You won't have to wait much longer to find out how eBay did during the holiday shopping season and compare it with your own sales. Three weeks from today, on January 29, 2019, eBay will announce fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 results.
During last year's fourth-quarter conference call on January 31, 2018, eBay revealed it had grown Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) a mere 7% in Q4 2017 compared to Q4 2016. Things didn't get any better for subsequent quarters - eBay grew GMV 7% in the first 2 quarters of 2018 and by 5% in the third quarter, all on an FX-neutral basis.
During last January's Q4 earnings call, eBay also announced it would become a payments intermediary.
eBay began rolling out Managed Payments (MP) in July of 2018, but was severely restricted by operating agreements it had entered into with PayPal in 2015 in terms of how much GMV it could process and in which geographic markets as it goes through the multi-year transition.
But the biggest surprise about eBay MP actually came in July when eBay revealed its new payments processing system would exclude PayPal for the first year, making it unappealing to many sellers.
In a New Year's Day podcast a week ago, eBay executives referred to the "feature gaps" in Managed Payments and said sellers had processed close to $40 million of revenue through MP since its launch. "This is the start of a long journey and we've been super clear about that," eBay's Bob Kupbens said.
During this month's post-earnings call with Wall Street analysts on the 29th, we expect eBay to address Managed Payments.
Analysts may also be looking for management discussion of eBay's growth rate, its "take rate," macroeconomic and international issues (the national and global economy, political issues, international exchange rates, China trade tariffs, India regulation, Brexit), and eBay's progress when it comes to structured data and SEO.
They may also be looking for management to discuss technology issues and the company's focus on Flash Sale promotions for buyers in 2018 vs. seller promotions.
In announcing third-quarter results on October 30th, eBay CEO Devin Wenig signaled he was pinning his hopes on Payments and Advertising to grow revenue - tune in on the 29th to see what progress he made.