Google’s Checkout and eBay’s PayPal unit are showing off their big holiday offers, designed to get you to use their services when making your holiday purchases online.
Google Checkout is giving $5-$50 off purchases at a number of online stores. You can get:
- $5 off orders over $30 - PCSuperstore, TheNerds.net, Cost Central, DayDeal.com, Eforcity.com, KitchenSource.com, ReStockIt.com, Cufflinks Depot, Precious Accents, UpTempoAir.com
- $5 off orders over $50 - ToolsForLess, AllBrands.com, Discount Dance Supply, Golfballs.com
- $10 off orders over $10 for new buyers only - Buy.com
- $10 off orders over $30 - Comp-U-Plus (Enter coupon code GOOGLE10), Mrs. Fields
- $10 off orders over $50 - HandHelditems.com (Enter coupon code googleoff10 prior to Checkout)
- $10 off orders over $60 - Aéropostale, Jockey.com, Your Electronic Warehouse, US-Mattress.com, DVD Empire, Flashlightz.com, Coffee Bean Direct, SelectBlinds.com, Stacks and Stacks Housewares, Discount Golf World
- $10 off orders over $75 - Beauty.com, drugstore.com
- $10 off orders over $100 - TigerDirect.com, WeaKnees.com (Enter coupon code holiday10), Comp USA, Software Surplus, Digital Foto Club, Dyscern, Focus Camera, SuppliesNet
- $15 off orders over $150 - MyJewelryBox.com, BowlingBall.com
- $20 off orders over $100 - LuggagePros.com, ArtSelect, Oriental Furniture, Designer Athletics, AdiamorEvesAddiction.com (Enter coupon code google20 prior to Checkout)
- $20 off orders over $200 - AreaRugs.com
- $50 off orders over $500 - TheFurniture.com, AJ Madison, Gem Stone King
- eBags.com Enter coupon code PAYGOOGC07 to get 20% off purchases.
- FoxStore.com Enter coupon code GOOG10 to get 10% off all purchases.
- Shoebuy.com Enter coupon code GOGOOG to get $5 off all purchases
What’s the best deal? All of them! You’ll have to figure out, based on the size of your purchase, which is the best savings for that particular item. One tip: Seperate items into multiple orders so you can get the discount multiple times.
The highest percentage discount: $10 off $30
The least useful but most exciting: Buy.com’s $10 off $10. If you’re a new customer enjoy it, everyone else just ignore. Here’s Buy.com’s page of items that are free or almost free after the discount is applied.
Potential best deal: 20% off everything at eBags. If only they sold more than bags.
PayPal’s holiday deal, I’m sad to say, tops or matches Google in almost every situation. They’re offering 20% cash back, up to $50, on purchases at 14 stores. At the same levels as Google’s offering:
- $30 - Google: $5 or $10 / PayPal: $6
- $50 - Google: $5 or $10 / PayPal: $10
- $60 - Google: $10 / PayPal: $12
- $75 - Google: $10 / PayPal: $15
- $100 - Google: $10 or 20 / PayPal: $20
- $150 - Google: $15 / PayPal: $30
- $200 - Google: $20 / PayPal: $40
- $500 - Google: $50 / PayPal: $50
I miss the good old days last year of $10 off $30 and $20 off $50. No major retailers offering that now.
A German court has fined Google for using the Gmail.com domain in Germany despite not being allowed to use the trademark in that country. The court ordered Google to pay $14,000 (10,000 Euros) because the use of the domain, even though Google calls it Google Mail there, means that Google is only partially complying with the law and infringing on the true owner of the Gmail name.
At least it wasn’t a lot of money.
UPDATE: Also worth noting that there’s been some evidence lately that Google is preparing a new interface for Gmail, including Google Gears integration for offline usage and data on who’s accessing your account from where.
