Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Aug 8 2013 19:24:50

eBay CEO Sees Excess Capacity in Newspaper Delivery Trucks

By: Ina Steiner

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Did eBay's CEO just subtly slam Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' purchase of the Washington Post? John Donahoe granted an interview to BusinessWeek in which he shared his thoughts on the company's initiatives. In it, he flogs the same day delivery service eBay is trying to get off the ground called eBay Now.

When asked if the service was economical, Donahoe replies, "There's a lot of excess delivery capacity in every city." Asked if he was referring to bike messengers or delivery vehicles, Donahoe came out with the surprising response, "Newspaper trucks." Newspapers have been battling drops in circulation since the mid-90s as people started getting their news digitally - we'll see who has the last laugh on this one!

The eBay Now service is a partnership with large retailers, and Donahoe's strategy has been to try and capitalize on retailers' dissatisfaction with Amazon as a "frenemy" - it's role as both marketplace and competitor. But despite their gripes, most large retailers can't afford to turn their backs on Amazon.

Donahoe seems to be everywhere these days, granting interviews to the financial press and writing essays on outside sites like LinkedIn and LeanIn. He has been sharing his management techniques such as his unique "thinking days" in which he spends time in an empty office at eBay HQ organizing his thoughts on a white board, and sharing his philosophy on the benefits of taking time away from the office altogether and the importance of family.

Why the increased exposure?

There are a few reasons why a top exec might come out of his or her shell. In Donahoe's case, the climate is more friendly than when he first took over from Meg Whitman when Wall Street was asking tough questions. Other reasons for such behavior can include a desire to make a move, either for eBay or for his own career.

Management consultants (Donahoe comes from Bain & Co) are notorious for taking a troubled company, whipping it into shape through a series of painful changes and cost-cutting measures, and then looking for an exit strategy. This week we noted Skip McGrath's post about eBay's possible research into spinning off its auction business (this is at rumor stage only).

Alternatively, Donahoe himself could be looking for the next career move. Or, it could simply be that he's enjoying the limelight now that Wall Street has called his series of turnarounds a success.

One audience to which Donahoe has not been increasing his exposure is longtime eBay sellers - there's been no seller conferences this year and no Town Hall Meeting to discuss the most recent Seller Release. Symbolism is important in leadership, and this speaks volumes about the direction he's taking.




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Perminate Link for eBay CEO Sees Excess Capacity in Newspaper Delivery Trucks   eBay CEO Sees Excess Capacity in Newspaper Delivery Trucks

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

Thu Aug 8 20:09:38 2013

Looking into my crystal ball, I see much excess delivery capacity inside The Ho's largely vacant head right now and even more space in his future.

This guy doesn't need "thinking days."

He needs mental health therapy days.

He's unraveling.

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by: happyharry This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 8 20:30:18 2013

Amazons counter punch was more direct …now you can directly upload YOUR ebay listings onto Amazon UK..limit to sound and vision at the moment , but if I was ebay I would be very very worried…

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Sees Excess Capacity in Newspaper Delivery Trucks   eBay CEO Sees Excess Capacity in Newspaper Delivery Trucks

This user has validated their user name. by: Bidofthis.com

Thu Aug 8 21:04:52 2013

Perhaps a Tracking Stock will be created for Paypal  rather than a full blown split
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracking_stock

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Sees Excess Capacity in Newspaper Delivery Trucks   eBay CEO Sees Excess Capacity in Newspaper Delivery Trucks

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

Thu Aug 8 21:06:38 2013

Frat boy mentality.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Bidofthis.com

Thu Aug 8 21:08:51 2013

Also if they were so bent on splitting the companies entirely they probably wouldn't have been issuing all the recent PayPal patent Applications in eBay's name (rather than PayPal's name)..just a thought ....  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Aug 8 21:18:22 2013

Ebay wasn't a troubled company, but in my mind, it is now. Where are the buyers?  Oh, wait, he ran them all off.

I hope that he is looking for an exit strategy and I hope that he doesn't let the screen door hit him on his way out.

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by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 8 21:53:02 2013

I would like to hear CEO Donahoe's explanation for why ebay blocked 15,000 sellers from listing earlier this week in their latest "purge".

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Thu Aug 8 21:56:22 2013

I agree with Ming, the only “excess space” is in the Ho’s head …

“eBay Now” is a joke; that an enterprise the size of eBay world be trying to pump hot air into such a non-scalable operation as eBay Now would appear to me to be desperation personified; simply put, it has the smell of death all over it …

“Thinking days”: what a shame he only has about four each year …

“Why the increased exposure?” Have you ever seen a drowning person that was not shouting and waving their arms about …

Wall Street has given up asking the tough questions; obviously, they got tired of receiving disingenuous spin in reply; Wall Street’s opinion of eBay is writ in the price it has put on eBay’s stock since the Ho took the helm—one-sixth that of Amazon’s …

Ho, Ho, Ho, it really is long past time for you to go ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Sees Excess Capacity in Newspaper Delivery Trucks   eBay CEO Sees Excess Capacity in Newspaper Delivery Trucks

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 8 22:11:01 2013

The biggest unused resource is the space between donnyholes ears.....the guy is a moron, newspaper delivery trucks are designed for one thing, bulk delivery of 1 object, newspapers ... what is the moron going to do ? hire 10 year olds with Schwinns to toss eBay products onto your roof??? or maybe winos with shopping carts, now thats an unused resource.

