Your thesis assumes free auctions will drive out fee auctions ..such as those that ebay conducts. First historically this has never been true. "Greensheets" offer free classifieds and they have never threatened newspaper very expensive classified advertisin. By the way have you priced newspaper classified lately. $100 to sell a car. Second..all retail activity shows that it is the most ample selection that attracts buyers. So size does count. and as ebay grows...it grows more because it offers more selection. As to the outages..its like Yogi Bera said....no one goes there anymore its too crowded... get it..too many users is not a sign of failure.. as the mass becomes bigger the revenues will grow. Yes problems but clearly the net is well suited to these type of transactions. If you get hooked on buying like this you know ther is no substitute. Finally let me ask you a question. Have you heard of anyone that makes a living trading stuff bought on other auction sites? I doubt..yet thousands do on ebay.