I’m not sure if I really understand what it does, but Unype is an application that links up Skype and Google Earth. I think it lets you browse the world with a Skype buddy, and there’s also a Facebook/Google Maps application. Check it out and let me know what you think
(via Andy Beal)
Top photo credit: jagelado under CC
ComScore’s latest search engine market share numbers use a different methodology, one which includes partner sites that use a company’s search technology (such as YouTube, owned by Google). The new number give Google a nice boost and cost Yahoo and Microsoft somepreviously hard-won market share. Here’s the market share comScore reported in June with the old system, and the market share under the new system, plus the new July numbers:
You can see how Google gains over five points, Yahoo loses 1.3 percentage points Microsoft loses one, Ask loses a third of a point and Time Warner gains a third. The new system counts the top five search sites, the top fifty sites with search technology (like MySpace), major search verticals (like eBay and Amazon), partner search sites, search tabs (Google News, Google Images), local search (maps), and searches on international portals.
A little under 1/6 of Google’s searches come from YouTube and other Google sites. Mapquest gets more searches than AOL Search. MySpace search counts for about 2.5% of the entire market, and should be counted under Google, since Google powers it. Craigslist and Amazon are just under 1% apiece.
Nielsen//Netratings released their July numbers as well. The details:
Table 1: Top 10 Search Providers for July 2007,
Ranked by Searches (U.S.)
||Share of Searches
|| Yahoo! Search
||MSN/Windows Live Search
|| AOL Search
|| Ask.com Search
|| My Web Search
|| BellSouth Search
|| Comcast Search
|| Dogpile.com Search
|| My Way Search
You Gotta love the Webware 100 Awards. With ten winners per category, every multi-billion-dollar corporation can win multiple times, often in every category! Gee, it’s just like the Oscars!
Here’s what Google won:
Google Reader won in the Browsing category, Gmail won in the Communications category, Google won in the Data category, YouTube won in the Media category, GOOG-411 won in the Mobile category
*, Gmail Mobile won in the Mobile category, Google Maps Mobile won in the Mobile category, Google AdWords/AdSense won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Google Calendar won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Google Docs won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Blogger, won in the Publishing category, Feedburner in the Publishing category, Google Analytics won in the Publishing category, and Google Maps won in the reference category.
My Yahoo - Browsing; Yahoo Mail - Communication, Yahoo Messenger - Communications; Yahoo Search - Data; Flickr - Media; Yahoo Video - Media; Yahoo OneSearch - Mobile; Yahoo Maps - Reference.
Internet Explorer - Browsing; Windows Live Hotmail - Communications; Windows Live Messenger - Communications; Windows Live Search - Data; TellMe - Mobile; Microsoft Office Live - Productivity and Commerce; Silverlight - Publishing; Microsoft Virtual Earch - Reference.
Everyone else makes an appearance, and in most categories, every major player is a winner. I love award shows where everyone wins. It’s like those Little Leagues where everyone gets a trophy and no one learns to be an adult.
(via The Google Analytics Blog)
* - cough, bullshit, cough. It’s a brand new service, and unless it feeds the homeless, it deserves nothing yet. Category filler.
Google doesn’t lose often. Sure, there are plenty of small projects they start that never take off, but everything they’ve gone full-bore into they’ve done pretty decently in. Not Google Checkout, though, and eBay knows it. The Seattle P.I.’s Danny King puts it in a way that gets right to the point:
EBay Inc.’s Meg Whitman is doing what most Internet chiefs can only dream of: She’s beating Google Inc. in at least one corner of the Web.
It’s funny to think of it that way, but eBay is definitely winning this one so far. Google isn’t earning a dime on Checkout, and is spending money to get customers. eBay is even bragging that it won’t allow its users to pay with Checkout because Checkout users are dissatisfied with the service:
“In the latest survey we did, only 14 percent of Google Checkout users were pleased with their experience,” Whitman said in the June 15 interview on “Conversations with Judy Woodruff,” which aired on Bloomberg TV on Wednesday. She said eBay may eventually use Google Checkout if more people are satisfied.
They’ve got the high ground in this one, and they’re loving every minute of it.
Yahoo’s partnership with PayPal deepens, with Yahoo Publisher Network (their contextual advertising program) publishers receiving their monthly check, if they choose, deposited right into their PayPal account. The best part about the new system: PayPal isn’t taking its usual commission off your earnings (almost certainly part of Yahoo’s deal with them), so you get to keep 100% of what you make, and put it in a useful place.
