Big week for eBay next week – Investor/Analyst day on Wed. March 11th…

March 5, 2009

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Big news eBay Strategies readers –  eBay is having a big investor/analyst day next week – Wednesday, March 11th that will be webcast.  Curiously, there’s no information on the investor relations site about it yet (come on Mark!) but several analysts have put out notes mentioning it and eBay talked about it at the Goldman talk.

Putting that datapoint together with a couple of other ‘hints’ coming out of eBay:
So putting 2+2+2+1.5+3.14159265 together, my guess is that we’ll either have a big announcement of changes on 3/11 or at least some more meaty signs of things to come.  If eBay does roll out changes at the meeting, it will be an notable change from last year’s approach.  As previously mentioned, last year eBay rolled out the bulk of 08 changes to a room full of 300 or so top sellers. This year they previewed to some sellers in Long beach and then rolled them out to Wall St.
Many sellers I talk to believe that eBay doesn’t really think of sellers as stakeholders in the business, and puts buyers and wall street at the front of the bus.  Some could take this change in audience and venue to roll out changes (if they do), as supporting the claim that sellers are low on the proverbial totem pole of stakeholders.
In any case, I recommend sellers keep a close eye on this one along with the rest of the stake holders because I don’t think eBay would do an all day event like this (first in 3yrs+) and not have something to say.
What’s coming?
In his Goldman talk, John Donahoe mentioned they aren’t changing fees (up or down was the implication) this year (not his exact words, lots of wiggle room in there as it’s not clear if he was talking about all fees,fixed-price only, us only, etc.) so I’d take that with a grain of salt.
I have no other predictions for what’s coming, so it’s going to be interesting.  Hopefully eBay will announce some things that get them down the path of our proposed eBay 2.0 strategy.  I did hear from a couple of eBay shareholders that had private meetings at Goldman that big changes are a foot and they were ‘encouraged’ to attend the investor day.
We have you covered!
We’ll have full coverage of the event here at eBay Strategies and are bookending it with two events:
  • Tues., March 10 – 2pm ET I’m doing a live radio show with John Lawson @ Colderice – John is an eBay blogger and social guru as well as a top eBay seller (and ChannelAdvisor customer I’m happy to fully disclose). Sign up should be available here soon.
  • Wed., March 11 – Will be live-blogging the event.  They haven’t officially published the times yet, but I suspect it will be 9-2ish PT.  Listen to the webcast and join in on the conversation here.  I’ll also be tweeting anything earth shattering.
  • Thurs., March 12 – 11am ET Citigroup Wall St. call –  I’ll be chatting with top internet analyst, Mark Mahaney in more detail about Amazon’s seller business and we’ll also cover any news coming out of eBay’s analyst day.  I believe this is for Wall-st types only, those interested can contact Mark for details.  For non-Wall st types, I’ll post some highlights here later in the day.

Finally, Mahaney published a ’10 things we want to know from eBay analyst day’ list (which is ironic because he looks like Conan O’brien, but does a Letterman top 10 list?)  That I thought was a good summary of what Wall St’ers will be asking the company and will be relevent for everyone in the eBay ecosystem to listen for on Wednesday:

  1. What steps can eBay take to improve the Marketplace Buyer experience?;
  2. What steps can eBay take to improve the Marketplace Seller experience?;
  3. Is the Auction format an anchor around eBay’s Marketplace growth?; (**I have argued that eBay has accelerated the decline of this format)
  4. Which International markets are showing the most potential and which the most risk?;
  5. What are the new growth strategies for PayPal;
  6. What are the anticipated synergies between PayPal and BillMeLater?;
  7. What are the marching orders for Skype, given the lack of synergies with eBay or PayPal; (**Sell it! – auction it on ebay 😉 )
  8. What are the long-term growth opportunities for the Marketing Services segment;  (**ads on ebay – just say no)
  9. Are there material new cost savings opportunities for eBay or does the revenue mix shift away from the high margin Marketplace segment make long-term operating margin declines inevitable for eBay?;
  10. What are eBay’s options with its $3.2B in cash?   
SeekingAlpha Disclosure – I am long Amazon and Google