Sellers would prefer Google over Amazon as a possible acquirer of eBay by a wide margin - 18% and 5%, respectively. But slightly more sellers (20%) would rather see the board take eBay private.
Those were the findings of a survey EcommerceBytes conducted in January after activist investor Elliott Management acquired shares in eBay and approached its Board with a list of demands last month.
In the survey, we stated: "Elliott Management said eBay Marketplace would be a "highly attractive acquisition target"" and asked, "What acquisition scenario do you feel would leave you best off as a seller?"
Only 5% of sellers believe they would be better off if Facebook acquired eBay, and even fewer - 2% - said they'd be better off if Walmart acquired eBay. A surprising number thought a Private Equity firm would be the best alternative (14%).
Perhaps most telling about the state of eBay for sellers these days: Only 12% said there should be no change in corporate structure.
The full results were as follows:
Board should take eBay private: 20%
Google should acquire eBay: 18%
Private Equity firm should acquire eBay: 14%
No change in corporate structure: 12%
Amazon should acquire eBay: 5%
Facebook should acquire eBay: 5%
Walmart should acquire eBay: 2%
Alibaba should acquire eBay: 1%
There were some interesting suggestions left by the sellers who selected "Other," including: PayPal; Apple; and "a group of experienced eBay sellers."
Many sellers didn't have specific suggestions. "I wish I knew what company should swallow eBay," one seller wrote, adding, "All of the above scare me!"
"Not sure but it should be someone that has sold in the used goods market," wrote another.
"PayPal," said one seller, explaining, "it already has all sellers, and sellers are ready to leave eBay if options are available."
Another seller said eBay should be split into two - "Google should acquire eBay for the sale of new products. And antique, collectible, and vintage item categories should be spun off into its own site called eBay Classic."
Stay tuned for Part 3 of the survey results. You can find Part 1 of the survey results, "Sellers Weigh In on Selling eBay Subsidiaries," on this page