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GM, eBay pull plug on online car sales: Was it too early?

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General Motors and eBay are reportedly ending their online sales partnership after the experiment didn't deliver car buyers to dealers and led to some confusion.

General Motors and eBay are reportedly ending their online sales partnership after the experiment didn't deliver car buyers to dealers and led to some confusion.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the seven-week eBay experiment for GM is ending. Why? The marketplace didn't move vehicles.

Among the potential reasons:

  • Consumers were confused about opening bids;
  • Sales leads were disappointing;
  • Dealers garnered interest, but little else.

Both parties said the eBay-GM experiment was a learning experience that will lead to better offerings. The Journal quoted one dealer that wondered if GM pulled the plug too early on the eBay deal. Count me in that camp. The GM-eBay effort was worth a try, but seven weeks isn't enough time to make any definitive conclusions on its success or failure.

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Larry Dignan

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of SmartPlanet and ZDNet. He is also editorial director of TechRepublic. Previously, he was an editor at eWeek, Baseline and CNET News. He has written for WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, New York Times and Financial Planning. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Delaware. He is based in New York but resides in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure