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Wed July 18 2007 16:38:10

Is Average Selling Price on eBay Higher?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay released earnings minutes ago, one thing jumps out at me from the online sellers' point of view. In eBay's Marketplaces business, the company said listings were down 6 percent year of year, but those listings generated 12 percent more in GMV: "eBay's users posted a total of 559 million listings in Q2-07, 6% lower than the 596 million listings posted in Q2-06. These listings generated Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) of $14.46 billion in Q2-07, representing a 12% year-over-year increase from the $12.90 billion reported in Q2-06."

Given categories such as Business & Industrial, it's conceivable that those higher-priced items could negate what I believe is a falling ASP on many other (more mature) categories. But listings are down? Q2-2006 was when eBay had increased Stores visibility and people were pretty bullish on eBay sales. Could we be seeing the effect of the Stores in Search rollback?

Oh, another thought: could it be as simple as the missing Chinese listings? If so, it looks like they didn't contribute much to GMV. eBay's investor call is at 5 pm Eastern, let's see if anyone asks about this,...

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by: Ina Steiner

Wed Jul 18 16:43:48 2007

And oh yeah, eBay's squeezing more profitability out of Marketplaces - net revenues grew 26 percent over Q2-06 - more than twice as much as the cited GMV growth of 12 percent. Does anyone else draw the same conclusion?

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by: Ann

Thu Jul 19 05:04:14 2007

Does anyone really believe the numbers that ebay post anyway? I marked down al of my lingerie by 40%, which is most cases, was below my wholesale cost. Did I get besieged with customers? Nope, in fact I pulled all of my listings. You can't even give some things away on ebay these days. I learned a long time ago, I can go broke sitting on my hands. I darn sure don't need to make ebay rich, while I work like a dog and lose money. My other words are just not printable

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by: harobed

Thu Jul 19 07:02:14 2007


Holy accounting software, batman!  After accounting for the effects of currency, the true GMV lift was only 9%.

So, the amount of product being sold on eBay is slowing pretty big-time.  While the rest of the web sales are up 25% y/y growth rate, eBay is growing only 9%.

Even a blind man could see eBay is  losing market share to other sites.  

So, for the math-challenged, why is eBay revenue up?

eBay's revenue is up is not because of higher priced products on -- ebay numbers STINK.  Listings are down, ASPs are down, sell-thru rates are probably ok,  but mostly at lower prices.  

Shazam!!!  The revenue numbers are up because eBay management rolls in a lot of other numbers from their revenue lines into the ''marketplace'' category (,  Those numbers look really hot, but each one hides weakness in the core.  

to add smoke to smoke, eBay management said it plain as day: in the future analysts should start looking at ''ebay revenue'' not gmv nor listings as a key metric going forward.  So, it is true that meg wants more bidding and buying on .com, but don't fall for it,  they are going to focus more on creating other revenue lines to boost up the marketplace.

Just like the lady Ann said above, even eBay management knows it ain't no use to beat .com for more dollars -- they just ain't there.


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by: Pat

Thu Jul 19 12:45:39 2007

I don't know that the selling prices are higher - maybe, but I do know that I have been on eBay for a long time now and I can hardly sell anything any more.  Even for 99 cents - it is difficult to sell something.  I keep wondering about the search setup on eBay.  I have a Featured store, but that doesn't seem to help anything either.  I lost my Powerseller status long ago.  I have family that buy on eBay and pay big bucks for some of their stuff, so who knows.  I wish someone would tell us so we could quit losing so much money.  I'm just sitting here making eBay richer!

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by: Frank

Thu Jul 19 14:41:47 2007

My two cents are this.  This has been one scary summer.  I sell clothing and shoes (new)  in July 2005 I had $22,000 in sales.  In July 2006 I had 14,000 in sales.  This July I'll be lucky if I make $5000 in sales.  This is a big drop-off.  It's so slow that I've actually gone 3 days in a row without a single question from a buyer?  It's like an atom bomb hit.  I have 600 items listed,spread out in store and auctions.  I even put ''Best Offers'' on loads of my store items.  I thought I would at least be inundated with ridiculous offers nope. It was only 2 years ago if I had $22,000 in sales my listings were $2200 per month.  Now my lising fees are $2200 for about $14,000 in sales???   Yes gas is $3 a gallon but it was last summer also?  It's really bad I wish I had the answers.  Help

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by: Peter Leeflang - CEO of Leeflang Archives Corp.

