Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Apr 30 2013 23:09:24

How eBay Grows Its Active User Count

By: Ina Steiner

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At its recent Analyst Day, eBay bragged about attracting more active users to its marketplace, but as I recently discovered, it may be getting some help from existing users. That's because eBay is now requiring inactive accounts to login or else lose their account - and importantly, the associated User ID.



A survey EcommerceBytes conducted in 2001 revealed that 55% of respondents had more than one eBay User ID, and 27% of respondents had 1 or more IDs that hadn't been used in the past year. Yes the survey is dated, but users continue to have plenty of reasons to have multiple accounts, incuding one ID with which to post on the discussion forums.

I have at least three eBay User IDs, two of which are active. But I created the third one just to hold the EcommerceBytes User name so no one else could use it. I created the account in July 2008, and it's possible I haven't logged in to the account since then.

I received an email message from eBay this month informing me it would delete my account if I didn't sign in within 30 days. Naturally I logged in to the account so I could keep the User ID EcommerceBytes. That means eBay added another "person" to their count of active registered users, even though it's still just one person - me.

If you have multiple User IDs on eBay, make sure you login periodically to all of the IDs you wish to keep so eBay doesn't "expire" it! With many people owning different email addresses than when they created User IDs years ago, some people may not be getting eBay's notifications and may be unaware their accounts are about to be closed.




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Perminate Link for How eBay Grows Its Active User Count   How eBay Grows Its Active User Count

This user has validated their user name. by: Sandymenu

Tue Apr 30 23:50:55 2013

This includes anyone with multiple PayPal accounts. Most log into their Premier/Business PP Accounts and forget about their Personal PP accounts.

Thanks Ina for sharing!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed May 1 01:10:08 2013

  "At its recent Analyst Day, eBay bragged about attracting more active users to its marketplace.... eBay is now requiring inactive accounts to login or else lose their account..."

No wonder John Donahoe got an 80% increase in his compensation package.

With each analyst day comes new ways to befuddle Wall Street Analysts who conveniently look the other way.

JD is handsomely rewarded for manipulates facts in an all out effort to deceive investors for his own personal gain.

Analysts never permit facts or reality to get in the way of their recommendations to investors.

When the eBay house of cards collapses, these same analysts will simply attach themselves to another CEO who is skilled at manipulating facts to suit their needs and pretend they never heard of eBay or John Donahoe.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed May 1 03:03:20 2013

Ric hit the nail squarely on the head.

This is nothing but a transparent scheme to befuddle the apparently easily befuddled Wall Street banksters and their analyst puppets.

Another sign of the hysterical desperation in San Hosed.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed May 1 06:50:09 2013

Whatever happened to the plan to gain more kid users? Wasn't that a year or 2 ago?  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed May 1 08:16:15 2013

Classic eBay.  Smoke and mirrors.....ALWAYS!

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Wed May 1 08:26:30 2013

This reflects the fact that Ebay came in FIFTH under Etsy's First Place ranking this year. Ebay is SUPER UNFRIENDLY to do business through. Given the mood of consumers to conduct a higher percentage of NON PayPal transactions every year, Credit Cards, checks, and Postal Money Orders will continue to dominate as the most desired consumer payment choices.
And, Ebay just "ham strung" itself by further eroding their checkout routine.
Once you go ETSY, you never go back to Ebay.

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 1 09:12:59 2013

Is there any way of finding out the exact active users (not duplicates) in each country??? You would think investors would want to know that each year. I realize those pushing selling ebay stock really do not care about anything but short term gain ( commission).
What is considered an active user ? If someone sells ( or tries to) - maybe should say list - one item in the past year, are they considered an active user? Same with someone who made a single purchase in the past few years???

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed May 1 09:29:33 2013

This may or may not increase the active user numbers.  It is going to depend on how many actually get deleted due to no response.  I for one know I've got another ID out there that I forgot about years ago.  It is attached to an email account I no longer have, so it will for sure be deleted.

Plus there are the sweeping fee changes that happen today.  For many sellers they are finding out they will pay less in fees if they stop using multiple accounts and upgrade their store on whatever account they choose to be their main account.  Certainly these won't count as inactive right away unless you actually close the account or accounts you are no longer going to use.  But the new fee structures really supports moving multiple IDs for selling under one account.

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by: sickandtired This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 1 10:08:45 2013

FREDDY - excellent questions, but don't hold your breath waiting for ebay to give anyone actual numbers.

