Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue June 14 2022 10:34:35

eBay CEO Tells Shareholders Old Strategy Was Not Working

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay CEO Jamie Iannone told investors at a presentation following the company's annual shareholder meeting on June 8, 2022, that the company's previous strategy was not working. 

Iannone returned to eBay in April of 2020 as its new CEO and shared his vision of a "tech-led reimagination" of eBay. In an interview 6 months later, he said he wanted to use next-gen technology to enable the selling of used or new-but-out-of-season items, as well as vintage and collectibles.

Two years after joining the company, he indicated he was sticking with that strategy. Here's an excerpt of his presentation to shareholders last week:

"Previously, we had strayed from our original vision of eBay as a marketplace that connects sellers and buyers of non new in-season goods. We instead focused on branded new in-season products, and this strategy wasn't working.

"So we recentered on what we do best. We sized the incredible growth potential of non new in-season products, and we estimate that our total addressable market, or TAM, in online retail across our three largest markets was approximately $1.1 trillion in 2021.

"In fact, close to 90% of eBay's GMV is derived from non new in-season items.

"Our strategic investment in our focused categories, in addition to our scale, capabilities, and unique assets, puts us in a strong position to lead in this space. 

"We truly believe this is just the beginning and see a tremendous runway for growth."

The CEO said eBay was delivering a better user experience for buyers and sellers, citing videos in Stores; a new image listing tool; and a unified listing experience that has begun rolling out. Iannone also said that by taking over payment processing, eBay was reducing unpaid items.

Iannone discussed eBay's "multi-year growth initiatives" that included Focus Categories, Managed Payments, and Advertising. (Last year, he said, over 3 million sellers used Promoted Listings, its 1st-party ads product.)

You can find a link to the recording of eBay's June 8th annual meeting and CEO presentation on the eBay Investor Relations website

Let us know what you think of eBay's former and current strategies - or if you have an idea for the strategy eBay should be following.



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Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jun 14 11:55:15 2022

eBay's original strategy was working just fine. Then JD and those that followed ruined everything. eBay used to be the place you could find anything, now Jamie wants to focus on "non new in-season items." Are parts for a widget that hasn't been manufactured for 20 years in-season? How about an arm for a long out of production action figure? That's the sort of stuff that made eBay a household name.  

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

Tue Jun 14 12:16:00 2022

iheartjacksparrow  has it right.
I would add : "Reimagining" is tech Speak for "Finding a new way to Wring out the sellers, and Wring out the company".
"Reimagining" is what RUINED everything.
They tried reimagining law enforcement,  reimagining Main St. > and so murdered access to Mom and Pop stores. Malls took their place....you know happened there...
THAT'S ENOUGH REIMAGINING !

OLD SCHOOL is where it's at. I always say "Go Retro for Prosperity".
WHIP the CEO back to a 1990's salary.
SLAM THE DOOR on out of country *.*

If those "educated (to strip US of our wealth) morons don't get out of the way, we'll take care of it.....Hard.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 12:34:33 2022

"was not working" ... the mantra of the worlds greatest scamming company

It should be IS not working - since most of the employees actually DONT work

FIrst line CS overseas takes most of the brunt - being yelled at, screamed at and cursed at - eBay pays them $10/hr for that honor - since American CS in Utah wont put up with it.

It comes from eBays abysmal policies, only designed to protect itself, then buyers and then MAYBE sellers - if they are forced to.

Come advertise your listings/auctions - but when the chips are down - its all "Im sorries".

Crowing about reducing non payment(s) is no big deal - every other platform has it WELL under control - and they didnt need a new CEO to tame it - just take buyers CC's info at time of registration as the "stored payment method" and its done (I didnt have to work at Walmart to figure THAT out!)

Youtube is FILLED with videos of eBay closing sellers accounts - even LARGE ones - because they couldnt provide invoices ... (can you ?) and Jamie is reimagining things?

Its about making sales DOPE, put the rabid dog VERO back on its leash, and get back to work - real work

Start by trimming your workforce by %30 including high ups that do nothing all day (aka Griff) for starters.

Lean mean selling machine - that always does the right thing ! (expect eBay wont, the cheerleaders here will simply tell you how great eBay is, how they care, how being the bank and cc processor work out just so well, and all kinds of other clap trap)

the emperor still doesnt have new clothes

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by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 13:08:15 2022

hocus pocus mumbo jumbo smoke and mirrors

take the bounty off sellers heads, fix the site thing will improve

but that will never happen so fleecebay just keep sinking

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by: ThebigR This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 14:01:50 2022

Only on ebay when listing a item that you need to rotate it 90 degrees the rotating tool goes counter clockwise so you have to rotate it backwards so you have to rotate it 270 degrees to get the 90 degrees..  

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by: CT Bay This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 20:16:55 2022

The suspended account stuff on YouTube mentioned by a previous comment is fake. He just knew it would get big views and by god it did. Notice a few other lesser known channels trying to ride his coat tails and do the same thing. If he really got suspended, it was intentional.

Service Metrics is what bothers me the most. I would say you need to sell over $100,000/yr to be effected by it so its not an issue for most. It will never cause widespread outrage because few even know its lurking. Counting. Waiting for an opportunity to nearly double your FVFs.

