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Strong Dollar Hurt eBay Marketplaces Cross-Border Trade in Q1

eBay grew company-wide revenue 4% in the first quarter compared to a year earlier, saying the number was negatively impacted due to foreign currency translation. The strong dollar also negatively impacted cross border trade for the eBay Marketplaces business.

“Weaker local currencies in some markets led to reduced demand for goods in export-oriented markets like North America, impacting the growth of cross border trade,” eBay explained.

However, eBay Marketplaces President Devin Wenig, who is prepping to become CEO of eBay after the breakup with PayPal, called the first quarter performance of Marketplaces “a good start.”

In a post-earnings conference call, Wenig said eBay was making an ongoing investment in the Marketplaces after a password reset last year following a security breach.

Wenig also referenced the Google penalty, saying SEO was still negatively impacting growth. In response, he promised to make eBay the first online global marketplace to use structured catalog data at scale for all listings as part of a “three-pillar” strategy going forward.

The Wall Street Journal noted that for the first time, quarterly revenue from PayPal exceeded that of Marketplaces. “And while PayPal is growing, the marketplace business shrank for the first time in more than five years,” it reported.

PayPal revenue was up 14%, or 17% FX neutral.

eBay Marketplaces Q1 year-over-year stats include:

  • eBay Marketplaces revenue fell to $2.1 billion, down 4% (up 3% FX neutral).
  • eBay Marketplaces gross merchandise volume (GMV) declined 2% (up 5% FX neutral). Fixed price GMV grew 10% and auctions GMV declined 12%, FX neutral.
  • eBay Marketplaces U.S. GMV was up 2%, while eBay Marketplaces international GMV was down 4% (up 7% FX-neutral).

eBay said Marketplaces gained 2.1 million new buyers in the quarter, up 8% to 157 million. “Active buyer growth continued to decline on a rolling 12-month basis, we are seeing signs that our business is stabilizing, with both three-month active buyer growth and FX neutral GMV growth flat at 5% on a sequential basis.”

Read eBay’s full financial release on the EcommerceBytes Blog, and read more about Devin Wenig’s plans for eBay Marketplaces in the accompanying Newsflash story.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.