Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Feb 27 2019 20:56:45

Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers would prefer Google over Amazon as a possible acquirer of eBay by a wide margin - 18% and 5%, respectively. But slightly more sellers (20%) would rather see the board take eBay private. 

Those were the findings of a survey EcommerceBytes conducted in January after activist investor Elliott Management acquired shares in eBay and approached its Board with a list of demands last month.

In the survey, we stated: "Elliott Management said eBay Marketplace would be a "highly attractive acquisition target"" and asked, "What acquisition scenario do you feel would leave you best off as a seller?"

Only 5% of sellers believe they would be better off if Facebook acquired eBay, and even fewer - 2% - said they'd be better off if Walmart acquired eBay. A surprising number thought a Private Equity firm would be the best alternative (14%).

Perhaps most telling about the state of eBay for sellers these days: Only 12% said there should be no change in corporate structure.

The full results were as follows:

Board should take eBay private: 20%
Google should acquire eBay: 18%
Private Equity firm should acquire eBay: 14%
No change in corporate structure: 12%
Amazon should acquire eBay: 5%
Facebook should acquire eBay: 5%
Walmart should acquire eBay: 2%
Alibaba should acquire eBay: 1%
Other 23%

There were some interesting suggestions left by the sellers who selected "Other," including: PayPal; Apple; and "a group of experienced eBay sellers."

Many sellers didn't have specific suggestions. "I wish I knew what company should swallow eBay," one seller wrote, adding, "All of the above scare me!" 

"Not sure but it should be someone that has sold in the used goods market," wrote another. 

"PayPal," said one seller, explaining, "it already has all sellers, and sellers are ready to leave eBay if options are available."

Another seller said eBay should be split into two - "Google should acquire eBay for the sale of new products. And antique, collectible, and vintage item categories should be spun off into its own site called eBay Classic."

Stay tuned for Part 3 of the survey results. You can find Part 1 of the survey results, "Sellers Weigh In on Selling eBay Subsidiaries," on this page.

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 28 09:41:26 2019

I think I would prefer eBay as a private company. While being on the stock exchange, it's it fiduciary responsibility to the stockholders (yes, laugh).

Amazon is too big, and I have a funny feeling that their policies will change to what Amazon places on their sellers with all the added fees and such.

Google has collected so much information on us and I hate to see them having anything to do with eBay. I am sure that they will be sending "spam" of items I am selling that I would be interested. I can't stand the 2 weeks of using Google Chrome. The junk mail was so bad where I only get maybe 2 spams in a month.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: Bidonmine

Thu Feb 28 11:02:00 2019

Amazon is the king of online selling. If Amazon purchased Ebay AND kept Ebay as a separate platform, I would be all for it. I sell on several platforms, including Ebay and Amazon (both from when they first started with 3rd party sellers).  

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

by: songe-d-automne This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 28 11:42:52 2019

When it went Wall St. is when the proverbial poop hit the fan. It used to be a two way street governed by buyers and sellers with honorable intentions.

These days us sellers cannot leave anything but positive feedback, so really what is the point of having it? We have to pay a percentage of shipping price in final value fees even though we aren't seeing a dime of that money. In addition, our options for duration times are shrinking by the minute - getting charged a $1.00 for 1 and 3 days, now fixed price is GTC only. We are about to be forced to let them access our bank accounts directly with the induction of managed payments. We are forced into expensive refunds and returns with little to no basis in fact by people who have been trained to work the system. People circumvent blocks and filters by just making a new account.

I am only still around because of the auction format. Once they ditch that, I am off to Etsy again and working Facebook market a little harder. If I am going to be forced to let crap sit for 6 months before it sells or have to deal with flakes, at least I will be paying less to do so.

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Feb 28 12:02:20 2019

@Rexford

"I remember when eBay was private."

eBay was only private as eBay for 1 year (Sept. 1997 to Sept. 1998)

It was auctionweb 1995 to 1997

eBay would be like Bonanza if they hadn't gone public. . . . .

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 28 12:05:09 2019

Private would be best technically, but I agree it is too late for that. Ebay needs to be held accountable for awhile before they get to hide behind privatization.

The best scenario is not to sell, but to just get a competent board of directors and ceo. Clean house, but since people can't seem to do that, Google is probably the best option.







Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Feb 28 12:08:23 2019

@lindysthings

"Ebay was great before it went public"

So was the California Gold rush in 1848

eBay went public in 1998, back them most of America was clueless to what eBay was.

I've been a member since Jan 1998, a stock holder since Sept. 1998 (eBay ID vw)

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Feb 28 12:30:40 2019

If eBay went private they would have to charge 25% in fees to make up for the stock options management gets!

Being a private company wouldn't help sellers 1 ioda and in fact it would be detrimental. . .

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 28 13:08:42 2019

Personally, I dont think that going "private" is the way to go - even "private companies" like to make money.

The devil is in the details - and its HOW the eBay corporate BOD functions.

The only incentives given (ATM) are PURLEY numbers based - but skewed at such a level that when the crappy ideas that the CEO has fail, they "have to resort to theft from sellers" and thats NOT a good business plan/idea.

The other 1/2 of this is the dunces over at seekingalpha, cnbc etc - the ones who prop up eBay shares at stupid prices - when its more then obvious that those shares are worth %50 -%75 LESS then what they claim.

Theres ZERO reason that anyone can/should claim that eBay shares are worth $28-45 per share - as theres simply NO value there.

Those poor expectations fuel the fire - and force DW to once again turn to his dirty bag of tricks (known as theft from sellers).

If compensation was based on real growth or # of completed sales - things would be quite different.

If it was based on # of completed sales - then the constant worship of returns would disappear, eBay would/could cut costs in every possible area - just to insure that the customer was happy and kept the item.

Backed by a sterling CS group and decent advertising and eBay would EXPLODE.

Theres no need for fancy gimicks, game playing with percentages on what a seller paid on either shipping or cc charges if you adopt a better system for eBays corp.

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Thu Feb 28 13:38:33 2019

I like the separation of eBay Classic, although in fairness, since that's how it started after all, it should continue to be Ebay period. If they want to spin off the new, then sell that market off to anybody else. I don't care because I don't think it would last a year.

Ebay, brought back to it's kinder and nicer years would be very welcoming to buyers and sellers alike. It would take a strong, intelligent, market focused, IT savvy management group to pull it off. Changes would be very slow. They mucked with so much of the platform, no fast fix would be forthcoming. It would be a slow maturation, much like it started in the beginning. But, the foundation is there and I think it could provide a big payday for all involved.

eBay isn't the problem. eBay's management has been the problem for many years.

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Feb 28 13:45:04 2019

RKTOYS,

If I can get by your offensive HIV analogy (prayers to those who are suffering) I will say that I disagree with you.  Going private can allow for a larger degree of freedom for companies  to begin a plan of action for long-term, innovative, and high-risk, high-return ventures.  I think of the many success stories of companies that went private or were delisted--Hilton, Heinz, Dell, Alliances Boots, etc.

Let's just agree to disagree.  Companies like as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts have a history of turning companies around.   eBay can be turned around.  It just needs strong leadership.  When eBay was private Meg Whitman said "Any monkey could drive this train."   It is public now--just look at it.

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Feb 28 13:47:13 2019

Tool, I'll take my financial advice from folks who actually have a credit card and pay their taxes.

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster
Web Site

Thu Feb 28 14:05:21 2019

Toolguy - ""Board should take eBay private: 20%"
20% have NO idea what they're talking about"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
LOL! 🤣

Reads to me that 20% have a much better awareness of the *possible* benefits of taking eBay private than a guy whose primary business management experience consists of selling tools on eBay.

Going private is no recipe for guaranteed success by any means, (any more than any given company potentially acquiring eBay), but beyond poor execution, poor, executive leadership, poor strategic planning, and poor regard for customers, many of eBay's problems stem from the quarterly machinations and pressure from public markets Wenig, Schenker and team go through to appease Wall Street to hit short-term quarterly goals instead of focusing on strategic priorities (which can, and has, cause eBay stock volatility).

There is a very good reason Musk wanted to take Tesla private.

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Feb 28 14:15:38 2019

"Theres ZERO reason that anyone can/should claim that eBay shares are worth $28-45 per share - as theres simply NO value there."

Actually eBay stock is worth north of $50

eBay makes billions in profit. . . .

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Feb 28 14:18:07 2019

"eBay can be turned around"

Who said eBay needs to be turned around?

