eBay is seeking younger buyers

By Dan Wilson October 21, 2016 - 12:12 am

A piece in the Wall Street Journal says that eBay’s current strategy is to attract more younger buyers and finally shed its image as an online auction site.

That eBay is so frequently described as an auction site in the media does strike me as lazy, not least because Fixed Price has been dominant for some time, hasn’t been a pure auction site for 15 years and now 80% of eBay sales are BIN.

Part of the push is improving the search system and putting efforts into improving the app.

Karl Isaac, eBay’s vice president of global brand said: “We asked ourselves why we exist as a brand, how we personify ourselves and what it is we offer.” And the plan is “to start closing the perception gap.”

The millennial market is an increasingly important and lucrative sector. But can eBay ever really be cool?

  • Andy R
    1 year ago

    The reason Ebay is still described as an auction site, is that it is about the only site out there that does do auctions.

    Unless you count tiny fringe sites of no real impact.

    This is still the thing that sets Ebay apart – the chance that you could sell something and get it bid up on auction.

    Take that away and Ebay is just another retail site screaming for attention in an overcrowded pool.

    Or are we headed for a split with the auction side being sold off separately?

    I think that would be death for both parts of Ebay.

  • tinker
    1 year ago

    wish we had just 1% of ebays 20% auction business

  • Mike
    1 year ago

    I list around 15,000 auctions each year and without the additional money they generate I would have no business.

    The great thing about collectables is there’s no fixed price, so if two or more collectors really want your offerings, then auctions are the way forward…

    I sincerely hope eBay don’t drop auctions – they would be mad to do it and I would have to go back to doing a proper job too…

  • james
    1 year ago

    “We asked ourselves why we exist as a brand, how we personify ourselves and what it is we offer.”
    – we found the answer was auctions, so we’re killing them.

    really??? does nobody else see the headbanging lunacy at work? is it just me?

    I asked myself how i exist, i found the answer involved breathing oxygen, so i’m giving that up.

  • 1 year ago

    One thing eBay could do to improve the brand is stop filling the daily deals page with tat.

    Today’s spotlight deal for example is a piece of crap, and now because I was curious to see how many sales the headless horseman had achieved (4) eBay is now recommending (based on previously viewed items) that I might want to consider a selection of inflatable penises.

    Perhaps they are trying to tell me something.

    • james
      1 year ago

      and half the sizes are sold out already….

      daily deals used to be reasonably tight with what they’d accept, we made sure all our offers were above board and 100% honest, never fiddled an RRP etc.

      then we didnt get any for a while, and ebay called up to “advise” we artificially inflate prices for 3 months, so they could do a splash “50% off” banner.
      i dont really find that behaviour ethical, so i avoid it. if you’re into that kind of thing then by all means, you do what you do, but i dont like to tell lies.

      havent been back on daily deals since. apparently honesty and offering a genuine deal are frowned upon round these parts, what ebay needs for daily deals are shady deals and dodgy sellers. complete tat over-priced with less than 4 of the main size in stock.

    • 1 year ago


      They’ve upgraded the spotlight deal now to ‘Inflateble’ toys. Not entirely sure what inflateble means. Apart from it’s more tat.

  • Sam O'levski
    1 year ago

    How long does ‘cool’ last ?
    Not after the next trend comes along usually, so why try to cater for those who up sticks and leave you on a whim ?
    Wouldn’t ebay be better off to first of all rectify their existing problems, which are driving away their long-standing loyal users ?
    In some categories it’s the older buyer/sellers who have money to spend, and will gladly part with it if they see something they want, and probably not cause as many problems by trying to cheat you either.

  • gary
    1 year ago

    Maybe the kids don’t bother because they’ve heard their parents saying what a cr*p site ebay is.

    Ebay will end up with the less intelligent and fraudulent buyers – oh wait they already have those.

  • chrissieboy
    1 year ago

    Slowly strangling the goose that laid the golden egg. “80% of eBay sales are BIN” and how much of that is china tat? as others have said, auctions are what sets ebay apart from the rest especially the river so why get rid?

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