Houston-based Ashford announced Monday that it has created an outlet store on the leading online auction site, offering discontinued and seasonal goods such as watches, jewelry and sunglasses. Under the deal, eBay agreed to promote Ashford's outlet store to its members. The companies did not release further details and did not return calls seeking comment.
In recent months, eBay and Amazon.com have been courting merchants to sell goods through their Web sites. Online liquidator Overstock.com, for instance, has begun to list goods on both Amazon and eBay. Companies such as Ritz Camera, Sun Microsystems and eValueville, which liquidates clothes for Bloomingdales, have also set up shop on eBay.
For Amazon, which is struggling to reach profitability, the third-party sales promise a cheap source of revenue. Meanwhile, eBay has focused on sales by large and medium-sized merchants as a way to increase the value of goods sold through its site and to help reach its goal of $3 billion in revenue by 2005.
Ashford, in which Amazon owns a 16 percent stake, according to the latest regulatory filings, is the latest Amazon-aligned company to set up shop on eBay. Amazon-backed eZiba.com, an online retailer of handcrafted goods, set up shop on eBay in April.