eBay's vertical focus strategy appears to be losing steam and this week it also lost some important personnel in Authentication and Trading Cards divisions.
James Hendy, GM eBay Authenticate, announced his departure on LinkedIn but did not say where he was headed next.
This past week marked the end of my 6-year journey with eBay and the start of a new adventure!
eBay is a truly AMAZING company and place to work, and I will look back with only the fondest of memories. I have learnt so much, built wonderful relationships internally and externally, discovered more about myself and done some pretty cool stuff along the way!!!
When I joined the company back in 2017, I was excited by the thought of being able to change people’s perception (including my own) of eBay through introducing what we called “Post-Sale Authentication”. We had this vision that by checking items before they reached a buyer in core categories, we would improve trust and with that drive a shift in people’s perception, customer satisfaction and the $$$ would follow. Well, we tried, and we tried, and we tried but for the first few years we just could not get the right level of buy in!!
Fast forwards to 2019 and a fundamental shift in eBay strategy and BOOM, Authenticity Guarantee was formed, and the rest is history in the making, with 5M+ units authenticated in 5 Countries across 5 Categories in 2.5 years, just amazing!!!
Bob Means' official title was Vertical Merchandise Director but most people know him as the face of eBay's trading cards, toys, and collectibles efforts, often appearing at industry events and a frequent guest on hobby related podcasts and blogs.
He was also the point man for the eBay Vault and eBay Live livestream shopping initiatives, helping to create buzz about these new features. Losing such an important public facing connection to the hobby community has to come as a blow to eBay's vertical focus strategy.
Bob did not post an official statement but I figured something was up when I saw this recent eBay job posting for GM Trading cards yesterday.
Sure enough, his LinkedIn profile has been updated to reflect his new position as General Manager Electronics, Toys & Seasonal for Walmart Marketplace.
Walmart has been working hard to bring new sellers to their marketplace - could a play to take market share from eBay in key verticals like trading cards and collectible toys be in the works?