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Wed Mar 11 2009 13:26:57

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Return from break.(Ina taking over from David on blogging.)

John Donahoe made some introductions:

Josh Silverman, President of Skype, "Mister Fix-It." He went over to Maarketplatz,,

You'll hear from  three Marketplaces executives:

Mark Carges - initially oversee all technology platforms - playing interim CTO for Marketplaces

Stephanie Tilenius - one of the best product people. Has a deep understanding of eBay

Lorrie Norrington - had been prez of

Lorrie Norrington

Let's take a moment to get grounded about marketplaces. We connect buyers and sellers, Locally, Nationally and Globally. What's going on at eBay? Lot of change.

We're creating a new eBay. Today, we're not meeting needs of sellers or expectations of buyers, and that must change. To realize the promise and potential - must fix foundation by transforming user experience and our technology to position us to stabilize this business and capture oppty in secondary market that we are well positioned to win. And will strengthen all formats.

We're positioned to do this. To dimension this for you, we have 25 million sellers - serve 150 million unique visitors a month. .. across 50 thousand categories. Across the world. (ran through sales stats)

We offer broadest choice of formats on the web. World's largest marketplace. Unburdened by physical inventory. Our sellers can move nimbly. Great deals for buyers.

We deliver buyers whatever they want in the format that suits their needs - in a hurry - FP format; looking for unique, scarce items - auction format; marketplace as a seller platform. Highest quality, best-priced sellers will win. We are not a retailer and will not compete with our sellers. But because sellers compete, our buyers get the best deals.

If marketplace is so advantaged, why not growing fast?

1 year ago, realized we needed to make foundational change - we hadn't kept up.

In 2008, took a hard look at customer experience. The auction format had grown beyond its natural size, bec. it was the only game in time since early days. We continued to optimize for auctions, so constrained growth of fixed price. We were too slow to change, let everyone into the marketplace, which impacted buyer trust. We were too incremental.

We needed to revamp technology, improve customer experience.

We began a 3 year journey last year. 1) fix foundation. this will stabilize the eBay business. Stem auctions, unleash FP and other formats. Stabalizaiton not enough - must position for growth

- improve user experience
- innovating through technology
- strengthening complementary formats

We revamped feedback, and advantaged high-quality sellers in search. We improved user experience - new search platform. Best sellers and dealers reached to the top. Lengthened duration. Pricing incentives.

Trusted sellers are growing. From 12 percent to 27 percent in terms of GMV. Growing faster - 22 percent growth. Our hi quality sellers are winning. Listings were up in Q4.

Lower shipping costs. 12 to 30 percent of listings w/ free shipping - Shooting for 40 percent listings with free shipping by holiday 2009.

In 2009, we need to do more.
conflict resolution
In April , top buyers - will provide eBay Buyer Protection. Goal - expand to all US buyers, followed by international.

More risk-free shopping and improve seller economics.

Position to grow: focus on where we can win - the secondary market. We built on used market - eBay brand has become synonomous w/ great deals in used items.

Product life cycles being compressed. Secondary market (SM) is sweet spot - global opportunity: 500 billion dollars a year. offprice , liquidators, wholesalers,

Why Marketplace works for SM:
SM is inefficient.
Have an uncertain value - can maximize velocity across formats
Buyers looking for great deals, not concierge service. Want confidence and choice for best deal. Search can surface these best deals.

User experience & technology.

Stephanie Tilenius

Transforming user experience. I came from PayPal. I'm a top buyer - family feedback of 1600. I'm committed to fixing the user experience.

We are transforming Search. From time-ending soonest to relevance. Exposed auctions at the top, with high shipping costs. We were not surfacing value. Now, Price, relevance, quality of items and sellers, through Best Match.

Whole New Level of search - do a search for Wii Games - pictures, not listings. Based on a catalog. The Product Detail page enables buyer to choose btwn new and used inventory. Building Multi-SKU pages. Exploring better ways to surface inventory - Snapshot View. 

Secondary Market - large oppty to grow.

Wrap up by taking you into the future. Today's search is clunky, a lot of work. In our vision, the buyer doesn't need to navigate multiple sites. Shopper comes searches for an iPod - various formats and advertising that shows what's available across the web.

