eBay cozies up to Scoble for a new spin on gift lists

eBay, that megalith of online shopping and auctions, has made a bid to amp up holiday sales with series of unique partnerships. Called the “Want List,” the new feature will highlight top picks from influential folks and micro-celebs.

The personal holiday wish lists and gift lists will appear until December 17, with five lists from five guest curators appearing each week. On Monday, December 10, eBay will feature the Internet’s own Robert Scoble and a top-five list of the gifts he plans to give this December.

An eBay rep told VentureBeat via email that Want Lists are “exclusively available via the core mobile app” on tablets and smartphones and that the lists were created to “help inspire shoppers looking for great gift ideas wherever they are.” eBay’s focus on mobile right now makes sense, given that the site is seeing enormous year-over-year jumps in mobile commerce; making a mobile-only special feature is likely to keep those numbers growing.

Also, the whole idea of celebrity-inspired lists is part of a larger trend we’re seeing in holiday e-commerce: curation, curation, curation. By throwing a spotlight on hand-picked, high-quality items, online retailers can help to reduce the number of choices available. Rather than turning customers off, this limited-selection approach can actually lead to higher sales by reducing or eliminating the “analysis paralysis” that sets in when you give a less-confident shopper too many options.

(Yes, we’ve been thinking about this topic an awful lot lately. We even made a whole shopping meta-list of the best sites for quickly picking high-quality, hand-curated items; check it out if shopping drives you nuts.)

So, what’s on webhound Scoble’s list, you wonder? eBay gave us a sneak peek, and as you’d expect, it’s gadget heavy. The veteran blogger’s top pick is the iPad mini 64GB with LTE, followed by the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition camcorder and the Mophie PowerStation. Still a boy who likes toys, Scoble also tapped a remote control truck; he also pointed out a lovely necklace of silver and larimar, a rare blue variety of pectolite, for his wife.