Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Move Along - Nothing to See Here!

That's how I feel about today's eBay Analyst day -- the first one since 2006. It is going to be much ado about nothing as far as I can tell.

Looking through my crystal ball, here is what I see.
  • Paypal, Paypal, Paypal - They will lead off the presentations today by discussing Paypal and Paypal and Bill Me Later will take up a lot of the discussion today.
  • Marketing Services - The new shining light for eBay Inc. Marketing Services is now a billion dollar business, made up mostly of advertising and StubHub.
  • Marketplace - We still face challenges in the business but we are on the right path, yawn.
  • Skype - Continues to be a great stand alone business that is not currently a distraction (until you analysts ask about it)
There you have it, the entire day, condensed into 4 bullet points. 

eBay's share price has gone up in the last day with the rest of the market, by the end of the day, you will know what Analyst think of their plans. Now move along there is nothing to see here.

Just my 15%


Bob said...

they now will have on the ebay site I guess they are glad the didn't kill it as planned once . They just stored it the garage until garage sale season.

Randy Smythe said...

Yeah, I'm working on my post about moving over to eBay. I'll give you my 15% later this morning.

The move does signal their intent to become a catalog based marketplace platform.

Henrietta said...

The economy will be mentioned at least once if not twice per paragraph. This is a micro-economic situation that only applies to eBay, Amazon etc are not affected.

Shares always uptick right before the quarterly report as if some miraculous divine intervention will make everything turn around. Look for them to fall below $10 by mid April.

ms.pat said...

I agree Randy. I've been listening from the beginning and am about ready to just turn it off. More of the same - more thickheaded thinking along lines of utter failure. I have a feeling we ain't seen nothing yet in Ebay's decline. Its clear that the little slap on the wrist they got from the board by freezing their pays to 2008 isn't going to stop them from dragging Ebay over that cliff. Its going to take the punishment of quarter after quarter failure to turn this white elephant then, it will be too late :-(

Anonymous said...

Your title was aptly correct. Nothing new. I did love it when Bob Swann said he was miffed at the share price of Ebay.

Siva said...

Great prediction of exactly how the day turned out... I can see now why you are bored to tears about this.


Anonymous 12 year CD seller said...


Glad to hear you are going to write a post about the intrusion into this years end, after they fully market the new media Product Pages, I can't see how anybody but Brian Perry,Dan Yen, and BUY have any hope of selling NEW media on ebay anymore.....longtime sellers like myself, moviemagicusa, etc/all are about to get our listings buried... no matter how many return customers we have, it won't be enough to make decent profits anymore with ebay/paypal's current take rate....

And I can only speculate about other less effecient (but very large) ebay media sellers who are probably still operating at a steep net loss right now....if there was a time to see a lawyer and get off the ebay crack pipe of cash flow, now seems to be the time...

Randy Smythe said...

Anonymous (CD Seller)

I hear ya. Used media product may have a shot on eBay going forward but new product will just be those few folks left who can survive on pennies per item in gross profit (notice I didn't say Net)

I guess I was a head of my time when I saw the writing on the wall and shut down rather than keep restructuring. The model for new product won't work because so many sellers are just trying to stay alive with the crack (cashflow)

Check back tomorrow morning for my 15% on the to eBay changes. The scariest thing about them is they are a precursor to the changes coming to every eBay category.

Randy Smythe said...


Yeah, I wish I had that kind of luck in Vegas.

The share price is up right now in after hours trading because the analysts haven't sent out their notes yet.

As far as I can see, eBay could not change their brand to PayPal in just this one meeting. Investors are taking their 3 year plan on faith.

If 2009 is as bad as they say it will be, a new management team will be in place in 3 years.

Anonymous said...

Did Ebay actually state a business plan for Ebay? I heard them say it will be a liquidation site for big retailers and the small sellers can stay as long as they provide quality to the buyer. Then I just heard Paypal, Paypal, Paypal.

Ed (BuildaSkill) said...

As far as I see it Randy, you called it right.

A couple of the tweets from RBH had a few tasty/distasteful soundbites -

- eBay was about clearing your attic, it will be about clearing warehouses

(or words very similar) - to me that says it all. Deep inventory will rule, rather than variety.

Scot Wingo pointed out the constant harping about sellers with 4.8+ DSRs being called "trusted sellers". There's an omen of sorts in there for low volume sellers who get the odd cranky buyer per month - those unreasonable DSRs will make you a non-trusted seller, best to find a new venue now?


Randy Smythe said...


You are correct. The funny (sad) thing is that the only items that sell in depth are Daily Deals and that is really hit or miss. How many Daily Deals will there be each day? There are 4 currently.

RubyCullet said...

As a buyer on ebay I feel that is UNFAIR that sellers cant leave negative feedback for buyers who deserve it. I am an honest buyer with 100% well earned feedback. Sellers and buyers have a right to know who they are dealing with. I also am disgusted that I am no longer free to make the payment of my choosing. Very unfair. I am also trying to sell some of my hand crafted items but from what I have heard about ebays confusing fees you can be sure I wont be selling on there any time soon. Luckily there is a consignment shop right up the road where I make 60% profit for every handmade item I sell and I will be setting up my one of a kind items there when it opens next month. After I recieve the two items I have purchased on ebay I am considering not using it anymore which is a shame because I enjoy purchasing rare vintage items and ebay is the only place to find them at a great price. I also enjoy they may not offer buy it now or always have what Im looking for but at least they allow whatever payment I choose.