Analyst expects more buyers to ditch eBay for Amazon and Google

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Financial analyst Steve Weinstein has revealed in a research note that he expects eBay to have trouble engaging buyers and will see only small increases in revenue in the near future.

He writes: “We continue to view core eBay growth as disappointing when compared to other e-commerce companies. We believe the sustained underperformance reflects confused brand identity and an inability to provide a compelling experience for buyers and sellers.”

Weinstein says he Weinstein expects eBay’s marketplace revenue to rise 0.3% in Q4 vs. Q4 2014 to $1.835 billion. That’s above the Wall Street consensus estimate of $1.833 billion.

In the ecommerce battle between eBay, Amazon and eBay eBay is increasingly being seen as the venue for “bargain hunters”. For my money Weinstein does sum up eBay’s problems succinctly. It’s not entirely clear what eBay is for in the ever more crowded space and there’s work to do on the buyer and seller experience. We’ll see if 2016 is the year that eBay rediscovers its mojo.

27 Responses

  1. In an age where online sales growth is 20%+ annually ebay are standing still. Unless you sell niche products that Amazon don’t cover, or can make a decent return from auction sales, or are shifting returns/refurbished items, or committing VAT fraud, or are an overseas seller of Poundland type goods, then why would you sell on ebay?

    Compare ebay search with Amazon search, or even google search, and it is easy to see why shoppers with money who are time poor are deserting ebay. The only two types of ebay buyers left are those who want something for nothing and who have the free time to spend hours surfing ebay to try and save a pound or two, or those looking for a niche hard to find item or collectable.

  2. No not quite right….
    “an inability to provide a compelling experience for buyers and sellers”
    eBay have succeeded magnificently in creating a compelling experience for sellers.
    we’re compelled to leave at the first opportunity.
    you’ll never meet a company that takes £200k of your money every year, then literally speak to you like a moron who just wandered in off the street.
    except at ebay, where its standard practice.

  3. yep ebay invite and provide the world a means of kicking
    you in the nuts, then when you object they also kick you in the nuts

  4. You just need to see the volume of sellers complaining on the forums and the daily ‘that’s it i’m off bye’ posts. I have closed two large eBay stores myself and moved to Amazon, one doing over 2000 orders a day in the run up to Christmas – that was 2014 by the way.

    eBay has been falling apart for many years now and everyone I speak to either doesn’t like using eBay as it doesn’t show the correct search, is buggy, shows thousands of cheap China imports or simply they feel you will get dodgy goods from them.

    You ask anyone who is the more professional or who do you trust more between Amazon and eBay and Amazon win every single time.

    If it wasn’t the only major auction site available it would have closed years ago.

  5. We’re investing away from ebay. We find selling on ebay encourages us to downgrade on quality and lower price – otherwise we’re on page 6 in search results. Then there is the impossible battle with Chinese sellers selling brand knock-offs and using obviously false (to professional sellers) descriptions “gold”, “silver”, “leather” etc. Ebay is fast becoming the place to sell mistakes you couldn’t sell elsewhere – the equivalent of the Sunday market.

  6. Can ebay stand still whilst e-commerce booms across the world? Surely not? Take over bid? I suspect something will happen in 2016 – major change ahead.

  7. Amazon may be growing but is it the marketplace or is it just Prime? We have worse problems with Amazon than eBay.

    Yes, Amazon doesn’t have as many “lost” packages and customers are happy to pay up rather than nickle and diming you but that’s about the end of the pros.

    We don’t have many problems with Chinese sellers on eBay but we have major problems with VAT dodging American sellers on Amazon.

    For our items the sizes and model numbers matter a lot and because of the way listings work on Amazon it often happens that other sellers overwrite the listing with incorrect descriptions. If a rogue seller does this to an entire range it can take hours of work to get the photos and file the cases that Amazon requires to fix the listings.