Thu Jul 19 19:06:22 2007

There is nothing true about the ASP (average selling price) going up, as far as the Magazine Back issues category is concerned (with on average almost 98,000 running listings each week (about 50K in the catehory and another 50K spread over other categories).

In fact, anyone with access to Terapeak can see that sell through rates and average prices in that area are down by at least 30% compared with last year.

We have managed to lose only 10% in ASP, but the trade off is that we have to list the same item more frequently. So Ebay is eating more away at our margins, by collecting two or three times more listing fees per item, what we call 'increased advertising costs'.

And the ASP I'm talking about is the average of Store and Auctions combined. If I analyze further, the auction numbers are the most abysmal, as compared with store numbers. Our buyers make it clear that they are often only interested in Buy Now, not in auction. If Ebay would drop the auction model, no buyer nor seller would be very sad about that.

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by: Melanie Simmons

Fri Jul 20 16:03:40 2007

My experience with eBay is much different. We sell out of print books and paper collectibles. I have been very pleased with the prices I have gotten for rarities on eBay and for average books. My unusual items have gotten top prices this year and I didn't have to go to an expensive auction house. We are striving to get even more of our book inventory on eBay because we are glad to pay eBay fees. When we sell through the book sites they charge us 15-20% and a monthly $40 fee. ABE even insists on processing credit cards at 5.5% and making money on the transaction. We have a 2% rate but can't use it with most sites. I sell books on eBay that I've had listed for years on book sites. I do wish eBay made store listings  more visible but still I sell from my eBay store every day. I have about 1200 items up. Maybe it is because I sell the harder to find item but I do well.

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by: Jeanne

Fri Jul 20 18:05:17 2007

Has anyone considered that eBay revenue is up because they raised listing and final value fees - the obvious reason that listings (sellers) are down.

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by: Joy

Sun Jul 22 19:01:07 2007

Really...a slow slow summer. Thot it was because I moved across the country...butnot so. My best buyers are quiet and not responding. Others want a 'deal' on the same items they happily paid (asking) price before.
I resent having to pay eBay twice..first them AND THEN PayPal! ( I also pay a management group...but guess I still need that) I see less and less profit margin.
Noticed more sellers refusing PayPal ( except for international sales) and stating their reasons why!!
Yet, 99.9% of my buyers pay me in this way. And I don't have the courage ( and DO have the need) to change this!

Yes, a catch 22..but where else to go??
Also, more buyers want to evade eBay and buy direct..not the best practise..and I wouldn't like to lose my powerseller status!

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by: Matt Price - CEO Blue Hound Auctions, LLC

Mon Jul 23 15:49:24 2007

The average selling price on eBay may be going up as a result of many of the companies and individuals taking down items in the less than $9.99 area.  If you noticed the trend, many of the companies have changed their marketing and websites to focus more on premium items rather than on yard sale leftovers, which has become a problem in the past on eBay, causing people to search through mounds of crap for the diamonds.

This change was expected (by me) as a correction.  The problem was that you have people who are always pitching that they are always making money on eBay selling other people's junk - and then they say "And you can too!"  When the people find out that it helps to be an antiquities dealer or a specialized professional, they tend to back off and go back to what they were doing, off ebay.

This does mean that the combination of PayPal and eBay are in a spiral.  First, by raising the fees, companies and individuals are less likely to list those items that they think are not worthy.  This means that there could be $100 items that find their way to a junk pile that are worth way more than that.

I have seen it before - someone puts a tiffany vase in with a bunch of other junk and takes the one piece of junk out to price it, then throws the whole box away.  Not I, I pull out the one that I know is tiffany, and then price out the rest of the box.  The fact of the matter is that eBay has fallen as a source of income for us.  We pay them to keep a store and might sell 1-2 things a month out of it, but the fact of the matter is that I am having more Live Auctions than eBay Auctions.  People want it now and are willing to pay for the quality.

What does eBay hold in our future - the loss of business.  If eBay can not change their ways, we will leave them and use them for an occasional way to sell items, and focus more on storage and live auction services.  

In the next year, I can easily say that I will be leaving eBay and PayPal for other solutions.  I expect others to do the same as well.  If other places are growing at 25% and eBay seems to be backing up, then it would be foolish to stay on eBay.

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