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

Thu Aug 8 22:37:50 2013

@ NetWatch

I'm very interested in knowing more about he 15,000 seller suspensions you've been mentioning.

What more can you tell us?

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

Thu Aug 8 22:52:23 2013

Ming:

http://www.examiner.com/article/ebay-blocks-15-000-seller
s-from-listing

or

http://tinyurl.com/n48j5mn

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by: blaumann2 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 8 22:59:39 2013

I was thrown out in an earlier purge. I had a second account and was back listing the same night. I was told the account was gone for good. One day i tried it and it worked again.
Every seller should have a second account as a backup.

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

Thu Aug 8 23:28:08 2013

Thanks, Annie.

I'm wondering now about the timing.

Undoubtedly, many dolphins were caught in ebay's wide net, but could the main reason be that ebay's largest sellers were complaining about low sell through rates?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Aug 8 23:33:55 2013

John Donahoes  increased exposure is designed to distract Wall Street and investors from bad news to come.

During his Q2 Report, Donahoe lowered guidance for Q3 a sure sign that even Donahoe knows there are existing and expanding issues with transactional volume at eBay.

Despite Wall Street accolades for Donahoe's alleged turn around, it would appear that Donahoe now sees the outcome of those changes - decreased interest in eBay.

Perhaps Donahoe has realized that his series of seller antagonizing changes have driven many sellers out of the marketplace. Since large numbers of sellers are also eBay buyers, eBay suffers twice - first in diminished SKU diversity when sellers pull their inventory out of eBay, and then a second wave when those seller-buyers stop purchasing on eBay.

Donahoe should be looking for another company to destroy as his mission at eBay is just about complete - the marketplace is imploding as a direct result of Donahoe's failed leadership and misguided changes.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Fri Aug 9 00:02:37 2013

Gee, I wish someone would explain to me the “turnaround” that the eBay shills claim the Ho has supposedly achieved.

The fact is, since the Ho took the helm, Amazon’s share price has grown to be six times that of eBay’s. Six times! Clearly, the smart money on Wall Street now considers eBay to be a "dog", and Donahoe to be a very poor dog handler. There has been no turnaround. Indeed, relatively speaking, eBay is going backwards; but for PreyPal’s contribution, eBay would now be with the mortician.

I doubt that Donahoe knows what day it is …

Still, “The band continued to play on, even as the bow dipped lower and lower.”—The Titanic/eBay Story ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg

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This user has validated their user name. by: Map

Fri Aug 9 00:33:53 2013

Jeff Bezo created amazon and has the visions to lead Amazon.

John Donahoe is specialized in hacking companies apart and leaving employees and sellers/vendors to fend for them selves.

Smart ass has lost control of ebay and is & already has financially ruined many thousands of sellers who ventured into full time business as professional ebay sellers.

PUNK.

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 9 01:20:32 2013

Mebbe The Ho is hoping Bezos will get way involved with the POST and forget about AMAZON and The Ho can waltz on in and "Disruptively Innovate"  THAT.

What are we--SIX years into his THREE year "turn around"  Gee by THAT time Amazon would be an empty husk.

I can only HOPE that ebay finally gets honest and DOES spin off the auction portion.  It has been very clear for a very long time that this is an UNWANTED and UNLOVED and DESPISED area of ebays master plan.

Fingers crossed!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Island_Sam

Fri Aug 9 01:32:56 2013

There could be a CEO job opening soon?

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 9 06:43:46 2013

Why not include ice cream trucks???-I like the idea mentioned - having kids on their bikes deliver.....
Same day delivery is a stupid idea. Maybe for those like jd that has more money than brains. Otherwise if you can't wait a couple of days, get your butt to the store. If disabled, hopefully family will help. I believe most local pharmacy (not the mail order) will deliver if you are having a problem.
Think he mentioned newstrucks as a dig to his competitor. It is my understanding that Jeff made the purchase with his personal money - not Amazon. Maybe Jeff has his own ideas about saving, creating jobs unlike jd who wants the exact opposite.
Who will have the last laugh?? I doubt if Jeff Bezo is giving any thought to what the intelligent JD has to say, or is worried about ebays next move. Other than, how Amazon can capitalize on everything they do. Think maybe the stock prices and growth speak for themselves.
Which company has contributed to the welfare of the US economy with jobs, warehouses, etc etc etc...Amazon appears to reinvested their money and ebay just sends it to an offshore account - Thats real American.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Aug 9 07:33:57 2013

I agree with Philip. Turnaround? There was nothing that needed to be turned around.

Of course this is a different story now. The next CEO will have to clean up his mess and turn it around, if that is still possible.

I still can't figure out why a cadre of attorneys aren't all over this company.  Surely they have to be breaking some laws.

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