Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Apr 25 2017 12:21:46

Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay debuted a jazzy new TV commercial featuring its Fashion category this week. The national spot is airing on shows such as Jimmy Kimmel and the Tonight Show. 

The ad is eliciting positive feedback, but also raised a question from a seller that has broad implications for the marketplace: when will it run an ad for Antiques and Collectibles?

Sellers had high hopes when eBay Devin Wenig took over from John Donahoe as CEO in 2015, believing he might focus on what makes eBay unique rather than going head to head with the likes of Amazon.

But the focus on fast shipping (with its forthcoming Guaranteed Delivery program) and emphasis on commodity categories indicate Wenig may be simply continuing down the path set by his predecessor.

Let us know what you think of the ad, and if you think eBay could differentiate itself from retail giants like Walmart by promoting antiques and collectibles, as one Facebook seller suggested to eBay.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?   Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Apr 25 12:40:08 2017

I started on eBay back in 1998, what brought me to the site was Budweiser Beer Steins.

I bought many of them the 1st few years to fill in my collection.

Sad to say I haven't bought a stein in 10 years!

Most collectors stopped collecting when the economy got bad and most never went back to buying.

The only thing I'm looking forward to collecting is my SS check. . .

Perminate Link for Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?   Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 25 13:03:43 2017

"believing he [Wenig] might focus on what makes eBay unique rather than going head to head with the likes of Amazon"

Didn't Wenig himself make noise about the collectibles and OOAK was what made eBay special?

Or not.

Perminate Link for Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?   Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Apr 25 13:07:28 2017

Love It.
Shop It.
Own It.

For up to six months, and then

Return It.

I personally do not deal with a lot of clothing, as it is a low-margin, high return item.

Collectibles and unique items built this site, and this is eBay's niche. Not made in China trinkets.

As stated many, many times on ECB, they need to get back to basics and concentrate more on the types of merchandise that cannot be found anywhere else.

I do understand that eBay wants to have their sellers place multiple items on one listing- it takes the same amount of server space, and presumably hundreds of the same item could be sold.

But how much money can actually be made on 99 cent cell phone accessories and other cheap Chinese goods (all subsidized by our government with the E-Packet shipping program)?

When eBay shows a mere 3 percent profit, they must know that the Donahoe plan to sell many inexpensive low cost new items, instead of vintage & collectibles, has failed.

And most sellers are refusing to list quality merchandise because of the fear of fraud, and the major increase in fees on high-dollar sales.

Also, when a collector sells an item on eBay, they sometimes use at least some of the proceeds to purchase another on the site. But they have been alienated to the point where these transactions have greatly disappeared.

Even though Wenig has always promised to ''reconnect with small sellers'', we are still waiting for this to come to fruition.

Perminate Link for Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?   Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Apr 25 13:35:25 2017

@eXtinctBay

"When eBay shows a mere 3 percent profit"

How do you figure?

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Apr 25 13:55:42 2017

@Tool

According to reports, analysts peg eBay's year to year profits for Q2 at 2-5%. Most have the total at 3%.

I did not pull these numbers out of thin air!  

Perminate Link for Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?   Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Apr 25 14:16:53 2017

Yes, you did!

Here's some REAL numbers from this site.

Revenue for the quarter was $2.2 billion

Non-GAAP net income from continuing operations was $538 million.

$538 million is about 25% of $2.2 billion.

Now where did YOU get the 3% figure?


I might be wrong, if so please enlighten me or post a link to your figures.

Perminate Link for Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?   Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

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

Tue Apr 25 14:38:07 2017

Quarterly reports should be required to be clear and concise.

Ebafia is barely keeping up with inflation and is, in fact, a source of inflation when they unnecessarily raise fees to line their bottomless pockets.

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Apr 25 15:00:45 2017

From Reuters (one of the most respected news agencies on earth):

"Revenue rose 3.7 percent to $2.2 billion. Analysts on average had expected $2.21 billion".

Again, if an eCommerce company in 2017 is only earning this much of an increase, they are actually losing money....

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Apr 25 15:05:43 2017

Revenues rose 3.7% is NOT the same thing as 3% profit.

I think you are very confused about how business accounting works!

When a business makes over $2 Billion a year in profit it's NOT a FAILURE.

PS: Many business's lost money in 2016, eBay made plenty of profit.

Wanna bet who makes more profit in 2017? eBay or Amazon?

I'll go with the underdog EBAY

Perminate Link for Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?   Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 25 15:13:46 2017

I am doing well selling on ebay but could do better. My success or failure is all on me. I have adapted to the times, and have had to deal with some very crappy buyers. I sell commodities but have many repeat buyers. As much as I would like to sell other sites they either have no traffic or high fees and unreasonable demands on sellers.

Perminate Link for Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?   Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 25 18:43:07 2017

Why ignore collectibles? Simple: Devil Wingnut and the other crooks at the top of the eBay racket are already filthy rich! Screw the collectibles sellers, or any of the other people too small to count!

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

Tue Apr 25 21:11:10 2017

Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?
Because they're out-of-touch STUPID.
They will NEVER, and can NEVER be excellent again.
Ebay is over.
Ebay was a verb.
Now it's just an adjective.

Perminate Link for Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?   Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 25 22:57:56 2017

Ignoring, as a form of 'disruption', by design.  Letting go of that sucessful past.  