I understand they cannot take sides in an ambiguous return. I do get some returns that are my fault. 90%+ of my returns are abuse. Doesn’t work selected for doesn’t fit with doesn’t fit reasoning. No ambiguity. Just black and white abuse nobody could deny. Not as described for didn’t like it with didn’t like it reasoning. Again not ambiguous. They boldly state the real reason and then just check whatever box will make it a free return. Its now common knowledge this works and people come do it over and over and over with impunity. You can block them but they will just circumvent that by making a new account and there isn’t even an iota of concern about verifying accounts.
 We have been dealing with this abuse for years. What do they do about it? Do they make any attempt to level the playing field? NO. They make a system called Service Metrics that will come abuse you more if you get abused too much. It takes more than 10 returns inside 90 days before it starts abusing you. I haven’t been abused by it yet but have gotten close a couple times.
  Clear cut abuse all the way up to outright demonstrable theft counts on Service Metrics and no amount of phone calls can get it removed.
   Service metrics has yet to cost me a dime. Its just the concept of letting people steal and then charging extra for the privilege of being a victim that makes me incredibly angry. As long as this policy stands I have no respect for any ebay leadership.
  The policy is asinine but if they think its such a great idea they should at the very least allow the removal of clear abuse.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jun 14 21:09:52 2022

He is as broken as eBay search. Someone get the shepherd's hook and get him off the stage.

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This user has validated their user name. by: COVID-19

Tue Jun 14 21:55:01 2022

Amazon has now progressed to using drones, while eBay just has a bigwig who drones.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 15 11:04:00 2022

"The suspended account stuff on YouTube mentioned by a previous comment is fake"

I have no dog in that fight - it was HIS OWN WORD, that eBay kicked him off for not being able to produce paperwork for expensive sneakers.

Whether or not others are making their own videos commenting on HIS video isn't germane to the point, is it?

If you have a major customer that does 2+ million $$ and you cant seem to figure out a way to fix the issue - then theres an issue, isnt there?

Is he lieing? are they all lieing? is eBay innocent here - is that your point?

The GREATER point is how there are other more important things going on, on the platform. eBay "did what ever they did" to protect the sneaker category that they are betting THEIR future on - they really could care less about him personally as a seller.

The same way (in the same way) - when I had eBay VERO issues and I was %100 right - I got treated like garbage (like he supposedly did). All sellers do - its called "biting the hand that feeds you".

I suppose when you run out of TRICKS, you CAN always rely on VERO to gin up some money for you - its an old mafia (San Jose Mafia) plot - its been see/done before.

Last I heard - eBay ISNT law enforcement - and should never be involved in any of its aspects.

Have an issue? thats what the courts and lawyers are for - god knows, eBay cant be trusted to care or be fair to anyone but itself.

In that guys case - there was no action from the sneaker maker nor law enforcement, so eBay should have kept its rabid, snarling, foaming at the mouth VERO dog chained to the radiator in Griff's office .... eBay for Dummies indeed.

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 15 20:38:40 2022

Does eBay ever wonder why grocery stores don't put laundry detergent in the bread aisle?

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by: zeek6228 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 15 22:23:28 2022

"Our strategic investment in our focused categories, in addition to our scale, capabilities, and unique assets, puts us in a strong position to lead in this space."

You too can write completely useless nonsensical drivel too using the Noam Chomsky Prose generator

http://www.jfsowa.com/misc/chomsky.htm

Suppose
,
for instance, that a subset of English sentences interesting on quite independent grounds appears to correlate rather closely with problems of phonemic and morphological analysis. This suggests that a case of semigrammaticalness of a different sort may remedy and, at the same time, eliminate the system of base rules exclusive of the lexicon.

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by: bling This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 16 00:05:10 2022

A forgettable CEO who lacks the courage to admit failure.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Tells Shareholders Old Strategy Was Not Working   eBay CEO Tells Shareholders Old Strategy Was Not Working

by: EMarketplace This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 16 00:14:19 2022

When are the shareholders going to fire him??!!??! Oh yeah that’s right whether he does a good job or not he takes his millions and leaves!!! Why do CEO’s not get paid by performance??? I guess paying him off will to leave, will further pours money out of this company! I am all for change, here is novel idea fix what is broken and not recreate the wheel! There was plenty that was right with EBay until greed has gotten in the way of sound business sense

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by: ZZ This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 16 00:18:29 2022

My experience with clothes is that buyers still don't trust ebay sellers and so new with tags dominates both used and new without tags. It would be smart for ebay to be able to identify and promote the sellers who say "like new" or "good as new" and are accurate.

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by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 16 01:27:38 2022

Welcome Jamie, to the realization that many here have been talking about for at least ten years.

Just think how much better off eBay shareholders would have it, if they hadn't shelled out nearly half a billion in salaries and bonuses to CEO's who thought they knew it all. They could have listened to the "noise" here.

Unfortunately, this awareness is probably a bit too late. There are many competitors, focused on their niche of the non seasonal, used market.