Shoppers will come to eBay: Selection, service the way you want. A starting point on the web. New, SM, Used, in various formats.

Using search. Managing Real time engine - extremely tough problem to solve. Mark C. will talk about technology.

What doing to improve seller experience. Sellers are critical to eBay. You can guarantee velocity of trade on eBay, but we need to do more to help sellers succeed. Better tools, customer service, improve efficiencies for seller.

We briefed sellers. Including Jack Sheng (eforcity). One of our toughest critics and most successful sellers. (Audio clip of Jack speaking (could be a video). Hard to hear him because music is playing over his voice).

Jack: need better communication. Unintended consequences of changes. Need exposure on search, customer service. Good that eBay is focusing on certain verticals. Just because sellers have complaints, doesn't mean it's a bad marketplace. We do need to take care of the buyers. eBay brings buyers to the table.

1:30pm Mark Carges
(Joined eBay 6 months ago. Large scale software dev background.)

Making significant changes in technology coming.

Two questions: Fixing search? User experience keeping up?

Investing resources in:

1) Improving search relevance. (Positronic acquisition)
2) New search platform in 2008. Improved relevance, better sorting. Focus in 2009 is to improve Best Match
3) Evolving search engine into platform. Will be able to build multiple shopping experiences.

EBay has unique challenges with structured and unstructured data. Technology goal is to build an uniquely eBay catalogue.

User experience
Has not kept pace. Moving from listing-based shopping experience.
Available now: Snapshot view of listings.
Coming up:

Opening up to more 3rd party developers. Project "Echo" Applications will become "native" on eBay, so users can subscribe to applications right on eBay site.

Technology will be driving strategy.

Be able to subscribe to desired apps on the site:

Lorrie Norrington

Mark & Stephanie talked about User Experience and Technology, 2 key ingredients for driving growth. As ecommerce evolves, must expand all formats to lead in ecommerce.

Let's cover the Classifieds format. $270 billion format: by category, geographic expansion and new monetization streams.

Classifieds are largely complementary to eBay transaction business. Majority of listings are services, dating, jobs and housing. We have built a number 1 or 2 position in 8 of major global markets. Strong potential: Insertion fees, feature fees, advertising. We deliver value & selection in any format right for shopper buying occasion.

We are reshaping this bus. We've experienced the slowdown and decline in auction format, but most formats grew faster than ecommerce in 2008. Auctions will decline in 2009 and stabilize in 2010 and beyond. Our other formats: FP, classifieds advertising and verticals will grow faster than the market.

3 things to remember (Marketplaces)

1) we are transforming markeptlace

2) Focusing where we can win - secondary market (SM). We are not focused on retail. Already making strides.

3) Growing our complementary formats to ensure we deliver choice for buyers for any shopping occasion.

Speaking on behalf of the entire Markeptlaces team, w're committed to ensuring promise & Potential - we will be one of winners in ecommerce.

She handed over to Josh Silverman to talk about Skype, which we're not blogging

Comments (26) | Permalink

Readers Comments

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Wed Mar 11 13:40:59 2009

Boy it seems like they are dancing around the facts. Lots of gibberish about what they've done to improve things, but nothing to substantiate any of it. They keep talking about what they are GOING to do, and what they have not been doing enough of.

It's so ridiculous, I don't even think I want to listen to any more of it.

Do these people ever look to see what is going on around them? There are multitudes of online businesses capitalizing on ebay's weakness of dealing inappropriately with the sellers. These other companies are all thriving. Hello?? These could have been ebay's sellers?? Now they are profit sharing SOMEWHERE ELSE.

I think the rest of the sellers will be leaving now. How much more of this garbage those sellers can take is anyone's guess...

I'm just glad I found 3 other venues to sell fixed priced.

I sure do miss having a high volume, high exposure auction site to list on!Oh well! Someone will do it soon!

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: ebay=penny stock

Wed Mar 11 13:44:38 2009

Ebay spin is so BORING but the pictures are nice. Lots of color.

Ina don't fall asleep listening to the spin.

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: walter

Wed Mar 11 14:06:43 2009


Well, I will have to give props to JD he said "our success is killing us".
Congrats JD, you certainly solved that pesky success problem ebay was having.

