EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 235 - March 15, 2009 - ISSN 1528-6703     2 of 7

eBay Reveals News and Strategy at Analyst Day

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eBay delivered a broad overview of its business to analysts on Wednesday and painted a rosy picture for the year 2011 - but it said this year will not be great for Marketplaces (growth expected to be slower than the market in 2009). eBay heavily promoted its PayPal business, and complained to analysts that they were undervaluing eBay stock.

But what had people buzzing was eBay's declaration that it had decided to go after "Secondary Markets" for its marketplace business, abandoning its "Retailer" strategy. A presentation slide showed a $500 billion market opportunity for "off-price retailers, outlets, liquidators and wholesalers."

President of eBay Marketplaces Lorrie Norrington said, "An analogy that is fairly simple is that the old eBay made a living in peoples' attics and garages. The new eBay is sitting in warehouses, liquidators and off-price retailers. And they're looking for cost-effective channel to be able to move high velocity." eBay SVP & GM of North America Marketplaces Stephanie Tilenius revealed that eBay is allowing certain companies to brand themselves on eBay. "We're changing how we actually show some of those sellers, those larger sellers, on eBay," she added.

During the presentation, eBay executives revealed the company will roll out "first contact resolution" for top buyers, and buyer protection that sounds like it will guarantee purchases of top buyers in the U.S. and UK, coming in April. The goal is to eventually expand the program to all U.S. buyers, followed by international buyer protection. In addition, Slide #84 in this PDF file shows the "bolder actions" eBay said it would be taking this year. (Warning: the file may take a long time to load.)

eBay's presentation slides revealed management's thinking about the marketplace business. Slide 95 shows the "new vertical experience for hard goods"; Slide 97 shows the multi-SKU listing format; Slide 99 shows eBay's philosophy of showing buyers items in all formats (auction, Fixed-Price, classifieds and advertising) and in all conditions (new, used, out-of-season) - which one might be tempted to call a shopping portal approach.

There was a lot to absorb from the Analyst Day presentation. You can listen to the webcast online and see the slides via the eBay Ink blog, and here are links to additional coverage.

AuctionBytes Coverage

eBay Strategy Revealed: Overstock Inventory from Diamond Liquidators
Link to article

EBay Analyst Day Notes (Live-Blogging)
Link to blog post

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two
Link to blog post

eBay Analyst Day Notes, Part 3
Link to blog post

eBay Gives Away the Store to Branded Retailers
Link to blog post

Additional Coverage

eBay's Big Plan - video interview with eBay CEO John Donahoe (CNBC)
Link to video

eBay Changing Its Strategy - Again (Wall Street Journal blog)
Link to blog post

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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