From eBay's & Wall Street's view eBay is doing just fine. . . .

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Feb 28 14:27:01 2019

@Rexford

I have an American Express Card (emergencies only)

And I have paid my taxes on eBay income for the past 19 years!

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Feb 28 14:29:48 2019

@Fidomaster

"Going private is no recipe for guaranteed success by any means, (any more than any given company potentially acquiring eBay), but beyond poor execution, poor, executive leadership, poor strategic planning, and poor regard for customers, many of eBay's problems stem from the quarterly machinations and pressure from public markets Wenig, Schenker and team go through to appease Wall Street to hit short-term quarterly goals instead of focusing on strategic priorities (which can, and has, cause eBay stock volatility)."

If eBay goes private they DON'T even have to tell you who is in charge!

How much money they're losing or making, NO ONE is privy to this info if they are private.

How many people work at eBay? No one's business if they are private. . . .

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Feb 28 14:49:34 2019

@Rexford

I WOULD NEVER GIVE YOU ANY FINANCIAL ADVISE

Now if you have a tool your thinking about buying maybe I can be of some assistance. . . . .

After 10 years of playing Wall Street and making a million and losing another million I gave up on trying to outsmart people who are smarter then me!

eBay IPO was the best investment I even made. . . .OK, Apple might have been better if I had not sold before the iPod came out. . . .Apple only had a market cap of $5 billion back then. . .

I sure miss the days when I had money coming out the wazoo, (2) Corvettes, a 4x4 truck and a CJ7 jeep. . .Not to mention the large Orange County Ca. home I lived in.

Poor decisions put me out here in the desert, but after 7 years of being out here I've gotten used to it. . .

I can drive 5 minutes to shoot my guns now! ~ LIFE is GOOD

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 28 14:51:24 2019

Does it really matter? Whoever "raids" ebay the result will be the sellers get screwed further than they are now. It's corporate America folks - they have one single vision - make money however they can.  They have stock holders you know.  Who are those stock holders? It's me and you honey. Have an IRA - pension fund - own some stocks - insurance policy with a mutual wrapper - stocks - bonds - even a stinking savings account is governed by how much money Wall St is raking in.  We did it to ourselves. We went looking for the easy way out to retirement. WE stopped SAVING our money ourselves - we forgot what our grandparents taught us to do. We are all to blame - fess up.  Ilearned that lesson the hard way when the stock market crashed.  I owned AIG (I know) I owned GM - who woulda thought - mom apple pie and chevrolet - I even owned ebay (rah rah) I thought I was doing the right thing. HA!  Today I have no cc debt and if the cash isn't in my pocket to buy something I wait till it is.  So wherever eBay is going it's pretty much out of our control unless we all can buy it ourselves. - there's a concept

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Thu Feb 28 14:53:18 2019

2 of my 3 kids work for Google. You can't imagine the fun they have from company paid ski trips, concerts, speakers like Vin Diesel and Snoop Dog. Free food with actual stations like a Sushi bars, hamburger bars. And a lot more.

Google is a fun, progressive, innovative company. They get it. ebay does not and never has. A sale to Google or a company like them IMO could be the only thing that saves ebay.

Whether ebay stays public or goes private, the mirror is still seeing the same lost idiots. Until they do a really deep dive and reverse their decade long toxic course, nothing is going to improve.

 

Perminate Link for Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer   Sellers Prefer Google over Amazon as Potential eBay Acquirer

by: lectiodivinabooks This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 28 15:02:33 2019

Dear God, Don't let Amazon buy EBay.  If you think you have problems now, just wait and your profits will plummet  and you will be treated like "robot's rather than humans.  I know Ebay has its problems but at least you can call Customer service. Amazon no longer allows that for sellers and when you raise a concern  through their so called Seller Central Help , No matter how clearly you express your problem, the  reps  in India have a plethera of canned answers that they use  one at a time or a number of them together and either don't read what you have written or can't properly read English.  I have sold books on Amazon for 20 years. At the beginning it was fun and profitable. Now it is a greed driven nightmare.  About 4 % of the population are sociopaths (ie. NO Conscience & No empathy & out only for no. 1) and these are very successful as CEO's etc.  Jeff Bezos??
The Kraft CEO ?

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