When it comes to shopping, inventory is everything. So it makes sense that eBay, which has struggled with the marketplace side of its business, would be interested in buying Milo.com, a local shopping search engine that specializes in tracking inventory.
In a release today, the company confirmed earlier reports of the acquisition but did not release details of the deal. Sources, however, told the Business Insider blog that eBay has purchased the site for $75 million.
The intention is clear: With eBay's marketplace and Milo's local inventory tracking technology, eBay has the tools to boost what it does best - matching bargain shoppers with the products they're looking for. In a statement, eBay CTO and SVP Mark Carges said:
Local commerce companies like Milo are blurring the lines between in-store and online shopping. By making accurate, real-time, local store inventory and pricing available to online and mobile shoppers, we see a huge opportunity for local retailers, small businesses and eBay sellers to reach more buyers, and for consumers to make more informed buying decisions. Since eBay is an online marketplace and doesn’t compete with brick-and-mortar stores, adding local store inventory to the eBay marketplace is a natural extension of what we’ve been doing for 15 years – bringing buyers and sellers together to access the largest selection available anywhere.
Think about how eBay has worked in the past with auctions. Shoppers come there to find rare items, stuff you might not be able to find on traditional retails shelves because they've been replaced with updated products. At the same time, eBay was also a place to find the hot new items - largely placed online by people who swoop them up at their regular prices and then turn around and place them on eBay for an inflated price.
In the commerce business, it's all about the laws of supply and demand. For some products, eBay has plenty of demand. And with Milo.com on the team, they'll also have access to the supply, too.