eBay Q414 and 2014 results round up
On Wednesday night, eBay released its results for the final quarter of 2014 and the whole of 2014. We’ve gathered together some links that explore the earnings and some of the announcements. We published ebay’s own top-level info graphic on the night.
And there are more headlines. eBay is to shed 7% of staff, a total of 2400. eBay Enterprise is due to be spun off as well as PayPal and there are new appointments to the board.
Forbes has an excellent summary called “eBay Announces Plans To Shed Jobs, Units In Q4 Earnings Report“.
As always, we recommend Scot Wingo of Channel Advisor for his digest of results from the perspective of a seller.
Reuters looks more closely at the eBay Enterprise sale: eBay may sell enterprise unit ahead of PayPal split.
The job cuts attracted the most headlines. Here the BBC take a sober look at the 2400 job losses that may occur as early as this quarter.
Quartz have published this piece about Carl Icahn’s role and power at eBay in recent months in a provocatively titled piece: The eBay you grew up with is dead. Cause of death: Carl Icahn
“Auctions were a pain point, down 14%”
eBay are once again neglecting their USP of auction format, it’s what eBay’s core surely is; no-one else does this format as effectively and they are letting it die, bizarre. Forbes seemed to not mention the dismal marketplace performance; the jump in share price could be argued are the vultures circling for the split and not due to performance of the company, which when paypal results are stripped away, was not good. An interesting 12 months ahead, that’s for sure.
I’m not surprised to be honest that they are dropping sales. eBay had a unique business but chose to just copy Amazon in every minute detail, even though their USP( the auctions, the startups, the attention to detail from sellers), demographic sellers, demographic buyers and target market are completely different.
eBay ignores these factors and the second-hand market at it’s peril and chooses to exacerbate low sales by compounding the negative factors further
Totally agree. You’ve hit the nail on the head. Eveyone else seems to be able to see it but them
EBays USP is no longer auctions,.while it does have them. Now it’s leading foot is ‘international’ bargains.
(Namely from sellers who don’t pay VAT.)
Hard to feel sorry for the 2,400 staff getting fired as most are usless anyway so I guess its no real loss. Hopefully it will include the Customer Service Rottweiler bytches in Dublin. You all know who you are!
I mean cmon, isn’t it odd how any time a seller calls you get shit service that takes hours and then if they do agree to help, they still screw it up and you have to call again. And again. And again. And again… CS? Really?
Whats worse is none of the CS reps actually ever sell on eBay (I always ask this question during the call and after 6 years its a 100% no). And if you try to save calling frequently by having a few issues to deal with in one call, no chance. If very lucky one of your issues will get sorted. Whats worse is some of the CS reps don’t think twice about mis-leading or lying to you. Buyers however get treated like gold.
IMO they are a bunch of dumb ass Policy Monkeys that are totally clueless and don’t really care. IE total idiots – so good riddance to 2400. Maybe some will stop and think about what Customer Service means. For anyone whos a bit slow, the clue is in the second word!
Long live The Revolution!! :)
One further point after reading the linked articles: How can eBay be saddled with 5 Billion of debt? All they do is print money via running a shitty website.
Could it be that someone mortaged the company to the hilt, wrote themselves a huge check, and is now selling the garbage and getting out? Hmmmm, I wonder who that might be….
Long live The Revolution!! :)
Indeed. Without paypal all eBay is, is a shitty website. A very well known one which someone will buy and hopefully improve. Google or Alibaba are the favourites
I used to enjoy running auctions, but the postage, fees and lack of bidders mean its too high risk, I just end up paying them to give stuff away.
Ebay has been a continuing pain for me for some time. I regret the loss of volume sales but don’t miss the high fees, low profit margins, and rotten customers. My business is a real struggle at the moment but I can see survival on other sites.
There was a time when a lightweight package of any size could be shipped for under £1. Maybe ebay are to blame for mismanaging their site but a 300% price hike for shipping lightweight goods over a 3-4 year period does not help. And to compound this shipping price hike ebay implementing fee charging on shipping has not helped either.
Any UK seller selling low value goods under £10 say has hurt bad in the last few years.
Gary is absolutely right. Low value items are barely worth the hassel.
For example, item weighs 1kg, sells for £9.99 including shipping. Shipping costs £3.20 with Royal Mail (under £3 by courier), packaging another 20p, eBay and PayPal fees are a further £1.50, leaving about £5 from which you have to pay for the item and cover listing/shop fees, put time into packing and shipping, probably put more time answering dumb ass buyer questions, and then be on the hook for anything that may go wrong. Hardly worth it when you consider the same shipping costs and effort can be spent selling a much more valuable item that actually gives a decent profit.
