eBay and GM make a deal to sell cars online

Starting on Tuesday, General Motors will begin selling cars on eBay (EBAY). The new move, which is part of the automaker's recovery plan, will connect traditional dealerships to a specially designed portal through which users can browse car lots, negotiate prices, and arrange financing. Initially, the program will work with 225 California dealers, but it is expected to quickly move across the country next month.

Car purchases are famous for being stressful, confrontational, and generally unpleasant. For a populace that is increasingly growing accustomed to transacting its business through the blandly friendly face of a computer screen, the idea of dickering for a car online will probably seem completely logical. Rather than trying to deal with a slick professional whose entire career rests on his ability to gain confidence, push product, and seal the deal, eBay car buyers will be able to ask about features, push for a better deal and -- most importantly -- walk away.