Shocking News, Ebay closes Half.com August 31, 2017

Shocking News, Ebay closes Half.com August 31, 2017



Shocking news released in an e-mail on Friday, June 16, 2017 by Half.com (an eBay company)

When I first heard the news forwarded to me by Chris Hartmann of Hartmann books an online speciality bookstore http://hartmannbooks.com/ I was a little skeptical but fully intrigued.   Though I am a registered Half.com user, I didn't receive the e-mail notification personally.  Chris also referred me to the announcement posted by EcommerceBytes which confirmed my intrigue.  (You can watch the video announcement on YouTube HERE or at the bottom of this article.)

Photo: Half.com E-mail sent to active sellers about it closing.

As a YouTuber who reviews marketplaces for anyone interested in becoming an online reseller, I was not entirely shocked.  Back in November 2016 when I created my 2017 Review Video about the current state of Half.com, I predicted its future demise.

Half.com You Were Once A Rising Star

On August 31, 2017 Half.com will end business and relay visitors to eBay.  Anyone who has made a purchase on Half.com has until October 31, 2017 to return any purchases.

Half.com had been a top-rated online marketplace for books, movies, video games and music up until eBay purchased it with the intention of closing it down to eliminate competition.  Instead eBay decided to leave it open and in 2006 even integrated into its main marketplace eBay and the Cassini search engine. This move allowed sellers on Half to participate directly in having their Half.com listings appear on eBay.  It was a great time for a couple of years.  Half.com was never eBay's focus and despite having connected it to its Cassini search engine and allowing cross-marketplace sales, once again separated Half.com, by removing it from Cassini. In all sincerity, Half.com became its own parent companies worst nightmare, by killing eBay sales of books, music, movies and video games with its lower prices.

As a reseller on Half.com, I decided to stop selling on Half, when it began allowing unethical resellers to report my listings and have them automatically removed.  Reposting them became so time consuming, and occurred so regularly that it cost me more in time than the value of the sales I was receiving. This lack of support and disinterest by Half, allowed those sellers who participated in eliminating their competition to dominate Half.com.  Another tactic included low balling prices ninety percent or lower than the current marketplace value to force sellers who could not afford to price match out of the marketplace.  It was a gruelling and disappointing time in the history of Half.com, which at one point I had thought was an amazing marketplace that is managed and developed properly could of been a distinguishable competitor against Amazon in a limited capacity.

In Half's present state at the end of 2016, Half.com decided to raise its commissions to as high as twenty-five percent final sales fee making it one of the most expensive marketplaces to sell on, in addition to other unfavorable newly implemented seller policies.  It was at that time that I had released my first 2017 Half.com Video Review on YouTube and made my prediction of its coming demise.

So what went wrong at Half.com (an eBay company)?  

We can completely blame eBay and its leadership for their short sightedness and lack of vision regarding Half.com for its historical failure and pending doom.

Besides having been pulled from eBay's cassini search engine, the poor customer support, the lack of correction to prevent the removal of competition product listings and more recently its insane desperate attempt to survive by massive seller fees hike in 2017: Half.com has other non-competitive marketplace problems.

In 2017, the individual and small business marketplaces for resellers has moved off the internet and onto smart phones and tablets.  These current generation marketplaces are focused on the needs and desires of the twenty to thirty-five year olds who not only expect, but demand free shipping, fast shipping, great customer service, fluid return policies and competitive prices.   This is a generation moving further away from shopping on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. 

Half.com had horrible customer service. It used e-mail for all its support, and when you had a problem, many answers were "canned pre-made responses" which seemed more like a delay tactic since they required additional effort.  Even the actual support written by humans was often poor leaving both customers and resellers frustrated. 

Visionless Leadership of eBay

Other areas Half.com failed was its lack of successfully implementing an iOS and Android app, PayPal was not available for shoppers for years, it finally became available near its end. eBay crippled its seller feedback so only positive feedback is allowed, while shoppers could leave negative seller feedback.   Probably one of the top ugly things about Half.com from a reseller perspective was  all the feedbacks appeared as part of a sellers eBay feedback rating on both Half and eBay.  An unscrupulous Half reseller could drive down the prices on Half.com, buy low from smaller sellers trying to compete, leave negative feedback and then resell at a higher price on eBay or Half due to their volume of sales and high feedback rating.  It was a wicked thing.

Personally, as from a reseller perspective, I hated that it required sellers to place a credit card on file at Half along with a bank account.  Half.com always felt like a website that would be easy to hack, and being that my bank and credit information didn't appear to be encrypted and easily viewable when from within my account, I had great concern that it might be hacked.

Customers have had several payment methods including PayPal which means they have 180 days to dispute a sale and receive a refund via PayPal assuming they used PayPal.  Sellers however have had to use eBay or PayPal shipping to pay for their shipping labels which meant that sellers were paying out money before Half.com deposited seller earnings directly to a bank account at certain intervals.  In other words, despite Half.com's shipping fee reimbursements, to sell on Half.com, a seller had to pay out money towards shipping before actually receiving any money.  Half's shipping reimbursement covered many products shipping costs, but text books and other heavier products that cost more to ship were on the seller to cover.  In those situations in which the dominating sellers lowballed a text book or product with higher shipping costs, many smaller sellers simply had to find somewhere else to sell those particular products. 


In this marketplace reviewers opinion, its a pity to see Half.com die when it honestly had great potential; had it been operated with vision, we would not be throwing it a funeral party in 2017.

Half.com has a long history dating back to 1999. It is already established on the internet. Had the right investors bought Half.com, or eBay's leadership who every six months implements crippling new seller policies on its main marketplace had a well developed vision, Half.com could be reaching entirely new levels of value for itself, its customers and its resellers.  

But perhaps I am asking to much from eBay as a company.  After all, eBay is a great, great, grandfather now when it comes to online marketplaces.  It created its own path, its visions are limited to its beginning, it lacks the creativity that we see in new marketplaces like Mercari. I see eBay much like a church where the founding members exclude its youth in that name of remaining the same until only the elderly remain, or like a political party which has a diminishing and dying base that refuses to progress or change.

Half.com You Are Dead To Me

Long Live Half.com, I will always remember the beauty of your best moments in time, and dread your despise with eBay's visionless leadership behind your wheels.  You were meant for greater things, but now you are dead.

Randy Dreammaker,


Watch the End of Half.com YouTube Video