eBay Lets You Virtually Window Shop

How much is that virtual thing in the window?

By Scott Budman
|  Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011  |  Updated 4:34 PM PDT
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Holiday Gifts: Under $25

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Let's window shop!

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Long known for all but killing the brick and mortar shopping experience, Silicon Valley online commerce giant eBay is letting you shop different this holiday season:  By waving your phone in the air, and shopping like you just don't care.

OK, you'll probably care, because you'll be spending real money, even as you wave at real things.  eBay calls it the "Give-A-Toy-Store," a way - powered by eBay Mobile -  to use your smartphones' near field communication (or NFC) to buy things.  You walk up to the window (debuting in New York and San Francisco), and wave your phone at what you're interested in.

NFC takes it from there, allowing you to learn more about the product, and then buy it.  Right there.  No store to walk into, and no website to surf through.  Just wave, and buy.

Talk about "window shopping."

The Give-A-Toy-Store is part of eBay's plan to double its mobile commerce numbers.  If it takes off this holiday shopping season, look for more virtual reality to pop up in more windows across the country.  Now, when you see something you like in the window, you can't even avoid temptation by not going inside.  Just raise your phone, and take the plunge.

Scott, and his phone, can be reached on Twitter:  @scottbudman

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