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Wed Mar 11 14:07:06 2009

Lots of pretty dresses. Where will ebay find that kind of inventory? Unless is selling clothing with SKU's on the tags. I guess it will be a fun way to shop. No designer stuff though, that's going to be GONE off the site, thanks to ebay not paying attention to what the platinum fraudster sellers were doing (selling knockoffs), and spending more time counting their ebay stock shares, along with the DSR numbers that ARE still being manipulated.

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: dan

Wed Mar 11 14:14:31 2009

if there is an iceberg ahead, why isn't the captain steering the ship around it

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: walter

Wed Mar 11 14:34:05 2009

because his radar defaulted to best match and all its show is icecream.

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: eBuyer Feedback

Wed Mar 11 15:25:21 2009

Wait so this is only year 2 of disruptive innovation?  I thought we were on year 3.

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: Harriet

Wed Mar 11 15:30:53 2009

The story of the Emperor's New Clothes comes to mind. All around him are telling him how great he's looking, and the rest of the world sees the truth!

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: Patricia

Wed Mar 11 15:45:51 2009

I had to turn this off when they went for lunch.....or else I would be so nauseated I wouldn't be able to eat my own lunch.  This was sickening to say the least.  After the mild slap on the wrist by the board in freezing their pays to 2008 - life went right on as though nothing happened.

To hear the speakers for Ebay one thought they were listening to a management team from a wildly successful company...instead we were listening to a management team that caused a 16 percent DECLINE in their 4th quarter last season!!!  If you can't win during the holidays then you just cannot win.

So, I'll sit back and watch the next disasterous quarter and probably one after that before this deaf, dumb and blind board comes to its senses and gets rid of these oafs!  We really are witnessing the slow death of a once hugely successful company.

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: shjames

Wed Mar 11 16:26:38 2009

80% of my listings are unique, high quality hand made artisan items. I used to have more than 900 items listed on a regular basis. These items don't have barcodes or SKUs.

My DSRs are all 5.0; I offer "free" shipping, and my feedback is 100%.

If ebay thinks I'm going to return to the days when I paid $8,000-$10,000+ a month for auction style listings in a category bloated with 35 cent, often misrepresented knockoff fixed price listings, they're crazy.

When ebay introduced the Most Popular algorithm into Best Match last fall, my sales plummeted 65% in ONE week and have gradually declined since. People can't buy what ebay won't let them see.

I've gone from Platinum to approaching Silver powerseller status in six months after being a Platinuum powerseller for more than five years.

Outstanding customer service, excellent feedback, "free" shipping," and high quality items do NOT necessarily translate into "winning" as stated above.

In fact, I'd say quite the opposite is true when one looks at what ebay shows high in search and what they bury. What or who ebay says they reward isn't what or who they actually reward.

I see no future for my kind of business model on ebay. Ebay once again talks out of both sides of their mouth by providing the best exposure to my competitors who sell cheap, foreign made, misrpresented items.

Ebay doesn't seem to understand what they often make far more in FVF fees when I sell one of my items than when my competitors specialized in cheap junk jewelry sell ten pieces. If ebay can't grasp something so basic as this, it's no mystery why their stock is nearly worthless.

Ebay thinks customers who buy cheap, foreign, and misrepresented knockoffs item are getting a better "customer experience" than those who buy authentic but more expensive items. Typical of ebay's bean counter mentality.

I will soon begin migrating to other websites where sales will probably be as dismal as they are on ebay and continue upgrading my own website.

I will be taking the several thousand dollars I spend each quarter on ebay with me as well as a database containing nearly 30,000 customers.

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: pam

Wed Mar 11 17:05:28 2009

to shjames

It's amazing how close your story mirrors ours.  Same problem with Best Match, same fall in sales, same fee amount we were paying before being destroyed by the poor decisions made by this company.  That's $18,000-$20,000 in fees per month from just 2 sellers that they have lost and I'm sure we're not alone.  I do understand what others are saying about running off the small sellers, but I would not consider us small and they have destroyed us.  The sad part about it where we are concerned is that it was our business and our livelihood and supported our children and several employees that we had to lay off.  We now work 15 hours per day trying to make it with the few sales we can still manage to get until we can build up sales on our website and Amazon.  I wish you all the best because I can certainly feel your pain and that of many others this despicable corporation has managed to destroy in a short period of time. Hopefully, by this time next year we will all have managed to build up our sales elsewhere and eBay will be just a bad memory.

