eBay, the Internet’s garage sale or auction house, depending on your point of view, is reaping the benefits of having a free iPhone app. According to this Financial Times report, users of eBay’s iPhone app have spent over $400 million over a variety of items from the service. It seems that some people have even bought more expensive things like cars and a $150,000 boat, in addition to the more standard eBay fare of books and clothing.
Given the nature of eBay it makes sense that people are comfortable placing bids using a mobile phone: he who snoozes is out bid on that rare Star Trek coffee mug (not that I’m speaking from experience, but that mug would have looked totally sweet on my desk). Power eBayers are always on the look out for anything that can give them the edge they need to win an important auction.
Amazon, another Internet retailer you might have heard of, also has a free iPhone app. They aren’t willing to list how much folks have spent using it, but a company representative says they are “pleased” with how the app has been received. Another reminder that just because something’s free doesn’t mean it can’t make money.