Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue June 24 2014 06:32:37

eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

By: Ina Steiner

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It's been a tough spring for eBay between Google's manual action/Panda and revelations about a hacking incident that compromised eBay's user database. But one Wall Street analyst said things appear to be improving after a late-May "slowdown" for the ecommerce giant - though it warns volumes have not recovered to previous levels.

Colin Sebastian of Robert W. Baird & Co. wrote in a report today:

"Data suggests some recovery in transaction volumes. We are updating our monthly eBay tracker with a one-time checkup through mid-June to gauge the ongoing impact to transaction volumes from the May security breach disclosure and Google Panda search alteration.

"Specifically, over the past two weeks, our Tracker reflects slightly improving sequential Marketplace volume and year-over-year growth rates following the late-May slowdown.

"Overall, in the five weeks since the events, aggregate transaction volume in our tracker declined 6% compared to the five weeks prior. While volumes have not yet recovered to pre-breach/Panda levels, eBay has offered coupons to customers and likely ramped up search and other marketing efforts in order to stimulate sales.

"As such, we are slightly lowering our Q2 and 2014 revenue and EPS estimates to $4.36 billion and $0.68 and $18.26 billion and $2.98, respectively. We remain within eBay's guidance range, although now towards the lower end."

In an accompanying graph (shown below), Baird estimates the rolling 4-week growth of eBay Gross Merchandise Volume (not year-over-year growth).


In his research note, Sebastian is referring to the EcommerceBytes news story in which we reported eBay distributed coupons to many users in the wake of the breach. Some coupons are buyer-oriented, others are seller-oriented, but all of the coupons we've seen are for $20 coming right out of eBay's pocket. It's a bold move to get users to return to eBay after the breach. It comes at a huge cost - but once a user makes a purchase to redeem the coupon, eBay has got those users back.

The analyst also noted that he believed eBay has likely ramped up search and other marketing efforts in order to stimulate sales.

The problem is that when eBay has a bad stretch, so do its sellers, yet they are paying the same Store subscription fees and insertion fees. What would you do to bring back customers after a security breach? Is eBay on the right track?




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Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

by: OnceuponaTime This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 24 07:43:03 2014

What would I do.....

Fire the CEO

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

by: charcorvet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 24 08:38:36 2014

yeah and most of the folks I know, either buyers or sellers, DID NOT get coupons. I think 2 mentioned it and neither one is using it.

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

by: KathleenJohnson This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jun 24 08:43:23 2014

They have offered me a "free" store and a $20 coupon. Neither has resulted in my "return". The slump in sales in no way bothers me as much as eBays litany of increased rules which micromanage the Seller with egregious consequences.

Sellers are also buyers. When you lose a Seller, you also lose a buyer and a champion for the site.

Ebay has failed to recognize the consequences to their management style.

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

by: lucask7 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 24 08:46:04 2014

We never received any coupons? Where do you get them at? Sounds like a bold face lie with juggled figures!!!

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

by: Filadelfos This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jun 24 08:52:16 2014

When you read the chart, it accurately reflects my own personal experience: 2013 significantly lower than 2012, 2014 was improving until April/May...

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jun 24 09:02:24 2014

"But one Wall Street analyst said things appear to be improving after a late-May "slowdown" for the ecommerce giant - though it warns volumes have not recovered to previous levels."

Are you freaking kidding me? This Kool-aid drinking analyst obviously does not do business on eBay.

Oh, and we got an offer to upgrade our store.  Why on EARTH would we upgrade when sales are at an all time low?

Honest to God, between what I hear from eBay and what I hear from these Wall Street analysts I feel like I am in the ecommerce twilight zone.

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Jun 24 09:04:24 2014

For our buyers:  Quality search results without crazy pre-fills.  Search that works.  


Many view eBay's customer is the SELLER - so I would say visibility, visibility, visibility, quality customer service, a fair feedback system without re-defining neutral as negative and name-calling ''defect'' aspects, then visibility, visibility, visibility.


I did not get a coupon - at least I don't think I did. Several eBay emails I receive never appear in eBay messages. So I don't really get to view what they are offering.

