Will eBay’s growth finally pick up?

It has become fashionable to complain about the lack of growth of “the world’s marketplace” and various media eagerly reported flat top line, unsuccessful competition with Amazon, disappointing results during holiday season and what not.

Indeed, eBay themselves seemed disappointed with their Q4results and made very modest predictions for Q1 and 2016.

Our data so far, however, seems to indicate that the marketplace’s results can be better in Q1 than they were in Q4 and, indeed, better than expected.

YoY growth in eBay sales of e-merchants using WebInterpret was 11 percentage points higher in Q1 than it was in Q4. Moreover, WebInterpret using sellers actually earned more in Q1 on eBay than they did in Q4!

Some reasons why this might be happening :

  • Our sellers always see slower growth on eBay during Christmas than they do on Amazon. With its long delivery times eBay simply isn’t the right place to purchase Christmas gifts anymore
  • Q1 is a high season for car parts – with its sophisticated car parts search engine and huge selection eBay works better for buyers looking just for the right part that would allow them to fix their car
  • Q1 is also a high season for fashion in some countries – in Germany and Italy buyers search eBay for fancy dress so that they can enjoy the carnival season. With its wide selection of fancy dress and rather smooth fashion-shopping experience (as a buyer I find it easier to shop for fashion on eBay than on Amazon) eBay is the perfect marketplace for these shoppers.

Knowing this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, at least in Europe eBay sellers seem to be more successful in Q1 than they were in Q4. Is it also your experience? Did you see your sales grow compared to Q4? Did you see them grow compared to last year?

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