eBay reports Q4 2016 earnings: 2 million more buyers

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It’s that time again. eBay has just delivered it fourth quarter 2016 results and also full year results for 2016. There’s lots to digest and their full press release can be found here.

First, good news. In Q416 eBay enjoyed an increase of 2 million shoppers and that means that there were 167 million active buyers worldwide.

It seems that foreign exchange fluctuations have been a bother for eBay (and doubtless any cross-border company). Total sales equalled $22.3 billion, 5% on what eBay term a “foreign exchange (FX) neutral basis and 2% on an as-reported basis”. Revenue for the quarter was $2.4 billion.

eBay-owned StubHub, the tickets marketplace, had a remarkable quarter with sales volume up 5% to $1.2 billion and total revenues of $279 million. That’s up 20%.

The classifieds aspect of the business gave double digit growth with revenue of $201 million, up 13%. They say that the strong results from Gumtree in the UK and eBay Kleinanzeigen in Germany were in part due to closer integration between the eBay marketplace and classifieds. The company also bought back $3bn of stock in Q4.

eBay CEO and President Devin Wenig said of the results: “Q4 was a record quarter highlighted by solid performance in our eBay business. During the holiday season, eBay was one of the top consumer shopping destinations in the world and the second most visited eCommerce site in the U.S.. In 2017, we intend to accelerate the progress that we made last year as we continue to execute our business strategy.”

These results meet analyst expectations and they’ve given a boost to eBay’s stock price since they were revealed. But such results don’t inform sellers of a great deal, it always seems to us. Sellers are much more interested in operation practicalities and in 2017 we need to see a great many improvements in terms of the platform and tools and well as customer service. Let’s see what happens in 2017.

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