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April 12, 2010

Live Blogging from London - eBay UK update - Part I / II

It's 1:30pm here in the UK and we are fresh from a delicious networking lunch.  Jody Ford, who is in charge of the pan-European selling experience is set to take the stage.

During the break, Jody was telling me that Mark Lewis, who was the managing director of eBay UK and spoke at Catalyst UK last year,  is no longer with eBay.  eBay has decided to have a pan-European organization vs. a different org in UK, DE, SP, FR, IT, etc. so that's an interesting change that I hadn't read about anywhere else. 

Here are my real-time notes from Jody's talk:

Jody wants to talk about two things:

1. The scorecard for measuring how eBay is doing for sellers.

2. eBay wants to share some interesting trends they are seeing and what they are doing to generate more sales (Mobile, etc.)

This should provide more context to the things that eBay UK is doing,.

The eBay Seller Scorecard

There are three components to the eBay scorecard:

  • Sales - are we helping you sell more?
  • Profitability - Are we helping you with the costs to sell on eBay?
  • Reliability - Are we a reliable partner?

Sales - The top UK marketplace - 17m uniques/m, 50m searches/day on ebay.co.uk, 17% y/y sales frowth (Q409).  Based on these numbers feel like doing really well. Feel great about this year.

Profitability - Two components - competitive selling fees and the cost of doing business on eBay. 

On the expense side, they lowered fees about a year ago and feel like they have the most competitive pricing in the market.  

On the cost of eBay side, they have introduced Multi variation listings, bulk editing tools and Live listing editing.

Reliability - If anything this is an area they could have done better on.  They did limit the number of releases and combine releases with 60-days notice.  Getting better here.

However, they did get negative feedback on free P+P (shipping and handling), and private seller caps. So they have rolled back the free shipping mandate in media.  They have also saw consumer sellers take advantage of the consumer zero listing fee.  They have taken steps to stop that (private seller caps).

Finally, on account management they feel they lead the pack.  eBay is investing more in this area.  Account managers will have fewer accounts to managers and they will be focused on 1-2 categories so they have deeper understanding of the seller's business. They are incented to grow seller's businesses.

This post will continue in part II where Jody talks about trends in e-commerce eBay is seeing.

Disclosures:

I am long Google and Amazon. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor where I am CEO. eBay is a sponsor of Catalyst UK.  

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