“Classifieds” Searches Gaining Over “Auctions”

    May 29, 2009

eBay supporters may not love the latest graph released by Hitwise.  Data collected over the course of almost three years indicates that searches for the word "auctions" are losing out in terms of quantity when compared to searches for "classifieds."

"Auctions" managed to stay on top from the start of Bill Tancer’s graph up until March of 2007 or so.  Then, as Tancer notes, a bit of a tussle ensued.

 (Credit: Hitwise)

Tancer writes, "Summer 2008 marked the first sustain lead in ‘classifieds’ v. ‘auctions’ searches.  During the last months of 2008, however, ‘auctions’ regained the lead, signaling the utility of auctions for holiday gift buying.  2009 however, has been the year of the ‘classifieds’ as the economic downturn has fueled our desire to save money by buying second-hand goods."

And if the economy doesn’t get back on its feet soon, it seems reasonable to assume that sites like Craigslist will get even more of an edge over eBay and its sort.

One last note, for whatever it’s worth: since June of 2006 (about the time Tancer’s graph of search terms begins), eBay’s stock has lost roughly 43 percent of its value.