eBay France Launches on Thursday

[London, ENGLAND] Online trading community eBay says it
will launch its French site, ebayfrance.com, on Thursday,
October 5, after a final phase of testing.

It has taken a while for eBay to invade the French
market, despite the fact that founder Pierre Omidyar
was actually born in France. The new venture follows
country-specific sites in the United Kingdom, Germany,
Canada, Japan and Australia.

French users will be able to bid for French items such as
Napoleonic coins and Tintin comics, as well as the
5 million items listed on eBay worldwide. Clearly, it
will take a week or two to build up a substantial quantity
of French-sourced collectibles, for which users can bid in
francs.

Meg Whitman, president and chief executive, eBay, said
the launch of eBay France brings the company’s successful
online trading model to another of the world’s top Internet
markets.

“The site will allow French users to trade locally while
also giving them access to eBay’s worldwide community of
15.8 million registered users. No other Web site offers
French traders a proven local service with a global reach,”
said Whitman.

eBay France hopes to entice users quickly by waiving all
listing fees for an initial period. It has built categories
for many popular French collectibles and has introduced
a search facility for items located in France.

Local chat boards including the eBay Cafe will provide a
forum where French users can get together and discuss their
hobbies and interests.

The launch of eBay in France comes just a month after
Amazon launched its own French outlet Amazon.fr. Some
observers this week have questioned whether the
complementary aspects of eBay and Amazon will lead
to a merger of the two e-commerce giants.

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