eBay, the 90s are calling

10Nov08

Who would have thought that the original innovator of the online consumer marketplace would become as obsolete as a home land line or the macarena?

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According to a BusinessWeek article published yesterday, things are far more competitive than before in the online marketplace…well, marketplace.  The concept of an online auction is becoming archaic as consumers expect immediate bargains, not ones they need to wait a week in an auction queue to reap the benefits of.  It’s amazing to me how much this evolution parallels the mood in secondary education.  We don’t like waiting an entire term (or goodness forbid, a semester) to hear about our grades.  We expect to see a running tally of our progress, which tools such as BlackBoard facilitate, and to be able to pad our tabulation with extra credit opportunities.

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Forget making a bid – students are only interested in the Buy It Now option.

The article references a site called Etsy, where shoppers and artisans can exchange handmade goods in a grassroots setting.  I like to think of this as the insight exchange that goes on in student lounges across the country about grading tactics and how to make the system work for them.

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This progression is just yet another vivid illustration of the importance of personal connections in the modern marketplace.  No one wants to feel ostracized in a competitive auction setting anymore.  Whether we’re consumers of Pixar collector’s figurines, hand-stitched vegetable-inspired handbags, or a knowledge of operations management, the name of the game is feedback, honest communication, and collaborative effort.

That being said, I’d like my figurines by Tuesday, that bag on my holiday wish list, and an A in Operations.  Thanks, world.

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