eBay starting to move with the times?

Well, maybe. here’s today’s New York Times take on it

“We have to make sure our old users stay with us, but we’re going to be more bold around product changes than we’ve been in the past,” Ms. Whitman said in an interview last week in Boston at eBay Live, an annual conference for the site’s sellers. “I think people expect more from eBay.”

Certainly, analysts do. As the company has expanded beyond its auctions business into Internet telephone service (with its acquisition of Skype), event ticketing (with StubHub) and comparison shopping (with Shopping.com), auction volume has slowed considerably from years past. As of early this month, the volume of eBay’s United States listings was down by 3.8 percent compared with a year earlier, according to Citigroup.

Analysts said sellers were moving to other places on the Web in search of buyers who had grown weary of an overwhelming array of product choices on eBay.

“You could go to the site looking for Star Wars items and get the same results as you’d have had in 1999 — a thousand results all sorted by what auction is closing first,” said Mark Mahaney, an analyst with Citigroup. “Are you looking for a Star Wars pendant? Poster? DVD? It doesn’t matter. You’ll see everything.”

Ms. Whitman said that chief among the changes was a new home page design. The company is testing simplified layouts that are less likely to confuse shoppers than the old version, which analysts said was among the most cluttered in the e-commerce industry…