Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Jan 21 2020 17:02:22

How Will eBay Layoffs Impact Online Sellers?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay laid off 102 employees in California including marketers and software engineers, according to a notice eBay filed with the state. The news comes as eBay prepares to announce fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 earnings next week.

This month's layoffs are also reported to have impacted staff in Seattle - one site said the total number of eBay layoffs was at least 200, which we have not confirmed, though one software engineer in Denver reported having been laid off last week.

SeekingAlpha reported that the layoffs impacted a "low single digit" percentage of the overall workforce, citing an eBay spokesperson. On its investor relations website, eBay states it employed "approximately 14,000 people globally" as of December 31, 2018.

eBay sellers may be left wondering how the loss of marketers and engineers might impact the site performance and traffic to the site.

We had reached out to the state on January 16th, but it had no record of the January 15th letter at that time, according to its press liaison. The last WARN Act notice from eBay had been filed on February 13, 2019, she said, when it laid off 135 employees in California (and possibly up to 400 worldwide, according to one estimate) - the same time eBay announced a restructuring that included the departure of its head of Marketplaces Scott Cutler. A lot has happened since then, including the departure of its CEO.

The January 15, 2020 hit list includes marketing staff in account management, category management, merchandising generalists, content management, and marketing communications, as well as software engineers, data scientists, and administrative staff, including legal counsel, recruiters, and billing and collections managers.

Stay tuned for next week's earnings call.



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by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 17:29:33 2020

Isn't July when forced Managed Payments will be implemented.
I am sure that there will be lots of sellers leaving and that eBay just took advantage of lay offs ahead of that time.

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by: buffalochick This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 17:35:41 2020

I suspect u r correct...

They can now reduce their output by this number tho...may be just a false balancing act. Frankly Scarlet...

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jan 21 17:52:57 2020

If eBay is dumping software engineers, expect the site to have even more glitches than it does now. I guess they've run out of ways to squeeze money out of sellers since this will cut the salaries they need to pay.

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 18:10:05 2020

Well if they are laying off out of the US we have no sympathy for them. Most of they can't hardly speak english. If they are laying of engineers that also isn't to big of a loss either. Most of them don't have the brain cells to program a clock on the stove much less program anything else. So bottom line. GOOD RIDDANCE.

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by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 18:50:12 2020

We knew this was coming, at least those who read this forum, eBay executives have been shooting themselves in the foot for the last decade by devaluing their sellers who are pulling billions of dollars worth of inventory off the marketplace due to their great idea of fee churning with their automated unsold fee generation relisting script that collects cash from unsold inventory.

So instead of adding inventory to eBay, sellers work everyday to end listings so they are not ripped off by eBay.

Now you can ask yourself if this is sound business logic, it is no wonder Devin Wenig was fired, the problem is, Schenkel will not address this fundamental flow in eBay's business model since he is so busy collecting the free cash generated by this massive ongoing fraud against eBay sellers.

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Tue Jan 21 18:55:59 2020

I 'm not sure the loss of IT staff is going to be that much of a problem. It's not like they've made any dent in the massive mess the platform is. Restructuring will require excellent talent. I hope they know that. If the platform doesn't work, nothing will.  

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by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 22:02:40 2020

@CanBrit has a big point.

And I will take it a bit further. If there are less software engineers then maybe they wont make as many changes ahead as they have in the past (hopefully). The problem isnt or wasnt the platform, it was the changes they made that caused the problems. Those changes came with unintended consequences, and they never fixed them, they just forged ahead making more changes.

We all have known that the entire platform needed repair for the last 3-4 years. Now, they may need to start a new one from scratch. It would probably cost the same amount of money, and they would be able to adhere to a schedule, and stick to it. Theres just too much bubble gum going on in there right now, and I dont think anyone really knows the complete flow with the patches.

The other thing is the mobile app. The current one also needs to be completely scraped. It is missing too much functionality that the desktop site has. You can tell that they have had problems in the past. When they tried to change a few things, other function were not available for almost 3 weeks at a time (unintentionally).

So, basically the who organization needs an overhaul. They are a fish that not just bit the hook, but swallowed it.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 22 00:04:42 2020

How many times have we all (here) said that eBay needs to trim its workforce/overhead ???????

Only 10000000x times!

A few top people were let go, now its "engineers" (probably like Sir Topem Hat from Thomas) ..... when can they/will they lay off MORE from this bloated top heavy company????

eBay employs 14000 people to do what exactly? Are they all like Griff - who does nothing all day long?

Its a start - but its not enough - for eBay to survive it must be a lean machine. Cut the bloat, sell off assets, apologize to sellers, make it up to them, refund them an arbitrary amount and wipe the slate clean on defects and other non deserved items and more.

Otherwise it will be more of the same - and theres only so many lies they can tell Wall Street. Best do it yourself before its done for you!

