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eBay Predicts an ‘Okay’ Holiday Season

It will be an okay holiday selling season, CEO Devin Wenig said last week when asked about the health of the global and US consumer. “It feels like growth is pretty good, we haven’t really seen a break in trend up or down meaningfully.”

“It feels like it will be an okay holiday – not a dramatic blockbuster holiday, but it will be an okay holiday,” he added. “Who knows, but that’s what it feels like to us.”

He also said retail marketing was getting “silly” with deals starting as early as August.

eBay would be doing a few things differently for holiday marketing this year, Wenig said, including encouraging buyers to “sell to buy.” eBay will run some promotions in which it will give a gift card to consumer sellers worth more than the value of the goods they sold that they can re-spend on eBay during the holidays.

eBay will also be doing a lot of things around charitable giving during the holiday season.

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He was dismissive of ecommerce companies creating branded days such as Singles Day, and Amazon’s Prime Day (“or whatever that was”). eBay will be using an existing holiday in the UK called Boxing Day to encourage people to sell the gifts they received but don’t want – “box it up and sell it,” he said.

Wenig made the remarks during a presentation at RBC Capital Markets on November 10th. Additional coverage of the event can be found in two Newsflash articles: “eBay CEO Downplays Delivery Speed, Plays up Longtail” (link) and “eBay to Offer Services to Marketplace Buyers” (link).

Last month in remarks during eBay’s post-earnings conference call with analysts, Wenig also discussed¬†eBay’s holiday marketing plans, revealing that eBay was not going to do a significant amount of TV but wouldn’t spend less, and he said eBay planned on emphasizing social channels instead.

During last week’s conference he was asked what were the must-have holiday items. The “annoying” Star Wars Droid is the must-have item, Wenig said, and eBay is letting people sell it for no take rate. Hover boards are hot, and video games are always hot.

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.