Of course, you can charge shipping as an extra but then you will drop in search results, may not be cheapest so probably won’t sell it, etc.
eBay and PayPal fees on shipping is an outrage and a nail in every sellers coffin. The past few years have been hard enough without eBay doing this. Its just greed without any thought for sellers struggling in a bad economy. Not only is is badly timed and without thought, eBay make $20bn each year anyway so is it necessary?
Add to this the huge hike in Royal Mail prices during the same period and it really hurts sellers. I have found that unless an item can ship by Large Letter, it costs less to ship by courier which has the added benefit of being tracked and signed for.
As regards John’s comment below about the “eBay community spirit”, some people need to wake up. The programm has changed, eBay is not a community and all that community values stuff is outdated propaganda which expired many years ago.
Long live The Revolution!! :)
Don’t forget you will also be vs foreign sellers either paying very small delivery fees or avoiding tax, so won’t show high in search and hence will have very very low volumes of sales from this item. Wasting space and resources. Whilst they will be doing mass volume leading to economies of scale you don’t have.
A revolutionary idea would be for ebay to lower or even drop FVF’s on items less than £10 in value for UK registered sellers only.
and clog up the site with even more crap than it already has?
it costs ebay as much effort or more to sell low value items ,than the more expensive
Explanation of why it costs ebay effort to permit the sale of low value items please? Without the low value items ebay might not have a business model or even a business!
Gary I would guess tinker is thinking it costs ebay the same because they are still using the same space on the servers, they still employ the same staff (no matter how useless they are), etc.
Ebay needs all inventory…even the low value. You used to be able to buy/find just about anything you wanted on ebay. now you can no longer do that, sometime you have to use amazon or other websites.
People moaning about low value items need to learn how to use the search function correctly.lol
exactly! Plus all the customer service complaints returns etc that trillions of low cost listings will generate ,with little FVF in comparison to more expensive listings,
like bread and milk to the big supermarkets low cost items are needed to draw in customers ,profit will not be high in relative terms and if you have to much bread and milk it goes sour
Don’t you just love the ebay community spirit nowadays lol
The attitudes and the love displayed has so so changed over the last 10 years lol …..its not as if ebay can rebrand and shrug it off lol
I couldn’t agree more.
eBay at one time was a pleasurable place to sell, and I was very proud to be an eBay seller, and I put my heart and soul into my eBay business.
But over the years they have introduced so many stupid policies, hoops to jump through, and simply don’t care about the seller any more, that my attitude towards it has completely changed. I am sure that the majority of eBay sellers feel the same, and I am sure it is simply a matter of time until the likes of Google or Alibaba open a marketplace to compete with the duopoly that is eBay/Amazon.
I for one would happily jump ship to another platform that could achieve a similar amount of sales as I achieve now, and wouldn’t look back.
eBay’s days are numbered.
I am just waiting on the big red banner across the home page saying “under new management”…. its the only stroke they have not pulled lol(mind you bit tacky even for ebay lol )
Sellers have long memories. Constantly raping them with higher fees every year coupled with scandalous treatment compared to Buyers, it’s not a surprise Sellers are looking elsewhere, or even giving up.
The worst fee by far, fees on Postage !! And of course its going to affect Auctions. As a typical scenario, you list an auction for .99p, and you offer Royal Mail next day delivery. The customer knows it costs £7, but why would the Seller not add another £1 on top to cover Ebays and Paypals fees. Even before the sale is complete, the Buyer has got the hump because they think the Postage is higher than it should be.
Everyone knows that postage is free lol
Screw all this outdated community crap. eBay is a marketplace, not a feel good centre for socialist tree huggers and hippy ‘s.
eBay is a business so get with the program – Embrace, Compete, Adapt, and Succeed.
As regards the idea of cheap fees for UK sellers selling garbage below £10 it won’t work. eBay is already full of crap because of the “free listing promotions” which encurage every idiot to pull the crap out from under the bed, stairs, shed, garage, attic, fanny, etc.
If anything, items advertised for £10 or less that then don’t sell should be charged an huge listing fee (I think a fee of £3 would be ideal as that will quickly put an end to all the crap. It will also help deal with the China issue.
At the same time eBay should TOTALLY STOP free listings and maybe also have a MINIMUM start value of say £10 – this will rid us of the hopeful chancers selling garbage because its free to list (why they would even bother selling something like old underwear, ripped dress, second hand trainers, worn tyres, etc… for a couple of quid is beyond me anyway – occupational therapy comes to mind!).
Long live The Revolution!! :)