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

by: Henry This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 24 09:18:37 2014

I don't think eBay is on the road to recovery. Too many bad decisions and poor implementation. What would I do?

1) Eliminate Defect Rate
2) Restorre mutual Feedback but monitor abuse by both huyers and sellers
3) Allow buyer to seller communication without opening a case
4) Stop competing ads on paid listings
5) Offer free listings to store owners and stop all the ineffective promotions that result in junk listings
6) Ramp up advertising on TV
7) Implement a search function that works. I have had buyers tell me they cannot find what they want and probably will not buy from eBay again.

There is more but this would be a great start

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jun 24 09:33:32 2014

Visibility, visibility and visibility. Search is broken.  You can't sell what can't be seen.

Show the buyer what the buyer is looking for, not what eBay want them to see.

And sellers aren't stupid--we know when we've gone off the rails with the rolling blackouts and the on again and off again server games.

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 24 10:18:58 2014

Last year’s June sales were disappointing and told me once again, my business was going nowhere on eBay.  This year’s June’s is hardly half of last year’s sales.  I guess I have arrived at “Nowhereville”.  Thanks eBay.

The stock analysis’ report is directed at the stockholders.  Neither the analysis nor the stockholders are remotely concerned about the viability of the small sellers.  We are just incidental “roadkill”.  

This month, I have been excluded from eBay’s two free listing promotions, but lucky me I was a target of the FREE store upgrade.

Reading the details, I saw that this was a juicy “Trojan Horse” for eBay.  When the store owner realizes that the upgrade is a waste of money, eBay will then reap rewards fining the sellers who return to their original lower level store.   With eBay friends like this, who needs enemies?

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

by: Linda This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 24 10:29:04 2014

@onceuponatime - AGREE! Get rid of Donahoe, he can get a new job at NIKE. And his cronies.

I can't believe someone like NIKE would take him on or even look at him with all his defects!

To Quote: ''eBay has offered coupons to customers and likely ramped up search and other marketing efforts in order to stimulate sales''
TO LATE, BAND-AIDS ARE NOT GOING TO FIX THIS! EVERYONE SHOULD BE WATCHING OUT FOR THEIR HOLIDAY SEASON NOW IF THEY WANT A HOLIDAY AT ALL.

That's it, I'm going to write NIKE...and ask them if they really want to destroy another good company.

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

by: OnceuponaTime This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 24 10:34:24 2014

What would I do

Fire the CEO

The buck stops with them. All issues  pass or fail fall on the shoulders of the CEO.

Issues of visibility, security, search, advertising, costs, feedback, etc.

These are all issues decided on by the CEO.

What would I do

Fire the CEO

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 24 10:59:53 2014

ebay is on the path - the same as the titanic.

Maybe I should write to Nike and tell them - no longer will I buy or recommend their products.  I always thought Nike was a class company - WRONG.

No coupons here ?????

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 24 12:19:14 2014

I will be advising my kids who wear NIKE to stick up and shop for ANOTHER venue to purchase different brands from.

NIKE is sadly going to head for the drain just as ebay did.

It seems everything this jerk touches goes down the toilet.  

Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall at the next NIKE BOD meeting?

Imagine---

Well lemme tell you what we are going to do here--

We are going to charge the venues (ie SHOE STORES) to sell and receive the items

WE will control what they get and when they get it and we will force them into unlimited returns--don't like that shoe you bought 3 years ago?  Bring it right on back!

Then we will write a great big red DEFECT next to THAT stores name

Bought a pair of basketball shoes and switched to playing soccer?  Bring 'em back--and we will DEFECT rate the store you bought them from because they should have KNOWN that you were gonna switch!

Free shipping and free returns!  (No wait that's ZAPPOS)

Fire all the managers!  Replace them with cardboard cut outs with hidden pre-recorded statements!

Heck why don't we just GIVE away all the stock in the warehouses! It was just SITTING there costing ME money!

Fantasy Land here.  

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Jun 24 12:34:57 2014

Of course eBay's CEO can not relate to the real world, so there has been little in the way of an explanation and nothing in the way of an apology from this CEO.