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: huntrgathrerdawtcom

Wed Mar 11 17:06:05 2009

JD and crew are unbelievable - still a bunch of lemmings IMO. To paraphrase an excerpt last year by JD  - we HAD a successful business model, but it's not what WE wanted it to be....(emphasis mine) it would be laughable if it weren't true. Since when does a successful company ignore their customers - the sellers?????

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: fatseal

Wed Mar 11 20:11:37 2009

We began a 3 year journey last year. 1) fix foundation. this will stabilize the eBay business. Stem auctions, unleash FP and other formats. Stabalizaiton not enough - must position for growth

Stem auctions, I think this is very telling. It seems like they are determined to stop auctions,which explains why they keep saying the auction is dead.  They needed everyone to parrot the party line that the auction is dead.  Once everyone believes that the auction is dead, then it's easy to remove the model.

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: formercanadianpowerseller

Wed Mar 11 20:21:29 2009

I think I would like to sue eBay for emotional damages and hardship brought on by the lies, misinformation and technical issues.
Forget the USER AGREEMENT crap - I just want to sue them for messing around with my head and my once passion for selling online.
I am broken and hollow now eBay.
My 2 baby boys and wife thank you too.
Ebay you hurt people - good people and you should NOT continue to get away with it.
I am on the verge of losing my house now.
Thank you eBay.
For all the people who say that I am whining, well...that's your opinion.
I know how I feel and who I once was.
I feel violated in so many ways.
Thank you eBay.
A deep sorrow is filling in my heart as I am typing this while looking at my 8 month old beautiful baby boy.
Thank you eBay.
I have doubt in myself and others now.
Thank you eBay.
I could keep typing but I think you get the point on how I feel.
That is unless you work for eBay.
Then you totally do not understand or even care.
Thank you eBay.

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: Rich_knob

Wed Mar 11 21:49:56 2009

On top of all of this disruption, eBay has changed the entire software platform and has neither tested nor documented these changes. All eBay is  IS a software platform!

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: Dingbing

Thu Mar 12 00:05:41 2009

eBay is going to innovate through technology. Hahahahaha!

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: Clay

Thu Mar 12 00:15:05 2009

The spin was so fast they got themselves dizzy. Amazon must be laughing their A$$ off

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

This user has validated their user name. by: Mercy the Mingless

Thu Mar 12 00:29:01 2009

I'm reading online reports about today's Analyst Day.

Quote below from an AP article.

''Derek Brown, an analyst with Cantor Fitzgerald, said he got the sense from the presentations that the changes eBay implemented last year didn't quite yield the results it had hoped, and that eBay is now speeding things up in an effort to bring the market back to them.''

He is a Cantor Fitzgerald ANALYST and is making an assessment based on ebay presentations!


EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: Clay

Thu Mar 12 00:29:28 2009

Nothing else to say. By the time I get to part three, I'll probably puck my brains out because of the spin.

EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two   EBay Analyst Day Notes, Part Two

by: Mike

Thu Mar 12 00:59:41 2009

Today’s meeting and PR session was one of the most flagrant examples of self serving spin I have ever heard. Look at ANY of the blogs ANYWHERE, and you see the same thing. Ebay has done everything in it’s power to alienate the small and medium sized sellers that made it what it is. They are blindly pursuing a mass market strategy, which can be done much better by others, where the sellers do not have the ludicrous overheads and fees posted by Ebay, nor the danger of buyer fraud which Ebay, in it’s misplaced zeal to please all potential buyers, seems to condone.
John Donohoe, the CEO, seems disconnected from the marketplace, and Lorrie Norrington, the second in command, downright hostile to those sellers who have made ebay successful in the past. All of this has been reflected in the declining stock price, hard to love a company that hates it’s customers. Apparently the consensus is correct, unless this top management team is removed and replaced by people who will actively promote the site (when is the last time you saw and Ebay ad?), it can only go downhill.

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