And incidentally, with no concern for all who might, and inded did, succeed by such now 'undesirable' trade.  Tolerated until the train came up to speed, and the monkeys could grab the throttle.

See, eBay can't wrest 'control' over supply and demand (i.e., inventory they decde to make visible)' of the unique, antique and collectible.  Too much 'independence' and variety in the attribute department to fit into some arbitrary 'catalog' number intended to define a 'predictable set'.  Too many unique qualities, details, and variations between even otherwise 'identical' units.  In fact, 'units' doesn't even apply.  

Thus, one can not also define a price point for these 'outliers'.  Can't predict profit per unit.  Can't PLAN.  At least not in the limited way taught as THE gospel in MBA school.

Therefore, can't 'promise' either.  Stockholders 'get' promises.  They even predict them for the boaster, so to have a baseline to critique - or celebrate.  

Or in the case of eBay, pretend to celebrate.  Rinse and repeat.  

When Mr. Wenig stated a desire to ''connect'', he didn't mean with THOSE sellers.  He meant with the pliable ones.  Those who's inventory could be 'predictable'.  And who, by their dependence, could be 'innovatively' monitized.

Aaaand ACTION!

Perminate Link for Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?   Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Apr 26 02:24:55 2017

I realize many of you sell Collectibles.  But there is much more to Ebay and its sellers than Collectibles and Fashions.  

Store levels favor these categories too as one of the perks of a store is 500 [depending on store level] free listings for Collectibles and Fashions.  There are other sellers out there that do not sell in these categories!!!  Lots of us!!!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Apr 26 08:02:11 2017

Because big enterprise sellers aren't selling collectibles.

Shortly after Wenig took over he stated that eBay would reconnect with small sellers. I'm not sure how he said that with a straight face because I have seen no effort whatsoever to do that.

Whoever in their wildest dreams thought that things under Wenig would and could be so much worse for small sellers than they were with Donahoe at the helm

It has come to fruition.  eBay only want the fees from small sellers. They have absolutely no other use for them than that.

Perminate Link for Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?   Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 26 09:14:13 2017

As ALWAYS Toolfool doesnt quite grasp how business works.

Lets get a financial site to explain it to him shall we?

"Over its history, eBay's value has been determined as much by subsidiary businesses as its namesake e-commerce franchise. For a long time, the company owned the leading online payment service, PayPal, and also claims popular complementary sites like ticket broker StubHub and bookseller Half.com.

While businesses like StubHub spin off profits by taking a commission off sales, much like eBay's core business, the company has struggled to find revenue growth in recent years. In its most recent quarter, revenue increased 8% on a currency-neutral basis, and the company projects an increase of just 6-7% for the full year. By contrast, e-commerce sales in the US have been growing by about 15% consistently for the last few years, meaning eBay has been losing market share.

---> meaning eBay has been losing market share.  continue to lose relevance<----

So you can conjure up ANY spin you'de like - SMART people (including those of us who are professional sellers or have been in business for a few yrs) know how these things work, as do the financial people.

eBay is a %3 consistent business. They are a ZERO risk (since they dont grow or innovate) stock, but they have no grand future.

HHGregg, Sears, Radio Shack are all going under (never mind Pennys etc) and who is picking up THEIR market share?  AMAZON, NOT eBay.

Why? Because eBay would rather DEFECT sellers, punish sellers, steal from sellers, charge sellers to go to eBayCLOSED instead of innovate and grow.

Thanx ... now please let the grown ups here talk.

Perminate Link for Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?   Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 26 09:16:53 2017

As for Amazon "While eBay has mostly relied on its staid marketplace and a series of acquisitions over the years, Amazon has been a consistent innovator in its 21-year history. Founder Jeff Bezos has made good on his initial promise to build the company for the long term, and while it's had its share of misses, the hits have more than made up for them.  For instance, its cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services, may now be the source of more value than its e-commerce business. The unit is on track to deliver $3 billion in operating income this year, and sales have grown by 59% so far this year."

So thats %59 vs ???????

"Even with its dominance in e-commerce, it continues to gain market share: North American retail sales are up 27% thus far this year."

Can eBay say %27 in sales growth? NO IT CANT.

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This user has validated their user name. by: blueribbon1844

Wed Apr 26 09:22:21 2017

@Marie But there is much more to Ebay and its sellers than Collectibles and Fashions.  

yep, its chinese widgets and importing amazon products in the future. I think you people that work at eBay really are out of touch with sellers in general, doesn't matter what category. Ebay is screwing all of us.

IF I'M GOING TO PAY FOR STUPID RADIO AND TV ADS OUT MY FEES, THE ADS SHOULD REPRESENT MY CATEGORY.  

Perminate Link for Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?   Why Is eBay Ignoring Collectibles in TV Campaign?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Apr 26 13:01:42 2017

Marie says " But there is much more to Ebay and its sellers than Collectibles and Fashions."

Really Marie? Seriously?  We didn't know that? Thank you for educating us. Who knew.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Apr 26 13:13:14 2017

Possibly you didn't notice the title of this article, which is what I was commenting to.  But then again, they can't get everything into one ad. Which again inspired my earlier post.

I agree with you that since these fee increases are in part for Ebay to step up the advertising on TV and elsewhere, they should should have a variety of ads that advertise a variety of categories.

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