eBay pop-up store hits Big Apple

November 23, 2009 2:52:20 PM PST
Stores will be pulling out all the stops this week to get people to spend money. We all know eBay is an online shopping site. But this year, they have a store right here in New York. Located next door to Bergdorf Goodman at East 57th and Fifth avenue sits a most unlikely store, E-commerce giant eBay. The more than 5,000 square foot pop-up store in Manhattan is a first for eBay and will only last until the end of November as a way to boost sales online.

"We are cautiously optimistic," eBay's Alan Marks said. "We have seen our business stabilize this year. Sold items on the site are up. Consumers are trading down a little bit, as people look for value and bargains. And that's what eBay sellers offer. You get great deals on eBay with an incredible selection of products."

There are more than 200 million live listings on eBay. While auctions are still a popular way to buy, more items are being offered under the "buy it now" option. And many items are brand new, including designer shoes, video games and housewares. The store is laid out like the eBay Web site, with categories like gamer and urbanite.

While you cannot buy any of the merchandise on display at the store, you can shop for it. There are more than a dozen computer terminals set up, waiting for your bid.

Loyal eBay shoppers like Robin Raines like the convenience and variety eBay has to offer.

"When you need to get a gift for somebody, you want to get them something they weren't expecting," she said. "So you want to be more creative. And you can put in a concept, and you can get a huge selection of things that you find out are all related, and then ultimately, you get a brainstorm of something you want to give."

The Manhattan pop-up store isn't the only marketing tool being used by eBay this holiday season. Mobile eBay stores have been driving through about a dozen cities around the country to drum up sales. Like other retailers, eBay has taken a hit during the recession, but are now seeing a bit of a comeback as consumers shop around for the best deals.