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 22 01:14:54 2020

"the loss of IT staff"

Wahoo - no more screwing everything up on a daily basis - change after change after change and none of them meaningful - just fluff.  Now if they could just knock off a few more multi-millionaire higher ups so the sellers don't have to bleed to keep them in their mick-mansions that would be great. One more thing - I sincerely hope they were all people NOT in the USA. I'd love to speak to Americans again. And while we are at it - what the hell is happening at Paypal???? Have you tried to call them lately? Get a pop and put your feet up - it's gonna be awhile before anyone over there answers the phone.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 22 01:15:49 2020

Geetar - your 100% correct about the mobile app. It's a shocker.

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by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 22 08:42:56 2020

eBay sellers should simply pull inventory off of eBay until they come to their senses that extortion and blackmail will not produce profits for them.

Until the new CEO gets hired and ends the abominations and criminal schemes he and Temkin invented that being charging sellers for promoted listings and good til canceled automated fee churning of unsold inventory, this is our only recourse, pull the majority of inventory and move it to other marketplaces including Amazon.

This is what we have done and this is what we will continue to do, end listings on eBay to avoid good til canceled fee churning and list the bulk of our new inventory on Amazon. Devin Wenig killed eBay long ago, and until we see his policies killed we will not support eBay unless all listing fees are eliminated.

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by: ebayisscrewed This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 22 09:48:22 2020

I thought is was July 2021 for full managed payment conversion?  Any one have info on this?

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 22 10:05:36 2020

I think it will be a positive step for the company.

These net effect of the efforts of these employees is a steady decline in productivity and growth. New thinking, strategy, and talent are something this company needs. Many dead weight employees trained to work under 2 failed CEO plans are jaded with archaic experience and are not fit to meet the challenges ebay is currently facing.

Previous management decided to sit on its hands at let internet sales taxes happen with a ''they are coming anyway'' mentality, and sat back while buyers were the recipients of 3rd party ''gotcha'' drop shipping from a host of other marketplaces. A net effect which just taught buyers to check there first.

If there is a down side I just can't see it.

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by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 22 10:29:47 2020

The whole good til canceled thing I think was more or less to get static listings on ebay so they would show up more in google search. Was there also a mentally challenged high five at the fact that they would make money off of it. Absolutely.

But the effect has been horrible. All of my listings have been good til canceled. But it seems to have done something to indexing to push listings to the back or to the point of being hidden. I dont know if this a coincidence, or was an effect of good til canceled. But I see a big difference. I have quite a few more dead items. I have never had this many. I have even had items that I had for sale at cost, beating all competitors....and still no sales on the items. So wth is going on?

And as for the google search, it seems this has made little to no difference. I understand that an organization of this size can be challenging to run. But come on, some of the changes they have made were obliviously going to have negative consequences. And they did it anyway. All the while having their biggest competitor (Amazon) completely dominate them.

As far as letting go of employee's, it's a good move. I am sure there are people working there that areent doing anything. Not because they dont want to, but because they have no direction. When theres no leadership and direction from the top, this is the best thing to do. Keep the good ones, let go of the rest, and figure out what needs to be done.

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Wed Jan 22 10:44:01 2020

Quality has always been last on ebay's list so these layoffs will make no difference whatsoever. Could be ebay is ramping up it's outsourcing to all levels of the company to squeeze more money out of nothing. The average SW engineer in Manila makes $8800 a year. Sales and marketing could even be less.

I wouldn't be surprised if half of their bloated workforce doesn't end up coming from the Philippines.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Jan 22 11:43:57 2020

"for eBay to survive it must be a lean machine."

When you make over $2 billion in profit how can one NOT survive?

They have a P/E of just 15 more, if it gets any lower they will become a take over target. . . .

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Jan 22 11:47:13 2020

@eBay Shill Buster

When you say things like this it just proves that YOU do not make a living selling on eBay!

"eBay sellers should simply pull inventory off of eBay until they come to their senses"

Who's going to pay all of our bills? The American tax payer? or maybe you? I doubt either will come forward to pay eBay sellers bills. . . .

A lot of us are wearing "eBay handcuffs" and have so for decades. . . .

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by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 22 11:50:47 2020

Some say layoffs are good, well companies calculate how many employees they have by sales per employee, since eBay's GMV continues to fall, so do the amount of those who they employ, this is a result of Devin Wenig and his partner in crime Harry Temken who should have been shown the door when Wenig was canned.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jan 22 13:08:07 2020

@toolguy - You won't have to worry about paying bills if the state every finds out you haven't been collecting sales tax for all those years.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Jan 22 13:11:07 2020

@ESB

"Some say layoffs are good, well companies calculate how many employees they have by sales per employee, since eBay's GMV continues to fall, so do the amount of those who they employ"

This might be true for some companies but not all. . . .I can see by that statement you have never worked for a company that need to "tool up" for production! Maybe eBay laid off workers of the "Managed Payment" program since most of the work has been completed. . . .I can "speculate" as easily as you can. . .

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