eBay said to open online mall to lure fancy brands

In a rumored new marketplace dubbed "The Plaza," brands don't have to worry about selling their goods next to second-hand items.

Some brands may not want to sell goods next to second-hand items or possible knock-offs. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

Word has it that eBay has plans to open an online marketplace that caters to various brands, according to The Wall Street Journal. Rather than using the eBay moniker, this site is said to be called "The Plaza."

On "The Plaza," it's said that brands will be able to sell directly to consumers -- just like with eBay -- but won't have to be listed next to second-hand items or possible knock-offs.

The news of the possible new marketplace comes via a report from Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter, according to the Journal. The analyst said that with the rumored online mall, merchants could sell their goods through eBay but not have "to worry about weakening their brand."

"eBay partners with brands, designers and retailers -- and sellers of all sizes -- to help them grow their business. As such, we are always exploring new, innovative ways to help them market directly to eBay's global audience and connect them to the things they need and love," eBay spokesman Ryan Moore told CNET. "We don't comment on industry rumors or speculation."

eBay is increasingly expanding its reach and catering to brands and merchants. In November, the e-commerce site worked with the fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff, Toms Shoes, and Sony in a mall in San Francisco. At the entrance of the stores were massive touchscreen computers created by eBay where shoppers could buy various items. The idea was to meld a brick-and-mortar mall with an online auction-and-market site experience.

Updated January 16 at 10:45 a.m. PTwith comment from eBay spokesman Ryan Moore.

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