On a recent bus ride, I saw a guy use his smartphone to shop for a Porsche on eBay. It might sound silly, but he's not alone. Apparently, shopping for cars and car parts this way is part of a growing trend; on eBay Mobile, 90,000 parts and accessories and 2,000 cars per week sold during the first quarter of this year, according to eBay.
This week, the company released a magazine-like app for the iPhone to cater to two markets: users who want to browse and bid on cars on the go and people looking to find parts for their current ride. While consumers can--and do--already shop for cars on the regular eBay app, this new app specifically targets the car crowd.
I downloaded the free iPhone app, called eBay Motors, to see what was on the market. While a tad out of my price range, the first cars that popped up on the screen were a Ferrari going for $200,000 and a Bentley priced at $156,995. If I was interested, I could have hit a button to place a bid. But I scrolled down to see other details like the make and model of the car and a button that would allow me to check the history of the vehicle.
Steve Yankovich at eBay told CNET he calls this situational shopping: "the trend of buying an item on mobile the instant you are inspired, and not having to wait until you are in front of your computer or at the mall. When a car enthusiast is working on their car or at a motors event, they aren't in front of a computer but their smartphone is handy." … Read more