|Wed June 2 2010 19:59:57|
eBay CEO on Seller Fees: Still Cheaper than Amazon
By: Ina Steiner
eBay issued a press release about CEO John Donahoe's interview with Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg at the All Things Digital conference today. John hit some of his favorite themes, but in reviewing the press release and media coverage of the interview, it's clear he also went off-script.
- Auctions are a minority of eBay's overall business. "A lot of the inventory on eBay today is brand new. Now, they're not necessarily the same items you'd get in a retail store. But what you have on eBay that you don't have anywhere else are items that have been returned or refurbished, items that are cheaper. eBay gives you a choice of inventory."
- There are many winners in ecommerce. In discussing competition, John mentioned Amazon, Etsy and Wal-Mart, but said there can be many winners in ecommerce. "Wal-Mart is the largest offline retailer in the world. Costco competes in the exact same segment with the exact same business model very successfully. So does Target. The same thing can happen online. Amazon can be successful and eBay can be successful, too."
- eBay is working on mobile shopping and vertical shopping experiences. John discussed the growth in mobile shopping, and said eBay was the largest seller of fashion in the world and is driving more vertical shopping experiences on eBay.
- The user experience needs much improvement. John said the user experience on eBay's online marketplace has "gone from a 2 to a 4 in the past year - "it's twice as good, but there is a long way to go," according to Dow Jones newswire.
- eBay was "nickel-and-diming" sellers for years. When Walt asked whether sellers were being "nickel-and-dimed by eBay's many fees," John said, "I think for years, eBay was nickel and diming. But over the past few years, we've restructured our fees. Today, consumers can list for free and businesses can list in the fixed-priced format. We've tried to simplify and streamline our pricing. We're still cheaper than Amazon."
Here's a link to All Things D coverage and a link to a video clip of John discussing the Skype acquisition and divestiture.