eBay Motors founder starts new e-commerce site

Glyde attempts to make it easier for users to buy and sell used goods. It might be difficult for the new site to compete against eBay.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

eBay Motors founder Simon Rothman announced on Monday that he has officially launched a new e-commerce site, Glyde.

According to the press release, Glyde's goal "is to democratize e-commerce." The site was born out of Rothman's desire to make it easier for Web users to buy and sell products online.

But Glyde throws in a twist. The site's marketplace is designed for Web users to sell used goods. They can sell books, CDs, DVDs, and video games.

"The average American household has $3,000 worth of unwanted media collecting dust," Rothman said in a statement. "We built a service that makes buying and selling a used DVD as simple as trading a share of Disney stock. It's the NASDAQ for physical goods."

It's an interesting take on what Glyde is all about. But after using the site for awhile, I would agree that it does make it extremely easy to buy and sell goods.

Glyde lets you search for DVDs, CDs, Games, or books. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Glyde's design is extremely simple. If you decide you want to buy some products, you can flip through the listing of available inventory, pick what you want, and learn more about it by clicking on it without much trouble. Unlike sites like Amazon or eBay, which deliver you to a product's individual page listing, Glyde displays the listing over the search results. When you're done looking at it, simply click the "X" at the top right of the panel and you'll be returned to your spot in the results.

Placed prominently on all product pages is a "Buy Now" button. Users have the option of buying a used copy of the product from a seller or a new copy.

Glyde shows off a product listing. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Glyde's buying process isn't all that unique. It's standard fare. And even though it offers discounted pricing, I just don't think it competes well against Amazon's Marketplace or eBay. Those sites have far more products, competitive pricing, and simpler checkout processes. Unless Glyde can improve upon that, it might have a problem.

But it's Glyde's selling side that will probably appeal most to users. The site makes it incredibly simple to sell products. Users need only to list the product, set a sales price, and wait for someone to buy. Once they do, Glyde sends them a prestamped, preaddressed mailer. Sellers need to insert the item they're selling into the mailer and place it in their mailbox. Once the buyer receives the product, the funds are deposited into the seller's account, less the cost of the mailer and Glyde's fee, which is 10 percent of the sales price.

Even better, those selling products on Glyde can opt for the proceeds to go to the charity of their choice. It's a nice option.

Glyde provides a simple, efficient e-commerce solution. But by taking on giants eBay and Amazon in the used-goods market, it will be difficult for the company to stay relevant and capture significant market share.