey, I might want to bid on this chandelier- can you tell me more about ...

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When eBay bought Skype for what could ultimately prove to be more than $4 billion, eBay CEO Meg Whitman said a key motivator was the capability of eBay sellers and buyers to use Skype to discuss items up for bid. In other words, "hey, I might want to bid on this chandelier- can you tell me more about ... " You get the idea.

But an article this morning on investment site TheStreet.com casts some serious doubt about how some very influential members of the eBay community are looking at Skype as a bid and sales facilitator.

Actually, they aren't. At least many members of the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance, which is a group of about 900 high-volume eBay merchants.

These aren't malcontents with a moniker, but an association that collectively accounts for a cumulative annual total of more than 70 million eBay transactions and $1 billion in transaction volume.

"Skype doesn't give me a capability that I already don't have," the group's exec director Jonathan Garriss tells TheStreet.com's Jonathan Berr. "It's not something that is going to change the way that the eBay sellers in our group are going to run the business."

Berr adds that Garriss tells him that as a result informal conversations with members of his group,  many high-volume eBay users won't sign up for Skype because they prefer to use email to communicate with customers.

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