On eBay, some merchants are now more equal than others. eBay signed up Buy.com to sell on the site with a special deal: no listing fees, a perk which has allowed Buy.com to litter the site with junk listings like a single AA battery — an offering that makes no economic sense under the rules that apply to other eBay sellers. That goes against the site's core principle of a "level playing field," reiterated here by founder Pierre Omidyar, in an interview with current CEO John Donahoe, just two months ago.
In the video, Omidyar talks about how retailers shouldn't be rewarded "by virtue of their stature outside the online community." And yet isn't that exactly what eBay has done for Buy.com? Donahoe is set to address eBay sellers in a keynote Friday morning at its annual eBay Live conference. How will he explain the Buy.com deal? It will surely take the very best corporate doublespeak — the sort that only a former management consultant can come up with.