eBay Launches Zero-Click Feature for Instant Bidding and Buying
Campbell-by-the-Freeway, CA /DenounceNewswire/ -- February 28, 2002 -- eBay, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) today announced the release of Zero-Click, a patented system for enabling its 40-million users to bid and buy items instantly, without having to even click a button on their mice.
"Zero-Click represents a huge leap forth in usability for our site," said Meg Whitman, eBay's Chief Executive Officer. "Sellers will be thrilled with the increased activity for their items, and bidders will find they're bidding on things they had no idea they bid on!"
The technology behind Zero-Click is simple: when a user moves his or her mouse cursor over a certain area of the screen, the eBay system recognizes this and records the activity as a bid request or as a "buy it now" request, depending on what area of the screen the user mouses over. Every five minutes, the website pops up a window describing all the things a user has bid on or bought. There is no way to back out of a Zero-Click bid or buy-it-now transaction. Users who do not pay are banned from the site and permanently exiled to Yahoo Auctions as punishment.
To prevent users from using the Zero-Click capability by accident, eBay has made available an opt-out feature, available by sending a stamped, self-addressed postcard to eBay's customer support division in Utah and waiting six to eight weeks for activation.
"I can't believe how many things I've bought!" said one eBay buyer, who asked to remain anonymous lest her spouse find out. "It's scary! What used to be just browsing is now buying, by simply moving the mouse around the search results page!"
Some eBay customers are not so happy with the new feature, and have disconnected their mice from their computers. "We're not too concerned about these users," says Whitman. "By next week we'll have ten thousand more customers ready to take their place and buy, buy, buy!"
"It's an interesting feature," quipped Indu Strypundit, an industry pundit. "And good timing -- they had to do something quick to distract Wall Street from their blowing it in the Japanese market."
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