eBay £1.7bn cash, eBay alternative worth $9.00

CATEGORY: News

Rosalinda Baldwin The Auction Guild values MightyBids.com as worth little more then the cost of registering it’s URL. That’s in comparison to eBay with almost unlimited cash reserves. That valuation jives with the current bid of $25,100.00 that’s been placed on the auction sale of MightyBids.com which is perversely selling itself on eBay – the site it was set up to compete with. So will the buyer be getting value for money? Well with 44 bids the reserve hasn’t been met so the seller obviously thinks the site is worth more (Although the reserve has been lowered it’s still not met).

MightyBids.com was set up four years ago in Canada as an alternative to eBay when one of the founders became disillusioned with paying eBay fees. According to the owner the site had grown to over 100,000 users spread across Canada, the US and Europe and a staff of 22 were employed to run the site. Now it’s a ghost town with employees let go and all listings cancelled whilst the site is reworked. Founder Peter Michaud expects auctions to restart around the time the site sale on eBay ends on July 1st.

Everything feels wrong about this company, why would you undertake a major rework of the site which involves shutting it down at the same time you’re trying to sell it? Why let your employees go leaving the buyer with little more than a handful of URL’s and some reworked code? What value is there in your 100,000 users if they’re off selling on other venues because your site is shut down? I’m starting to agree with the $9.00 valuation by Baldwin. There are no financials available and currently MightyBids owners aren’t saying if the site has been profitable. eBay themselves haven’t been in touch to buy the site, but maybe they’re waiting to snipe the MightyBids.com auction on their own site?

I’m frustrated by MightyBids.com, they’re doing alternative auction sites a disservice by the manner in which they’re selling themselves. Selling a closed (or at best a site undergoing major maintenance and out of service) with no financials, really is little more than a web address. Even the statement from the owners doesn’t inspire confidence:

The new owner (if the sale was successful) will have to do what MightyBids condemn eBay for and that’s put site profitability as a higher priority. If the site isn’t making money it doesn’t matter how happy the users are, long term the site won’t be around to support them.

Alternative sites which want to compete with eBay need to understand two fundamental principles: Fees are not a bad thing, they fund the future of the site and as Dan Wilson has often said “You can’t out-eBay eBay” – look for a market niche of enthusiasts you can build a site to cater for.

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