eBay Q4 news – part III – Highlights of the eBay conference call

January 23, 2008

The transcript will be available online shortly, but I wanted to capture some highlights from a seller’s perspective.  Here they are:

  • PayPal is majorly kicking butt
  • Meg bullish on new management team
  • eBay marketplace:
    • GMV grew 12% y/y (not clear how much due to FX)

Donahoe on the future:

  • Huge marketplace business, not growing as rapidly as would like
  • PayPal is a great business – accelerating momentum, unlimited apps
  • Skype – 276m users in <4yrs with $282m in revenue
  • With these three businesses, they have a leg up on the future
  • First: going to get aggressive about eBay getting easier and safer
    • Made strides, need to do much more, taken hard look at experience and going to make breaks from the past to deliver the best buyer experience.
    • Feedback, user protection, customer support, pricing in next week (implies ecommerce forum)
  • Second: Fixed price will be a focus (already 40%+, growing faster than auctions+ecommerce)
    • Auctions are fun
    • But for many, auctions are not optimal
    • What eBay needs to do is marry the fun of auctions with convenience of fixed-price, only eBay can do this – thus competitive advantage
    • 08 budget has wiggle room to do these things
  • Third: Paypal!
    • Going to make ebay integration better
    • Off-ebay stuff too

Fee/pricing changes

eBay has a slide in the deck (slide 10) that talks about the tests they did:

  1. free gallery (yeah!!! FREE FREE SET GALLERY FREE -Sting)
  2. reduced insertion fees
  3. reduced fvf

The conclusion is that free gallery and reduced insertion fees were positives and reduced fvf didn’t have much impact (we could have saved some testing time and effort here).

“2008 Price Restructure” coming next week at ecommerce forum (shaping up to be a big deal this year)

Swan covered this and telegraphed that  eBay will reduce up-front listing fees and increasing FVF fees.