I wonder, is there a way to receive PayPal payments via credit card without being subject to commissions? I have a friend who he and his wife are looking to adopt, and would like to help them raise money to pay for it, but I don’t want 3.2% of every donation being wasted on PayPal fees. Got any ideas?
eBay ended its Google boycott earlier this week after just under two weeks of deciding not to buy AdWords ads. The boycott, which was started as a protest to a Google party designed to steal eBay’s customers from under their noses, taught eBay an important lesson: They didn’t need those ads as much as they thought they did. eBay resumed their ad buys, but at a lower rate, after seeing that the millions of dollars they were giving Google could be better spent elsewhere.
Hani Durzy, a spokesman for San Jose, California-based eBay, said his company later on Friday would begin advertising on Google, but at reduced levels than previously. eBay had been buying tens of millions of keyword ads on Google each year.
“I will tell you it will be in a much more limited way than it was before,” Durzy told Reuters. “What we found is that we were not as dependent on AdWords as some people thought.”
Hitwise has charts showing that eBay’s traffic was minimally impacted.
Chalk this up to more money Google Checkout has cost Google. Google loses money on Checkout every day, since it has to process credit cards and collects zero fees, and also gives away free money in many promotions. Now, it has cost Google a good portion of one of its biggest advertiser accounts. How much money does Google need to lose in the pursuit of Checkout before it gives up and tries to find a better business to get into?
eBay is holding an event for its sellers called eBay Live! in Boston this week, and Google Checkout thought it would be cute and hold a party tonight during the event. They called it the Google Checkout Freedom Party, obviously trying to court PayPal sellers to Google Checkout, and eBay was not amused. Yesterday, Google cancelled the event.
Update to our event on 6/14
eBay Live attendees have plenty of activities to keep them busy this week in Boston, and we did not want to detract from that activity. After speaking with officials at eBay, we at Google agreed that it was better for us not to feature this event during the eBay Live conference. Google is constantly reaching out to new users and sellers, and we are available to privately discuss any matters of concern with individuals as they relate to Google products. Interested parties may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The reason Google cancelled the party? Pressure from eBay. According to reports at Valleywag, eBay stopped buying ads on Google.com Wednesday morning as a response to the blatant shot at their customers, and Google caved as quickly as it could. Google may be worth triple what eBay is, but eBay is responsible for a ton of Google’s revenue, buying automatic insertion ads for almost every unfilled keyword, and thus making it a significant percentage of Google’s entire revenue base. Google had no choice.
Fortune asked MBA candidates the places where they most desire to work, and Google topped the list. The top 10:
- 1. Google
- 2. McKinsey & Company
- 3. Goldman Sachs
- 4. Bain & Company
- 5. Boston Consulting Group
- 6. Apple
- 7. Microsoft
- 8. General Electric
- 9. Nike
- 10. Bank of America
Where do you want to work most? Me, I want to work in a candy factory. As long as they have good dental.
20.58% of all questioned listed Google in their top 5, compared with 10.78% for Apple, 7.82% for Microsoft, 4.8% for Yahoo (#22), 4.71% for IBM (#23), 4.24% for Amazon (#26), 2.96% for eBay (#42), 2.37% for Dell (#53), 2.13% for HP (#59), 2.05% for Time Warner (#63), and 1.78% for the CIA (#74). Glad to see a good number of the top 10 are soul-sucking investment companies.
(via MacNN > Findory)
Yahoo has closed another service, and this time not because it also owned Flickr. Yahoo Auctions will be closing June 16, 2007 in both the U.S. and Canada, while the Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan auction sites will remain open. Some account tools will remain available until October 29.
While I’m sure lots of people used Yahoo Auctions, it must be way too hard for an all-purpose auction site to compete with the likes of eBay. We’ve seen specific niche sites, like StubHub, grow into something popular (and then get bought by eBay, natch), so until eBay does something stupid and ruins its own marketplace, the best bet might be to go small. Yahoo Auctions tried to be eBay, and there’s only room for one of those.
The question I always ask about Google is, is there only room for one major search engine? I bet Yahoo’s been asking that question a lot lately.