Also, the lead moron of them all, John Donohoe, envisioned and had built a platform structured around moving commodity products. We currently use a platform, with its' inherent algorithms, limits, et al, that is built around a failed strategy. What are you going to do about that Jamie?  

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by: Lahav-CampaignGO This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 16 02:23:26 2022

eBay is a mall, 20 years ago it was the best in the world.
eBay still thinks that they are the best in the world, it is a state of mind!
They know better how to do it ( they knew)
The website level is so bad that if the Software manager was my student he was getting an F. so mant flows what the expect?
Each day I'm working with their system... and I say to myself..god they are so bad!
We are saying it for years... each year it becomes worth it! at the bottom line, it turns in to decline in sales!

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by: Jono77 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 16 03:16:39 2022

I ask the seller if they will combine postage. They say "Yes" so I try to combine three items so I don't overpay 7.98 in postage cost but eBay displays a message stating...

The seller doesn't offer combined postage discounts.
The seller has disallowed combined payments and postage discounts. Please proceed to checkout to complete your purchase.

So this is eBay's default setting & they do nothing to let the seller know how or where to set it to accept combined postage costs. MR IANNONE this is NOT INNOVATIVE!

A 6 year old child would understand how counterproductive this is. You don't need tech-led reimagination. You need to go back to basics. Buy a wooden abacus or ask a 6 year old for some advice!

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by: leavingNY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 16 04:06:21 2022

Sellers are leaving Ebay in droves because they make more money on sellers items then the seller does. Buyers are leaving Ebay in droves because the items have to be priced so high to incorporate all the HUGE ebay fees and postal price increases that never stop. Its time to leave Ebay and sell the business. The slow death of Ebay is here.  

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by: Surplus This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 16 07:18:54 2022

We sell in multiple venues.  Our Ebay prices are 20% higher and buyers pay sales tax on Ebay.  The 20% higher covers the ebay fees and return abuse we expected to absorb.  We sell the exact same product with the same descriptions on our website yet people continue to purchase off ebay and in some cases even after we tell them they can save 20% purchasing on the website.  The Ebay item and the website item are usually side by side in a Google search so I really don't understand why you would pay more but they do.

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This user has validated their user name. by: epuise

Thu Jun 16 09:16:09 2022

Hal Lawton - Senior VP:North America eBay Inc 05/2015–08/2017 - Tried REALLY hard to set eBay on a track that would support Sellers, and, thus, Buyers. He appeared on Seller Forums & INVITED us to CONTACT HIM DIRECTLY. He had a Team I could reach out to, reporting glitches, scammers, schemes. His Assistants would take Reports I had compiled, where, because I.D.s and Sales Records WEREN'T HIDDEN, one could see the bad Buyer or Seller, thru Feedback, etc., was a Repeat Offender. Definite Patterns. If you, as a harmed Buyer or Seller, wrote direct to the other Buyer, Seller, your 'experiences' MATCHED. Hal's Team also would look up I.P. Addresses & see that multiple I.D.s came from same location. That meant they could shut down MULTIPLE Aliases. It was exciting. Refreshing. Then...(obviously), Hal got pushback. And... he left. I knew it wasn't going to get better after that.
Where I was 85% eBay & 15% Etsy for my Income... I am now 10% eBay, 20% Etsy, and 70% FaceBook, B&M, & Live Events. I get inquiries to SHIP on FB. Now, Sellers are finding these alternatives are necessary to survive. Multiple Venues. Just saving the 6.5-15%-to ? FVF on Item, Postage, Sales Tax is a blessing. You pay a CC Fee.
You have 100% Communication with YOUR Customer. After you sell, nobody runs up & shows YOUR Customer a CHEAPER one, and, urges YOUR Customer to complain & return yours.
^ Last time I experienced THAT nightmare was in the Insurance Business in the 1990s, where unscrupulous, competing Agents would urge your Policy Holder to lie, say they were mislead, get a REFUND (and your loss of earned Commission), in order to sell THEIR product. It was 'Buyer Protection' like eBay's. Despite acknowledging READING the material (signature), OWNING the Life Insurance for YEARS, these Buyers, who did not 'collect' (by dying), were basically able to get Insured for years & then get a full refund. Imagine waking up & being DOWN a $1,000. Commission (that you need to repay BEFORE you get any more pay), from a Product you sold a year, 5 years, 10 years earlier. Sound familiar (w/ CC chargebacks)?
It didn't matter how many times you had Customer initial, sign, agree the Product was what they wanted, and, were now paying for... Unlimited Buyer's Remorse was rewarded. I left the business in 2000, after 11 years. No Benefits. For 5 years after, the Company did NOT Service my Clients. The new Agents CHURNED, canceled my Plans, got Customers to complain so they got Refunds. I had to REPAY over $30,000. in Commissions when I no longer WORKED there. The writing was on the wall. You could no longer work 60+ hours a week & prosper. The CEO did. It just stopped 'trickling down'.
EXPENCES went up, too. They started CHARGING no salary/commission Agents for stuff that was normally included. They cut 401K, Health Ins., etc.
- It started... in the 1990's... Nobody squawked when CEO pay went from 30x average worker to 150x to 300x to ????

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