EBay Motors, which has more traffic than any other auto site, has just sold its two- millionth car. Of course, the status as traffic leader should be asterisked, as execs from Autotrader, Autobytel and Cars.com are quick to point out. Most people come to eBay Motors to look for used auto parts, or maybe to ogle listings for rare Ferraris.
But eBay's success in selling used cars can't be as readily dismissed. This is especially true as American car buyers continue their swing toward private-party auto sales. According to research by Borrell Associates, private-party sales have now surpassed independent auto dealer sales.
With eBay Motors, eBay is going for the gold, ramping up its used-car sales by going local for the first time since the eBay Local Trading experiment in 1999-2000. In May, it launched tests of local listings in four markets: Chicago, Seattle, Miami and Washington, D.C. I couldn't see anything, but logged-in residents of those markets apparently see a new section at the end of their search results called "Additional vehicles near [your ZIP code]."
Internally, the effort is being called "eBay Motors 2.0." We'll see. The company needs a hit, and apparently eBay Motors is one of its best prospects. (thanks to Interactive in Chicagoland and The Classified Intelligence Report for the lead).