News broke today that eBay bought StumbleUpon, a website that has a community helping people find new interesting web pages. eBay reportedly paid about $40-45 million for the site, which has become hugely popular lately, beating out Google and AOL. No one really knows why eBay bought it, since it really isn’t their line of work, but somehow they wind up in the talks for every web acquisition. Maybe eBay needs to decide if it is going to be a marketplace or a web giant.
It’s very interesting that this happened the same time as Google released the new Picks For You feature for the Google Toolbar, competing directly with the similar button on Stumble’s toolbar. TechCrunch calls it raining on their parade. According to John Battelle, Google had built an entire DoubleClick killer, ready to launch in case Microsoft or someone else won the bidding for DClick, and “the timing is not coincidental”.
It’s weird. I was told by Google to prepare for the Picks For You feature to be released on Monday, then it was pushed off, going to be released Tuesday, but maybe Wednesday. Then, twenty minutes before the Stumble news hits TechCrunch, I get an email that the time for the launch has been finalized. Were the two related? I can’t say no, but I have no definite idea.
Oh, and DazzlinDonna, a big fan of Stumble, says she is happy that it wasn’t Google that bought it. I agree. Google isn’t a good fit for social sites, Yahoo is.
In other Google/eBay news, eBay unit PayPal and Yahoo are getting into bed together. Now, if a Yahoo advertiser uses PayPal, the ad on Yahoo will show a shopping cart icon, identical to what Google does with advertisers that use its Checkout service. C’mon, is it necessary to be blatantly copying like this?
Philipp produces the two company’s shopping carts. Google’s does look faster, and is a bolder blue, but Yahoo’s has a space for your kid to sit while you shop. Yes, I’m giggling right now.
Infoworld reports that PayPal, long a favored target of phishers and email spam, has come up with a measure designed to better protect its customers. For $5, any PayPal customer can order a little security keychain that displays a new password every 30 seconds. When logging into their accounts, those users would have to enter their regular passwords, then look on their keychain and enter the current password from there, too.
It’s a great idea, and one that’s been discussed and implemented on a smaller scale before. I’m glad to see PayPal, which is easilly in the top 5 of all phishing scam targets, take a stand at protecting their customers. Still, five dollars is a barrier to adoption, and if PayPal’s users were interested in protecting themselves, they would have educated themselves, for free, on how to identify a scam (just because a logo is in an email, doesn’t mean it’s real!). I would suggest PayPal figure out how much money it makes off a customer, and start giving these out for free to anyone who’s a big revenue generator.
Considering how much information we now put in our Google Accounts, from credit card numbers in Google Checkout, to our email, schedules, im conversations, search history, search cache (in desktop search), and many other pieces of information scammers might want their hands on, maybe Google would like to offer this sort of thing to their users? I’d probably buy a Google security keychain, if only for the geek points.
One of the most god-awful stupid promotions I’ve ever seen was when Google started offering $10 off $30 or higher purchases made with Google Checkout at select stores. The savings were great for the consumer, but it inspired zero loyalty in anything, just a huge loss-leader that may turn out to have accomplished nothing.
Well, PayPal has decided it needs to throw away twice as much money as Google did! Between November 23 and December 15, purchases of $50 or more at participating retailers, including Dell, Sharper Image and Barnes & Noble, will earn a one-time $20 credit to their PayPal account. Google’s discount was good an unlimited amount of times, but it was only ten dollars and at less stores, so eBay’s PayPal unit stands to lose a hell of a lot more money.
I don’t understand it. I may not have an economics degree, but I can’t see what the benefit is in giving away free money. The retailers aren’t stupid, and know that any increased sales are due to the savings, and thus have no reason to be loyal to PayPal, and the customers don’t care, since they’re just looking for the latest bargain. Have both companies just gone off the deep end?
(via Ben’s Bargains)
UPDATE: Jeez, Google has a response: $10 bonus for signing up for Google Checkout. Sign up before this Sunday, and get ten dollars off your first purchase (expires at the end of the year). Really, will this (a) be a great way to save ten bucks, or (b) drive billions of dollars into Google’s pockets and inspire customer loyalty? Oh, the first one? Really?