If I were CEO, after the breach, I would have not relied upon users to come to the site and change their password. Instead, I would have sent each and every registered user an email informing them that in order to assure protection of their account, the security of the site as whole, and to minimize the value of the data stolen, their existing password has been deactivated. The email would contain a new temporary password, and would require users to sign in using the temporary password in order to create a new permanent password.

I would offer a sincere apology for the inconvenience and assure users that the company felt that dumping all existing passwords was a necessary precaution which was taken to protect their individual account as well as to protect the web site by rendering the stolen passwords useless.

When customers signed in with the temporary password, and created a new one, they would automatically have received a coupon code for $20 emailed to them.

After 90 days, any accounts that were not activated with a new password would be declared inactive and a second email sent offering those customers an additional 60 days to update their password or their user accounts would be permanently deleted.

In the first email, I would have explained what the company knows about the breach, explained how the data was compromised, detail exactly what information was taken, how the company has marginalized the risk by deactivating all user passwords, and detail all new measures the company will be undertaking to prevent a similar attack in the future.

The email would have closed with another apology, and a statement that lets customers know the company values their business and express the hope that this incident would not change their opinion about eBay going forward.



Now, expecting something like this from the current CEO is unrealistic since this leader prefers to remain detached and refuses to communicate directly with the lowly buyers and sellers who make his job possible.


Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jun 24 13:04:44 2014

Comet says "Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall at the next NIKE BOD meeting?"

The empty suit at the Nike board meeting: "We are at the epicenter of mobile shoedom."

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

by: expertbenefits This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 24 13:31:53 2014

I used to buy almost everything on eBay. I mean everything! My sales are way down from the Platinum days. Since 2012 they have been sliding which means I do not buy much on eBay now. The more I made on eBay the more I bought on eBay to buy from sellers to support them . Why buy on Amazon? The more eBay tries to be like Amazon the better Amazon does but what has happened to eBay sales? They forgot about sellers as buyers. I have buying IDs with my name too (after a buyer taunted me for buying something on ebay FB my account manager back in the day told me to get a few buying ids). It's also really to peruse eBay with the new search unless you know EXACTLY what you are looking for like NAME brands Seems to be all I sell now is name brands which was not always the case because they are searched for on eBay search. Googles new search actually has helped a bit by using real words! I finally sold something different but still traffic is WAY down in store front since they don't focus on that or maybe mine has too much html is not their storefront? Not sure but it took me a week to spend my $20 coupon & I did not go over on it except for sales tax.

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Jun 24 13:39:19 2014

This downslide of sales for many of us has another potential effect:
If a seller is borderline on sales volume between a 12 month review period and a 3 month review period - this downturn may result with more sellers pushed into the 12 month review period for ''defects'' making those defects stick for a longer period and even more sellers vulnerable to TRS loss etc...

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

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

Tue Jun 24 13:42:37 2014

I Agree 100%.. Fire the CEO! Aug 31,2014 is my departure date. I'm cancelling my account and closing the doors! I have been working on my website for the last three weeks and already sold several item.  I am done with this company. Being a seller on eBay is the most stressful job I've ever had in my life!!!

What I don't understand...... is how can a buyer open a case if the tracking shows delivered?

Perminate Link for eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown   eBay May Be on Path to Recovery from May Slowdown

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Tue Jun 24 14:09:12 2014

“But one Wall Street analyst said things appear to be improving …”

Wot, another clueless Wall Street analyst, with even less clues about online retailing than even eBay’s Johnny Ho …

And I have fairies at the bottom of my garden too! Pity the eBay sellers. And what about eBay’s long-suffering “long” stockholders? Relatively speaking, they have been effectively going backwards for the past seven years, coincidentally since Johnny Ho effectively took the helm …

Still, it’s a great time for the few buyers that are still hanging in there; it’s near the end of June and I’m still picking up really good bargains on a variety of interesting items on nominal start auctions with my bid being the only bid—never had so much fun …

I have lots of collectible stuff that I could sell on eBay if only I could get a reasonable price for it; as it is I would rather donate it, or take a table at a flea market myself. Try to sell it on eBay? No way would I now bother wasting my time …

eBay Inc, where the incompetent mingle with the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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