eBay News roundup – Changes, PayPal, Skype, Gmarket and more!

April 13, 2009

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

I was away for Spring Break and coming back today wanted to summarize some things going on in the world of eBay that is relevant for sellers:

  • SOLD OUT!  ChannelAdvisor Catalyst (April 28-30) is now sold out.  Unfortunately our venue does have a hard limit on the number of people we can have in various presentation rooms and we are at our limit. This is interesting because earlier in the year we were wondering if e-commerce businesses would be investing in taking their business to the next level and expanding to new channels or if they would just hunker down in 09.  I guess our concerns were wrong!
  • Changes are coming!  eBay is going to announce their big 1H09 changes tomorrow – we’ll have reaction/analysis here.  eBay previewed multi-sku at Catalyst UK, so I think we’ll have some US details tomorrow.
  • The Dreaded PayPal Call – More and more sellers are getting the ‘dreaded PayPal call’ where PP is asking them to keep a 3-5% ‘reserve’ going forward.  For many sellers this can mean $20-100k locked up in your account indefinitely.  More on this topic later, but be ready for the call when it comes.
  • Skype – NYT reports that the Skype founders are preparing to make a bid to buy back the company from eBay.  Having done a transaction similar to this (although microscopic in comparison), these kinds of deals can be very very very hard to get done so I wouldn’t count on this one getting done.  Also, it’s interesting to think about an eBay Corp without Skype. This is one of those ‘be careful what you ask for’ kind of events as I think eBay would invest most of the proceeds in non-marketplace areas as they have historically and we’d be 5 steps further down the path of eBay corp becoming Paypal corp – the payments company with a little marketplace biz hung off the side.
  • Gmarket – Speaking of marketplaces –  NYT also reports that eBay is looking to buy more of Gmarket out of Korea.  Gmarket has successfully blended fp and auction in Asia so there’s some good geography expansion mixed with maybe some good solutions on what ails the US market to be had there.
  • Wall St call – For you wall Sters out there, I’m doing a call with Justin Post @ ML/BOA tomorrow (4/14@11am ET ) to discuss the Q1 trends we saw and if the timing works we can talk about eBay’s announced changes.  Shoot Justin a note for details.
  • eBay Earnings – Remember that eBay’s earnings are set for April 22 after market close.  We’ll have the usual roundup here for that as well.

SeekingAlpha Disclosure – I am long Amazon and Google