Forbes updated their list of the 400 richest Americans, and the Google guys have climbed a few spots. Previously tied at 16th (and before that, 43rd), Sergey Brin is now the 12th riches man in the world at $14.1 billion, while Larry Page is just behind him, his $14.0 billion netting the 13th spot. Last year, they had $11 billion, so the extra $3 billion moved them past Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer. CEO Eric Schmidt gained $1.2 billion to jump seven spots.
#1 - Bill Gates - Microsoft - 53.0 billion
#4 - Larry Ellison - Oracle - 19.5
#5 - Paul Allen - Microsoft - 16.0
#7 - Michael Dell - Dell Computer - 15.5
#12 - Sergey Brin - Google - 14.1
#13 - Larry Page - Google - 14.0
#15 - Steve Ballmer - Microsoft - 13.6
#24 - Carl Icahn - financier (attempted overhaul of Time Warner) - 9.7
#32 - Rupert Murdoch - News Corp (owner of MySpace) - 7.7
#32 - Pierre Omidyar - eBay - 7.7
#38 - Sumner Redstone - Viacom - 7.5
#45 - Eric Schmidt - Google - 5.2
#49 - Steve Jobs - Apple/Pixar/Disney - 4.9
#70 - Jeff Bezos - Amazon - 3.6
#77 - Gordon Moore - Intel - 3.4
#117 - David Filo - Yahoo - 2.5
#133 - Mark Cuban - Broadcast.com - 2.3
#140 - Jerry Yang - Yahoo - 2.2
#189 - Omid Kordestani - Google - 1.9
#242 - Kavitark Ram Shriram - Google - 1.5
#297 - Barry Diller - InterActiveCorp (owner Ask.com) - 1.3
#322 - Margaret Whitman - eBay - 1.2
#374 - John Doerr - venture capitalist (Google) - 1.0
#374 - Charles Simonyi - Microsoft - 1.0
Paranoid has a great comparison of the $13 million a day Page and Brin have earned in the last two years, showing how much more they make than Tiger Woods, the Yankee payroll, and how much money they make while urinating.
The latest big hubbub not involving blond newsreaders is that eBay has added Google Checkout to its list of payment services not allowed in its marketplace. Google joins an illustrious list:
AlertPay.com, anypay.com, AuctionChex.com, AuctionPix.com, BillPay.ie, ecount.com, cardserviceinternational.com, CCAvenue, ecount, e-gold, eHotPay.com, ePassporte.com, EuroGiro, FastCash.com, Google Checkout, gcash, GearPay, Goldmoney.com, graphcard.com, greenzap.com, ikobo.com, Liberty Dollars, Moneygram.com, neteller.com, Netpay.com, Nochex.com, paychest.com, payingfast.com, paypay, Postepay, Qchex.com, rupay.com, scripophily.com, sendmoneyorder.com, stamps, Stormpay, wmtransfer.com, xcoin.com
All of these services have been banned due to being unsafe for eBay buyers, that they are in some way poorly designed or secured and thus aid fraud. Google Checkout, however, is too new and untested to fall into this category, so it is far more likely that this is being done for political reasons. Checkout is very similar to Paypal, just cheaper, so if a large number of eBay’s merchants switched over, a huge portion of their revenue model would just go away.
eBay, unlike many other internet companies, doesn’t really believe in transparency. Unlike Google or Microsoft or Yahoo, they don’t release many products, and have a consistent stream of earnings coming from owning a large marketplace, like Amazon, and don’t need community support to survive. Google could have went the eBay route, and been a far less stressful company for it, but they decided to jump right in and go toe-to-toe with the big boys.
Ars goes over the possible reasons for the decision (beyond the more obvious political/conspiracy ones):
Unlike PayPal, Google Checkout is not primarily a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) payments service. Google’s new service appears to be focused primarily at small businesses while aiming at larger sites down the line. As it is currently situated, it’s not going to turn into a C2C service anytime soon. There is no provision for sending payments to those without merchant accounts and no way to send money to an e-mail address, as is the case with PayPal.
