Outsourcing Expertise: eBay and Google Expert Networks Coming Down the Pipeline

Image from TechCruch

We spend a lot of time talking about ways we can best manage our time. And when there’s a lot on our plates, the dream is just to get someone to take care of business for us. Fortunately, we looked at ways to do just that: there are a lot of small-scale outsourcing options available, connecting people that have surplus time with people that have a deficit.

This has always been one of the promises of the web: connecting people that wouldn’t otherwise be connected. And while the time crunch issue has been addressed, some major players have identified an opportunity to make a different kind of valuable link: connecting experts with those that need expertise. Both Google and eBay are rolling out services that promise to link up people that know something with people that want to know something.

These services share something in common with Elance, which we talked about before, but each aims to carve out a specific, special niche when it comes to connecting specialists with those who need their help.

eBay opened the salvo with SecretGuru. Currently in beta and available only in the UK, SecretGuru is an attempt to bring a curatorial eye to selling expertise. Unlike Elance, which allows almost anyone to ply their services, SecretGuru is highly selective about which experts it offers. It wants to create “memorable experiences,” from specialized cooking classes to learning to make shoes to personal style advice.
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eBay Buys RedLaser Barcode App to Encourage Online Buying and Selling

Do you have an Ebay business? ¬†Wouldn’t it be cool to look up eBay prices for products your are selling (or thinking about selling) by scanning barcodes with your iPhone?

Well eBay was thinking along those same lines by buying the uber-popular barcode scanning RedLaser app developed by Occipital in hopes to encourage users to scan barcodes to find and buy the item on eBay.

The RedLaser app was originally designed for shoppers to scan barcodes of physical products to compare prices in surrounding brick and mortar stores. And it was a hit too, getting downloaded over 2 million times since it was put up in the Apple App Store. eBay is looking to duplicate that success with giving users the ability to not only search for the best price at local physical stores, but to expand that search throughout it’s 200 million listings on eBay. RedLaser will be a free app from eBay and will be integrate listings from all the eBay iPhone apps (including StubHub and Shopping.com).

RedLaser was originally a $1.99 app, but by dropping the price to a whopping free.99, eBay hopes to get that money back by way of increasing the number of shoppers using its app to scan barcodes of physical products and finding a better virtual prices online. As more people recognize the power of mobile technology and feel more secure with buying items online, the RedLaser app by eBay should bring in some BIG numbers for eCommerce businesses looking to expand their customer base to those mobile pros, as well as casual shoppers just looking for a better deal.