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eBay’s StubHub Faces Major League Problems

eBay’s StubHub unit was a bright spot in eBay’s fourth quarter earnings released last month thanks to its high revenue growth, but now it’s facing “major league” problems.

While StubHub’s revenue is a fraction of eBay’s total revenue – eBay Marketplaces saw revenue of $1.9 billion in Q4, while StubHub’s revenue was $232 million – StubHub revenue grew 34% compared to eBay Marketplace’s growth of 1%.

So news that the New York Yankees baseball team was taking action that could negatively impact sales ot its tickets through StubHub was taken seriously. This month, the Yankees announced it was eliminating print-at-home tickets – the kind that StubHub users deal in.

The team announced the availability of mobile ticketing for the 2016 baseball season as a complement to traditional hard stock paper tickets. But, it went on to say “Print-at-home paper tickets (PDFs) are being discontinued so as to further combat fraud and counterfeiting of tickets associated with print-at-home paper tickets (PDFs).”

StubHub spokesperson Cameron Papp told EcommerceBytes last week, “StubHub encounters fraud in about 0.01 percent of transactions. As with all purchases on StubHub, every buyer is protected by our Fan Protect Guarantee. StubHub believes that the best customer experience is one on a free and open marketplace where fans can buy and sell tickets whenever and wherever they want. Yankees fans will still be able to purchase tickets on StubHub up until game time.”

This week, the company met with the Yankees. Papp told us yesterday (Wednesday), “StubHub appreciates the Yankees willingness to meet and have an open dialog with regards to their ticketing policies. We were encouraged by the tenor of the conversation and look forward to continuing these discussions in the days ahead. StubHub is committed to putting fans first and passionately advocating for them with both our partners and the industry at large.”

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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.