The head of eBay Marketplaces for the Americas Scott Cutler was on PR duty on Cyber Monday to help generate buzz for eBay Deals.
In a video interview on Yahoo Finance
, the senior VP laughed off a question about eBay's stance on Bitcoin, calling the digital currency "the ghost from Christmas past." The host had asked him to weigh in because, she said, "We have been hearing that the number of Bitcoin mining rigs is growing on eBay."
Asked if eBay had done anything to capitalize on the hole left by defunct retail chain Toys R Us, Cutler said eBay had published a toy book called Toytopia. The guide features a balance of items from those Cutler said could only be found on eBay, such as a first generation 1987 Transformer set, to today's "right now" item - a game called Monopoly for Millennials.
eBay is focusing on "the rare, the retro, and the right now," he said.
In his video interview on Cheddar
, Cutler talked about sourcing supply for the marketplace while not owning any of the inventory on the site. Those not familiar with eBay's model might well have come away confused, especially when he said "we" ship the deals found on eBay.
"We actually look at what our consumers are searching for, and that forms the basis for what we go out and source in terms of supply for the marketplace. That's largely driven by deals in certain categories," he said.
But when asked about how deals would affect eBay's margins, Cutler said, "We're different than other retailers in that we don't own the inventory, which means we're not purchasing that inventory and having to drive that inventory off our shelves," meaning Cyber Monday would be a great day for eBay, he said.
"So as a marketplace, we're able to take advantage of great deals that our sellers are offering and get those out to our consumers, so we're not taking inventory risk like other retailers are. We're really trying to find what people are shopping for, and then be able to go out there and get great product to deliver that to the consumer."
Cutler said shoppers can be confident that the deals shoppers see when they come to the site are the best deals, "but then come to experience what you do on eBay, which is finding that rare item that you can only find on eBay. That retro item that used to be cool 10 years ago and is now hip again, and then that everyday item like you're seeing today."
Cutler said it was that unique combination that positioned eBay well to "win" in the holidays.
Some takeaways from the interviews:
- Cutler expects Cyber Monday to be one of the busiest days of the year, with shoppers showing up looking for deals.
- "In terms of online sales, eBay will sell more in online transactions than Walmart and Macy's and Best Buy combined."
- "eBay is powered by tens of millions of sellers from around the world."
- Cyber Monday is about deals, eBay has 150,000 deals on its site. Cutler said shoes, laptops, MacBook Air, and Nintendo Switch are selling every few seconds.