Seller-oriented analysis of eBay’s Q3 results

October 23, 2015

ChannelAdvisor Scot Wingo By Scot Wingo

After the market closed on Wednesday, October 21, eBay announced their Q3 results for 2015. The results ended up meeting Wall St. expectations, but from a seller’s perspective, there wasn’t a lot of great news when you look at e-commerce growing at 15% (comScore) and Amazon just announced they are growing at 30%, Amazon EGM growing 33% and Amazon’s 3P marketplace growing 42%.  (Note our Amazon summary results are coming shortly.)

eBay’s overall GMV is growing 6% with the US at 3% and International at 7% – all well below the benchmark e-commerce growth rate of 15%.

Here is our dashboard that tracks the results:



  • Mobile GMV – The most interesting metric eBay disclosed for the Q is that 42% of GMV is now transacted on mobile, up from 41% last Q.  eBay seems well on its way to 50% here.
  • GMB – This metric was new to me, but several folks said it was disclosed last Q.  It’s essentially GMV/buyer or GMB.   In Q3 GMB accelerated 1% to 7% up from Q2.
  • India and Korea – eBay indicated these two international markets are growing very well.

Semi positives

A couple of the metrics that we watch closely improved Q2->Q3, but when digging in the reasons were mostly not due to the key eBay Marketplaces (US, EU).

  • Active buyers – On the surface, Active buyers looked as if it stabilized, only dropping 1% from Q2’s growth rate of 6% to 5% in Q3.  However, on the conference call, eBay said that they saw “strong new user growth in India”.  India is a strategic marked, but user growth there probably means very low GMV/user globally and near zero for the US/EU.
  • US GMV growth – US GMV grew 3% in Q3, up from Q2’s 2% growth rate.  However, on the call, management indicated that some changes at Stubhub were well received and that was the key driver of this move.  Again, great for eBay, but another key metric that wasn’t really improved when you think about it from a marketplace perspective.

In addition to the positive numbers that were actually not positive when you dug into them, eBay had some negative trends from the Q:

  • International growth – International growth decelerated in Q3 to 7% down from 8% in Q2.
  • Sold items – Sold items decelerated to 7% y/y growth, down from Q2’s 9.5% decrease.

Other interesting tidbits from the call

  • eBay Valet – eBay is very positive on this program and is ramping it up aggressively.  This is the program where folks will help you take your items and sell them on eBay.  They also mentioned that 1/3 of eBay valet consignments are repeat users.
  • CBT – Before the split, eBay used to disclose the % of GMV from CBT, but did not this quarter.

Investing in the future

Management spent a big chunk of time talking about the big structured data project  and referenced this graphic: (click to expand)


They also added:

  • So far they have focused on media and parts and accessories
  • SEO benefits so far have been limited, but long-term they believe this is the path out of the SEO problems they have and it will result in better buyer experiences.
  • They pointed to this google result as an example of the benefits (It’s for a Chanel backpack bag)

This is definitely a longer-term (2-3yr) effort, but we’ve seen with Amazon that the result is a much cleaner search experience, so we’re optimistic that this investment could be part of what turns eBay around and reignites growth.


Scot Wingo, Executive Chairman of ChannelAdvisor, wrote this post