Ebay Conference In Boston

BOSTON ?? When Pierre Omidyar founded eBay 12 years ago, he wanted to build the world’s most efficient marketplace. At the very least, he launched the most comprehensive one. Today eBay is a conglomeration of websites where people sell everything from car parts to carp arts. (What den couldn’t use a watercolor of a fish?)

But with $60 billion worth of goods changing hands on eBay’s worldwide sites this year, all that stuff has a downside: It can be a drag to pick something to buy. If you were browsing for a video game system, how would you begin to choose among the 1,342 Nintendo Wiis listed on eBay one day this week?

And so with eBay entering something resembling middle age, with growth slowing and the stock price in a funk, the company is undertaking a crucial overhaul. The goal is to make buying things easier, more entertaining and more like shopping in the physical world ?? three counts on which the company has fallen behind.

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