E Bay Vs. Amazon.Com

Fixed prices or dynamic pricing? Whichever wins biggest will shape the future

Daniel J. Boone buys a lot online, and it's not just because he lives in remote Juneau, Alaska. After finding some antique postcards early last year on auctioneer eBay Inc.'s Web site, the 30-year-old lawyer has returned repeatedly for such items as a shower radio and a computer scanner. Growing far beyond its start as a motley flea market for collectors of Pez dispensers and Beanie Babies, eBay now has more than 2 million items for auction daily. It's expected to quadruple gross merchandise sales this year, to $3 billion, from which it skims a profitable 6%. For many of its 3.8 million registered members, eBay has become a prime online shopping stop. Says Boone: "I look there first for just about everything."

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