    Then after all that work if the item sells well Amazon will start stocking it themselves and sell it well under RRP with free Prime shipping. Of course whenever this happens they always choose our description and our photos and not the crap other sellers flood the catalogue with. It makes us feel like we’re working for Amazon rather than ourselves.

  8. I still do decent trade on eBay, but you tend to stick to low end goods for the site been burned far to many times.
    Time and effort it takes also
    eBay themselves have lost touch with the sellers .
    I started selling seriously on Amazon Via FBA just over a years ago and have doubled my business.
    I do think eBay need to react, it is not just the sellers who are going elsewhere it is the buyers.
    When I am charging nearly 25% more for something on Amazon than on eBay and Selling 10 times as Much on Amazon something is wrong….

  9. I sold on ebay for 13 years.

    My seller fees have dwindled from their peak of £1200 pcm to zero. I am a TRS, 14K feedback, 100% positive with 5 out of 5 stars across the board. I cannot make it work for me.

    Too much buyer fraud, constant changes to listings, inconsistent search rankings, advertising for competitors on my own adverts and perpetual meddling with MY customers.

    Websites/Google are harder. But when they’re done they’re done and keep working for you without change unless you want to make the changes yourself. This leaves you free to concentrate your efforts into generating more business.

    My trade suppliers send me nice things at Christmas. They phone me up and a real person engages with me and looks for ways for both of us to make more money. Royal Mail, UPS and DPD all speak to me regularly and look after me as a customer. Worldpay treat me like a god – even though I must be in the bottom 10% of their clients according to turnover. My shopping cart provider cares when it doesn’t work as well as it could and makes improvements based on suggestions from its customers (as opposed to quoting data from some crackpot fantasy survey).

    ebay haven’t noticed that I used to spend 15K a year with them and that now I erm…don’t.

    They do not deserve my business.

  10. Over the years, eBay has increasingly distanced itseif from its users (both buyers and sellers) in terms of important “personal touch” features that are now returning to the business relationship.

    I don’t sell on eBay… there’s not enough flexibility in its selling structures for my business activities, but I am quite a frequent shopper there, often spending quite a bit of time (like all other eBay shoppers) digging out the poor idiots who are selling what I need at what has to be a loss to them.

    But my visits are diminishing – largely because it is taking far too long to find what one is really after. Merchant after merchant have failed to organise their eBay shops into easily navigable categories, so one spends an inordinate amount of time scrolling through screen after screen of products trying to find the one shown in the Google ad.

    If eBay took a more proactive role in encouraging and helping its merchants organise their stores so that customers could drill down more rapidly through a hierarchy of categories, rather than scroll in a linear fashion, then people like me would visit more often.

    While price is still a significant factor in most people’s purchasing decision, time is becoming more important. Online shoppers want to get to their desired item very quickly, make the purchase, and move on within a minute or two. I don’t actually mind spending a little more, if I find a merchant who facilitates rapid purchase and checkout.

    By comparison – and a lot of it has to do with clever automation and algorithms – Google shopping is much faster – particularly if the merchant to whom one is directed has a fast checkout process.

    We have a dedicated Google representative who calls us about once a month to offer advice and help – and they sometimes spend 20 minutes on the phone with us. We’re certainly not a very large operation and have a “small” adwords budget compared to many adwords users. But for the last 2 – 3 years, we’ve routinely been contracted by a Google rep who has not only taken the trouble to do some homework on our Google account, but who has offered some really helpful advice in squeezing more out of our campaigns, as well as commenting on website issues outside of their control.

    eBay (certainly if you are a shopper there) is well nigh impossible to contact. I don’t know if it’s easier if one is a merchant, but I have the distinct impression that eBay just does not want to be plagued by either its merchants, or their customers.

  11. It does appear that this portal is not so much in palliative care, but someway through the cremation process.

  12. All these people moaning that their sales are down on e abay – maybe nobody wants to buy your tat jewellery anymore.

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