EBay shoots to be Westfield for e-tailers

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EBay shoots to be Westfield for e-tailers

EBay Australia intends to become the Westfield of Australian online shopping, building an open commerce platform and expanding its merchandising, said its local head of operations.

Lisa Wong said eBay’s status as a “flea market” or place for collectors had given way to a retail shopping mall platform with three-quarters of sales for new products.

“EBay is no longer a secondary market, 78 percent of our items are new,” Wong told gathered media and IT industry at a Gold Coast conference this morning. “Our most sought-after categories are mainstream electronics and DVDs.”

Wong pointed to the additions of Logitech, Navman and ABC Shop as evidence the US e-tailer had arrived as a host partner for Australian retailers.

EBay would also pursue mobile e-commerce through acquisitions last year of Red Laser, an iPhone barcode scanning application, and the Milo shopping engine.

“We will continue to blur the lines of on and offline retail,” she said.

"We’re building an open commerce platform so anyone from Joe down the street to even Harvey Norman if he wants to can sell on eBay.”

Lorenzo Coppa, The chief executive officer of Melbourne e-tailer eStore.com.au, told the conference the high prices of retail goods in Australian capitals by world standards was not enough for online sellers to build "sustainable businesses".

eStore.com.au started 20 years ago as City Software and had about 14,000 products online, Coppa said.

Pointing to perceived difficulties with buying offshore, Coppa said the intervention of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission kept e-tailers "honest" and "you can return products and the cost per unit is cheaper".

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