Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ebay about to trial "Skype Me" callback feature in US

Next week Ebay will finally start testing their Skype callback feature which lay at the heart of their justification for coughing up over $4bn for the London based VOIP company.

Meg Whitman, the company’s CEO, said that Ebay will launch a pilot programme to test Skype with 14 categories of goods on its US site, starting Monday.

Ebay has already tried out Skype tests in a limited number of other countries, including China.

Certain Ebay merchants (probably with higher priced items such as cars or property) will place a "Skype Me" button when listing their good for sale. This will then allow the buyer to call the seller and chat about the product in more detail before they transact - or not.

My concern is what happens if the seller is not available when the buyer calls. After all the Internet is largely about instant gratification!

Fingers crossed for Ebay, cos it'll make them look a bit dumb paying so much for Skype if the callback feature isn't a big hit.

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