Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed July 10 2013 08:48:01

Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

By: Ina Steiner

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Wall Street analyst Mark May published a report on Monday as he initiated coverage of eBay for Citi. In it, he referred to eBay's "Marketplace Momentum," writing, "Management's execution of the turnaround of core Marketplace has been impressive."

He cited continued user improvements (search & discovery, product selection, etc.) as one area contributing to eBay's turnaround. That's clearly a reference to the ongoing rollout of Cassini, which eBay has promised analysts would continue to improve over time. He also likes eBay's approach in partnering with large retailers and brands. But as is clear from talking to eBay's smaller sellers, not everyone agrees these changes are positive.

May also referred to eBay's new fee restructuring, calling it "more competitive merchant pricing." He said that while eBay expects a net netural impact from the fee changes, and while he sees a long term benefit, he wasn't sure about the near term impact on "overall take rates and on listings velocity."

I blogged about the new fees in March, and they started rolling out in April. How have you been impacted by the fees? Has it helped or hurt your eBay business?

The Wall Street firm said the new fees were "aimed at simplifying pricing (including reducing many upfront insertion fees) and making eBay more competitive in some categories with Amazon." Any thoughts on how eBay's new fee structure compares to Amazon for your business now that the fees have been in place for a few months?

Read more about the Citi report in today's Newsflash newsletter and let us know what you think - and remember, Wall Street is watching.




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Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: macsbaby This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 10 09:25:09 2013

All I can see is that my fees have over doubled. They also literally cheated me out of my top rated seller status on the tracking upload....customers had bought off my website and ebay....and somehow the tracking re-uploaded when they purchased off other website. I said I could prove what happened, but they said "sorry,its what our system shows". Well, I have been selling there for 15 years...my dsr's are 4.97,5,5, 4.94....and I will still lose my status and 20% discount. I am looking at all other avenues as their new program is going to run off the small/middle guy. I sell about 150k a year....probably not enough for them. Rather unbelievable. They may increase fees in near term....long term, I think they are really making a mistake.

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 10 09:25:58 2013

Fluff, fluff, and more fluff.

How much does Donahoe pay these people to inflate eBay?

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 10 09:27:08 2013

Mark must have stock he wants to get rid of.
''He cited continued user improvements (search & discovery, product selection, etc.) as one area contributing to eBay's turnaround.''
Bet he never tried to look up anything on ebay.  I find more ebay products doing a google search. That's an improvement??? He most likely never bought or sold anything on ebay. In other words- nice fiction.
How much did he get paid and by whom for this report. I'm referring to the back door type of payment.  

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jul 10 09:30:52 2013

There's business on Ebay? I just finished relisting several items 11 times with 1 item selling for 25.00 long story short guy wanted a few bucks back,I offered full refund he refused got mad ruined my perfect feedback of 10 years......Business on Ebay ? Yea! Bad Business

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 10 09:32:56 2013

@maxsbaby
re TRS and discount. They givith & taketh away. jd is playing God and using His words..
This gives you what JD thinks of himself. Every morning he looks in the mirror and states I am God.  

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 10 09:37:03 2013

@nothing new.
ebay is great place to get free merchandise or deeply discounted by partial refunds. If not - ruin good standing and maybe the TRS status thus saving ebay money. Wonder if any of these types of buyers are on JD payroll???  At this point, I would not be surprised.

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: go-figure This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 10 09:46:17 2013

I guess you have to give JD credit for getting Wall Street to drink his magical eBay Koolaid although I admit to being baffled about this mysterious ''turn-around'' they keep speaking of when it comes to eBay. One supposes it's the stock price or it could be more of JD's smoke and mirrors, but like so many other sellers, our traffic is down so much on eBay, it's simply no longer worth the time, hassles and headaches.

As for the fees, in exchange for more ''free'' listings, they raise store fees and increase the listing fees once you go past the free listings for your store subscription. I don't see how their fee structure is going to impact sales much and we haven't seen much change one way or the other, but we're pulling the plug on eBay. We'll be down to our free 50 listings per ID by the end of July.

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: ebayabused This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 10 09:51:35 2013

On Amazon a store costs 39.99 a month for UNLIMITED  items and NO INSERTION FEES and  the total fee to sell there is 15% (total fee including merchant fee(like paypal). eBay is charging me $59.99 a month for 500 items and .10 for each item over 500 plus 9%  + fees from Paypal (2.9% + .30 cents for each transaction) . Those .30 cent fees eat up profits because on eBay buyers who purchase multiple items DO NOT use the shopping cart, they pay for them individually. In some cases in which a buyer is from another country the shopping cart is not available to them so they are forced to use the "BUY IT NOW" button.
Buyers should not be able to leave positive feedback and give a 1 or 2 on DSR, especially when they have not contacted you to even let you know there is a problem.

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Jul 10 10:27:53 2013

Wall Street analysts are the Bernie Madoff's of the massive ponzi scheme known as Wall Street.

Where eBay is concerned, analysts refuse to pose direct questions and demand straight answers from the company while accepting the circular self serving half truths spouted by John Donahoe and his hand picked spin team.

Why do analysts ignore the fact that eBay has virtually zero genuine transactional growth?

Why have analysts failed to put John Donahoe on the spot over the fact that shipping costs included in selling prices i.e. "free shipping" is little more than an accounting slight of hand devised by executives to disguise declining transactional growth?

Why do analysts refuse to inquire about why eBay has done nothing to stop non paying bidders?