I have 3 id's - one for selling, one for buying and one I used to use to post to the boards. As far as I'm concerned, I should only count as 1 active user since ebay knows all 3 are in fact me, but when do they ever do the right thing instead of massaging numbers to artificially inflate whatever numbers they are fiddling.

As far as I'm concerned, I have no sympathy any longer for the investors that ebay is conning on a regular basis. There is enough info available on the net to indicate to the large investors that they should not take ebay figures at face value.  They have the ability to demand answers, proof of numbers - in short to hold the managements feet to the fire and yet they seem to just sit back and swallow the company line.

Sellers have no power to affect any changes, get accurate information or interact in any meaningful way with tptb but shareholders do and I believe they are complicit in the fudging if they don't hold the company up to scrutiny. They cannot claim ignorance...the info is out there to be seen by anyone who knows how to Google.

Perminate Link for How eBay Grows Its Active User Count   How eBay Grows Its Active User Count

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles

Wed May 1 10:58:17 2013

@Ina Steiner, you aren't the only person creating account to avoid people using your name/nickname/alias.

For eBay, I can't understand this strange move. Unless they noted 1000s accounts are just making them lost money in info storage resources. Also freaking any stat about "truth" number of members.  

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by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 1 11:10:09 2013

This may or may not increase the active user numbers.  

May is 99.9% chance
May Not is 0.1% chance.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Wed May 1 11:18:42 2013

Here's my take on this...

Someone, somewhere, decided to bring up the fact that inactive and abandoned accounts should not be included in the total number of eBay users/members (for the purpose of convincing Wall Street about how strong eBay is).

For eBay to do this, would be the same as the United States trying to claim that the total population ALSO INCLUDED every US citizen who was dead.

So... someone at eBay is responding to the fact that they will no longer be able to tally the ''dead'' accounts as productive/active members. --- The email that Ina received is obviously an effort to revive abandoned accounts so that, at the very least, eBay execs can claim that the accounts are active. (Technically true, but for all practical purposes, it's meaningless.)

Should these newly ''revived'' and previously dead accounts be referred to as ''Walking Dead'' accounts?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed May 1 11:39:20 2013

REally.  I think it is a good move personally.  A little marketing venture.  Remind people that may have forgotten about shopping on Ebay.  Get rid of old dead accounts to clean up the data base a little and hopefully bring back some buyers / sellers we may have lost over time for whatever reason they have.  I like it.  I'm hoping for a little influx of buyers venturing back to Ebay.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Wed May 1 11:48:30 2013

Marie says: ''I'm hoping for a little influx of buyers venturing back to Ebay.''

I wish that I had Marie's ability to see the positive in things, and to have an optimistic outlook. :-)

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed May 1 11:51:13 2013

We talked a lot about this issue in the old days, when then CEO Meg Whitman would only release the total number of registered users. At one point they began reporting the metric as the number of active registered users - defined as having logged in within the past 12 months. Certainly an improvement.

A shareholder directly asked her at an annual shareholders meeting (maybe 8 years ago) how many *unique* active members there were, and she did not disclose that metric, and eBay never has provided that number.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed May 1 11:53:47 2013

BTW, if eBay makes those expired IDs available, I'd want to know if the previous owner had a good reputation! While the feedback slate is presumably wiped clean, some users who had a bad experience might think it's the same person.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed May 1 12:12:44 2013

@annie

Life has taught me that if you only see the bad, that is exactly what you will continue to get.  Or when something good comes along, you don't recognize it and will not be able to accept the benefit of it.

Ebay does many things wrong, but they don't do everything wrong.  They aren't evil reincarnated as many would have us believe.  Yes they have some really stupid and hurtful rules.  Some recent changes are extremely evident of that.  But there are good things too.  If there weren't, none of us would be selling on Ebay, not even a little bit.

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 1 13:42:54 2013

@ Marie - good point.
Then who would we have to complain about??  :)

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed May 1 14:34:36 2013

I'm guessing that they also want to have these active user accounts high so that they can peddle their 3rd party advertising.

If I were doing the buying, I'd want hard numbers of real users and dead or dormant accounts.

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This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles

Wed May 1 16:08:53 2013

Another reason can be that they want to have an excuse to take some user names using a "diplomatic" way. I'm not sure where I read that somebody was arguing that eBay took his/her user name to give it to a company.

Does somebody read something about it?

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