Did Nintendo leverage eBay to manage the supply (and subsequently price) of Wiis?

January 8, 2008

News.com Geek Gestalt (ok, yes I read a geek blog, long-time readers are you really surprised 🙂 ) author Daniel Terdiman has a really interesting piece today surfaced by Kotaku (video game blog) that offers an interesting thesis that Nintendo was watching the prices of Wiis on eBay and used that market data in its messaging and supply management of Wiis heading into the 07 holiday season.

I guess what’s interesting to this is that large consumer-focused companies are/could leverage eBay to manage supply chains.  At ChannelAdvisor, we’ve experimented with this kind of thing with the likes of Motorola, IBM, Nokia, etc. but one of the challenges has always been eBay’s unfriendliness and unwelcome policies and actions towards large companies.  In this example, Nintendo got the best of both worlds, they were able to leverage the eBay data, but didn’t have to directly get involved in dealing with eBay Corp.

In fact, there’s an increasing trend of large manufacturers and retailers leveraging SMB retailers to liquidate their items (many end up on eBay).

I view eBay re-opening the doors and changing the internal attitudes to large retailers+manufacturers as another way they can both build buyer experience and turn around the marketplace.  Most sellers I deal with would also see this as a positive.

Readers what do you think?

  • Did Nintendo use eBay data to manipulate supply?
  • Should eBay reopen its doors to large manufacturers and retailers?