/// eBay Buys Its Own Private Pinterest
Wired.com – eBay is where you go to hunt down a mint $150,000 Joe DiMaggio baseball card, retro bathing suits, and a $6 Nickelback CD. But when it comes to browsing for bargains the venerable 17-year-old tech company, which along with Amazon helped pioneer online shopping, is looking downright dowdy. Hoping to update its own look, eBay announced it has acquired product discovery site Svpply. Pricing details were not disclosed by either company.
Svpply has the style that eBay lacks, but no inventory. Instead, Svpply is a windowshopping showcase for handpicked items featured on other online stores. Very much like Pinterest, its members use a bookmarking tool to find images of things they want to buy while perusing the internet.
But Svpply’s goal is to get members to find products they want and then actually buy them, instead of pinning to a board and forgetting about them. Svpply pulls into a price range for each item and links to the online store where you can make your purchase. Once a member saves something to the system, Svpply creates a store for the brand. That company can then claim their store and add their merchandise to show off what’s in season.
According to the company, Svpply is bringing in 3,000 new products to its site every day and has 1.1 million items in its database. Those products represent 70,000 stores and brands and Svpply is working on helping them connect with fans on Svpply. So far the company has raised $55,000 in seed funding from Ron Conway, Founder Collective, and others.
The Svpply team says in a blog post they don’t plan to shut down the service. eBays says it’s bringing all six of Svpply’s team on board to work at a “state-of-the-art technology development center” in New York. The company wants to increase its presence on the East Coast, far away from its offices in Silicon Valley.
Svpply follows eBay’s November 2011 acquisition of Hunch, a service similar to Svpply. Hunch is known for its taste graph, which gives you recommendations for movies, music, restaurants, recipes, books, and products based on what you like. Both companies will join eBay’s tech development center in New York. “We’re excited to keep building Svpply at the new eBay development center here in New York, where they’ve promised to buy us an Eleven Forty Co. foosball table that features our likenesses facing off against those of Hunch,” said Svpply co-founder Greg Leppert in an e-mail to Wired.
eBay says the Svpply team will work on “merchandising, non-search discovery and browsing.” It appears that eBay wants to make finding products easier and elevate the experience of shopping on its site. With the help of Svpply’s eye for design and Hunch’s taste graph, shopping on eBay might soon feel more like stepping into a Fifth Avenue shop instead of rumaging through a cardboard box in the back of musty antiques store.