So why the hate from eBay? In perusing eBay’s Accepted Payments Policy, Google Checkout would appear to meet criteria such as financial, privacy, and antifraud protection; not involving precious metals or other noncash services; and regulatory concerns. However, a couple of bullets point from eBay’s list of criteria for who makes the cut stand out: “the identity, background and other business interests of the payment service sponsor” along with “whether the payment service has a substantial historical track record of providing safe and reliable financial and/or banking related services.”
AuctionBytes has a quote from a Google spokesperson:
A spokesperson for Google said it has no restrictions regarding marketplace use. “We want to work with everybody,” she said on Wednesday.
Now, isn’t that the most gosh-darn cutest quote ever!
Wired has released their latest Wired 40 list of the top technology companies, and, for the first time, Google has topped Apple on the list. Considering that Google’s top product (search) has such wide usage and appeal, and Apple’s (music players) can be topped at anytime by a better product, and that Google continues to innovate, with some rare success, while Apple has kind of rested on its Mac laurels for most of the last year, Google’s victory is unsurprising.
2005 Rank: 02
Less cuddly but more profitable than ever, the monster from Mountain View has rivals but no peers. Is it a search engine? A media company? A software provider? Who cares? Microsoft, for one. Get ready for the grudge match of the decade.
2005 Rank: 01
In the drama of Apple’s resurgence, act one was forging the iTunes/iPod axis. Act two was bundling the iLife suite of creative tools with new computers. Adapting the Mac OS to run Windows apps natively would make a triumphant conclusion.
Apple is a brilliant company, but all of its cool stuff, like its great software, sleekly designed computers and powerful operating system, did not see anything new in the last year. Meanwhile, Google has had hits with Google Maps/Earth, and an emerging hit with Google Video. While no one can discount the great work Apple has done, the company is virtually the same as a year ago, and you don’t deserve the top spot if it is hard to answer the age-old: “What have you done for me lately?”
Yahoo is number five, serving up 3.5 billion web pages a day, and releasing some top-notch products. Amazon is number six, due to a lot of R&D effort, that, if it doesn’t pay off, may tank the company. News Corp is number nine, new to the list, due to the purchase of MySpace. eBay is #19, falling from #10 as it rests on its revenue. Intel dropped five spots to #24, slipping to competitor AMD. Microsoft is at #36, dropping eight spots, as concerns over the desktop OS gold mine mount.
(via Chris Gilmer)
Reuters says Wall Street is being overrun with rumors of a possible merger between major internet companies. They say that, with growth slowing and slumping stocks at almost every major player
EBay stock is down 30 percent on the year. Yahoo is off 20 percent and Google down 10 percent.
while at the same time competition is intensifying, could all add up to at least two companies merging in order to stay ahead. The obvious merger target is eBay. eBay is a major rock of the internet economy, but has been desperate (and failing) to expand into other areas. eBay’s foolish purchase of Skype underscores how badly this company wants to win, but has very little chance.
All Skype really does is make eBay more attractive to potential partners. If Microsoft or Yahoo took eBay, they’d instantly be cemented as #1 in net traffic, as well as gaining the most popular VoIP network for their IM software. Meanwhile, Google makes such a large amount of money from eBay advertising on their search engine, that they would be forced to at least consider bidding, or lose all that ad revenue.
If Yahoo or Microsoft merge with eBay, unless they pay too steep a price, what will emerge is a serious player. Microsoft, more than Yahoo, could use the boost, especially with its search engine taking too long to gain traction. A Windows Live search box on eBay would be quite the boost to market share, and shipping Skype inside Windows Live Messenger could make Microsoft number one in IM.
Microsoft already took A9’s web search away from Google, so, while Amazon is another good target for a merger (due to similar troubles in growth), Microsoft doesn’t need them. A similar deal with eBay, for sharing of search and IM technologies, is possible, but less likely, since the move isn’t big enough for eBay’s needs.
And stuck in the middle is Google, which doesn’t seem to understand how much it needs some other means of revenue. Google is trying to build online payment and selling systems, but others have tried and failed at that, and nothing Google has done indicates they will be any more successful. Google isn’t the type of company to take shortcuts, but, then again, they are maturing. Anything is possible.