So ebay launched themselves into the Daily Deals industry this week. The new site called eBay Lifestyle Deals is being launched in several cities across the U.S., including LA, New York, Boston, and Washington D.C.
eBay is using the services of Signpost to obtain local deal inventory. Signpost already provides deals to Google Offers among other publishers.
There is only one reason eBay entered this market. There is revenue and profitability in it. Despite what media writes about and all the complaints about the business model, the industry is still growing in the US, in Canada, and certainly in Europe and South America. eBay now joins other large companies who are in this market. Google with Google Offers, Microsoft with MSN Offers, and Amazon with Amazon Local.
The question for us is, when will these services be available in Canada?
If all or some of these services (especially Amazon and Google Offers) were to be available in Canada, then it would significantly impact competition in this country. However I do not see eBay or Microsoft having much impact.
So, when will they be here? The answer? Not anytime soon. They are all too busy figuring out how to grow these services in the USA. I doubt that Canada is even on the horizon. The service that may make it here faster than others would probably be Google offers or Amazon local. Regardless, they would almost certainly only focus on Toronto, given that Toronto drive 50% of all deals in Canada. Montreal, the next largest city in terms of deal revenue will not be touched due to its language challenges (good news for Tuango and company in Montreal) and Vancouver does not drive all that much revenue for a USA based company to focus on it instead of another city in the USA.
Another approach eBay, amazon, Microsoft and Google could take is to partner with an existing deal site or several deal sites in Canada in order to obtain/share inventory. This will allow them to enter the market a lot faster, further promote their brand but significantly cut down on costs and operations. I can see this happening with Amazon local and Living Social since Amazon owns a nice percentage of Living Social and since Living social is across the country in Canada.
I can see this happening with Google Offers and most likely 1-2 deals sites in the country.
Bottom line, none will be in Canada this year, and nothing shows me that next year will be any different. As such, good news for Canadian based deal sites.