Why do analysts ignore the fact that GMV statistics reported by eBay fail to account for unpaid items and completely fails to account for merchandise returns?

eBay raises fees collected from sellers yet claims publicly to Wall Street that these are the "lowest fees ever" and analysts fail to hold Donahoe accountable.

Why do analysts fail to confront John Donahoe as to why his three year turnaround plan for eBay is now entering year seven with little or no improvement in sales?

The answer is simple.

Analysts do not care about the facts. Analysts simply want to influence and  drive the market any way they can. If playing fast and loose with the facts achieves their goal, then it is full speed ahead, CEO's need not worry about telling the truth.

In today's investment environment, there is no transparency, no demands for cold hard facts, no ethics regarding truth or full disclosure.

That is why Wall Street has become the biggest ponzi scheme on the planet.

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 10 11:13:56 2013

@ Ric - Well said.  

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jul 10 11:18:07 2013

Obviously this guy never tried to make a living on ebay! I'm sure that there are more disgruntled sellers from ebay than just the ones that frequent ecommercebytes. So this report was, from the sounds of it, one-sided. He took what Donuthole said and wrote it as gospel while never interviewing a cross segment of sellers to get their viewpoint as to how these changes are being handled and if they are making more money. Sellers can go broke or go off to new venues if needed, but these bigwigs know nothing else. They would probably be failures at working at McDonalds.  

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Wed Jul 10 11:33:56 2013

Wall Street analyst Mark May is either a paid eBay shill or a fool; clearly he has been lapping up too much of the kool aid that that continuously trickles from the eBay Dept of Spin, which is the problem with most of today’s lazy online “journalists” and “analysts” that do no more that regurgitate corporate media releases …

Indeed, the smart money on “Wall Street” is not drinking this kool aid; you only have to look at eBay’s stock price compared to Amazon’s to know that; no, it’s only the paid eBay shills and fools that sing eBay’s praises … http://bit.ly/YvxFEg

“The band continued to play on, even as the bow dipped lower and lower.”—The Titanic/eBay Story ...

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Jul 10 13:06:49 2013

He's been at Citi for 2 months.  A resident expert.

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: Small Guy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 10 13:08:56 2013

The ugly inside story of Ebay is an enigma, inside an artichoke covered in doggie poo. That's why analysts won't touch it and Ebay denies that it exists.  

Boy, it would be fun to get the NSA emails of Ebay staff showing how Ebay avoided admitting that any problems have ever existed.  

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: auctionguy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 10 14:21:28 2013

Ebay is in panic mode, trying to make Wall Street happy by showing revenue increases. The only reason revenue is increasing is because they have been raising seller fees while disguising it as a fee reduction. Higher final value fees due to the removal of the tiered structure. Higher final value fees due to now charging final value fees on shipping costs. Higher reported sales due to pressuring sellers to raise their prices and offer "free" shipping, which means the shipping cost is included in the price, but really isn't free. It's all smoke and mirrors.

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: wanderlust This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jul 10 14:36:10 2013

Clearly, he does not do enough research or any business as a buyer on ebay. Most Wall St grunts only review accounting reports and talk to senior managers. They can be and OFTEN are deceived. If he had taken his research more seriously, he would've known the Spring Sellers Update was an overall raise in prices. And that the surge in earnings is temporary. I am guessing, like most businesses, 80% of ebay sales are generated by 20% of the ebay sellers. Most are too locked in to change to another auction or website platform overnight, but they are starting to in large numbers. However, the earnings will eventually taper and start declining. It is the long-time ebay sellers that are leaving. The long-term trend for earnings is DOWN. ebay is favoring the major brand clothiers and accessory manufacturers, like Coach, Kate Spade, etc, and helping them open up ebay Stores. ebay Customer Service is in the Philippines, where they are not empowered to resolve issues, and hour-long waits to reach a human happens often. The GUI is still a mess. The site has lots of bugs, where thousands of listings disappear or appear twice. ebay buyers have the upper hand and routinely take advantage of sellers. Mark May really needs to talk to the ebay's true customers, ebay SELLERS. Sellers are who generate ebay sales; otherwise, ebay is just an Amazon-wannabe (and will fail). I am not happy knowing that I am paying Donohoe's annual salary of $4 million. He's not worth it either.

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 10 14:45:30 2013

It is true Ebay is a good bargain for short time stock purchases. The enormous gain from adding high ticket duplicate item ads to their inventory base has almost or will almost double their present inventory dollar value. That always looks good to Wall Street stock brokers. There have been other companies that employed the same financial tactics, but I think they kind of blew up a few years ago and sunk the market taking billions of dollars in pension funds to the bottom of the sea or Swiss bank accounts.  

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jul 10 14:45:43 2013

These Wall Street guys obviously read some ebay press release over a nice business lunch.

But I do think that should really only be looking at income and expenses, not the minutae of how ebya run their site.

The buyers and sellers will use ebay if they find it useful and profitable.


Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 10 14:55:54 2013

I don't know about anyone else, but my fees are down from an average of $500 per month to less than $200 per month and falling.

Perminate Link for Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees   Wall Street's Take on eBay's Turnaround and New Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Jul 10 15:39:03 2013

Tiffee Jasso, are your sales falling as well?  Our fees are down too, but quite frankly, so are our sales.

We'd much rather pay more fees and actually have some sales.  To pay less fees but have sales fall 50% and get little visibility is not quite what sellers were looking for.

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