Every person and business is being affected by the economy. Cheaponline tools suddenly feel more expensive. For example, those EBayorders are starting to feel expensive. Why? Transaction costs andbidders often drive the price of used goods to be the same as the priceof new goods.
Incidentally, EBay reported better earnings. How is that even possible?
EBay is adapting to the new environment. In the last quarter, itoverhauled its listing fees and changed seller behavior: it encouragedsellers to offer more fixed-price items.
Still, how do you compare EBay to Craigslist? Craigslist is an addedcompetition to my real estate business. Still, you get what you payfor. The most recent story was the Craigslist killer. Scary.
But anyhow, back on topic.
 Number 1 on the money saving tip is Craigslist.It works because it brings the user to the local community, and thenconnects its buyer with its seller effortlessly and for free.
 Facebook. Facebook completely redesigned its marketplace. Now you can list things and all of your friends can see what you are selling. Most importantly, it leveraged its user-base…usersmight be accessing the site for free, but Facebook owns the gateway andthe playground. What did Facebook do? It added an “marketplace” iconright on the bottom left of every user’s page. Brilliant!
 Find a job? Build a website. This is a bit old. It’s a bit 1990. In fact, a better way to get the right contacts is to use linked in.
 Run a blog. This one is bit of a gamble and is time-consuming. Iread one guy who ran a blog about celebrities. He generated millions ofviewers over the course a few years. He made no more than a fewthousand dollars, gained weight, and was out of shape after all ofthat. Still, bloggers connect with other bloggers. It is in effect anunderground social network. It’s like facebook but with content andwith a soul (facebook is a passive feeder of information). You haven’tseen my blog? Check it out. Online. No joke. Back in the day you could cut out coupons from newspapers but this medium is on the decline.
 Get paid to do surveys. Sure, you get paid $1 or $5 or $10 but it adds up. I only know this one.
 Yahoo? I have given up on Yahoo. But I’ll add it on the listjust because it reported terrible results and still has made no deal ina search partnership with Microsoft. That means I cannot recommendMicrosoft OR Yahoo on this list. Even EBay makes the list despitecompetition from craigstlist.
Since EBay is on the topic, I have one word. Skype. EBay confirmedit wishes to sell off Skype. It’s taking a huge loss on this one. Thisonce again reminds businesses that once you get out of your element (ofa core business), buying other businesses that don’t add to the coreoffering will only get you in trouble. Money-losses are one thing, butthe distraction to the company is enormous.
EBay – Lower Profits
Disclosure: I hold no positions in EBay, Yahoo, Google as reflected in my KaChing virtual portfolio here.