eBay Q1 2023 Pre-Earnings Countdown & Highlights

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


eBay is set to announce Q1 2023 earnings April 26th at 5:30 PM Eastern. Take a look back at some of the highlights from Q1 and what's happening so far in Q2.

Leadership Changes & Corporate News

Authentication workers at trading card marketplace subsidiary TCGPlayer successfully voted to form the first union in eBay history in March.

TCG management did not take defeat lightly and filed multiple objections with the National Labor Relations Board disputing the result.

TCGPlayer Workers Win Vote, Become First eBay US Union
Authentication workers at eBay-owned TCGPlayer win union vote, becoming first official US union in eBay history!

eBay has attempted to stay on the sidelines of the TCGPlayer union battle, but the debacle has exposed risks at the company's other labor-centric operations and focused scrutiny on potential due diligence failures in the TCGPlayer acquisition.

Will eBay Face More Union Pressure & Due Diligence Scrutiny After TCGPlayer Vote?
TCGPlayer union vote could ripple through other eBay ops, raises questions about acquisition due diligence.

As pressure about the union situation increased, TCGPlayer founder and CEO Chedy Hampson announced on March 20th he would be stepping down from his position to "spend more time with his family."

Coincidentally, eBay's Chief Accounting Officer Brian Doerger also agreed to step down on the same day, though no official explanation was given.

eBay Chief Accounting Officer Exit Amplifies TCGPlayer Due Diligence Concerns
eBay Chief Accounting Officer steps down amidst growing concerns about TCGPlayer due diligence.

General Manager eBay Canada Robert Bigler was tapped to take the helm at TCGPlayer following Hampson's departure.

GM eBay Canada Robert Bigler Will Be Next TCGPlayer CEO
eBay-owned trading card marketplace TCGPlayer has a new CEO as GM eBay Canada, Robert Bigler, gets a promotion.

eBay has also welcomed Shripriya Mahesh as a new member of the board of directors.

Mahesh previously served as eBay's VP Product Management and Product Strategy in 2006, later joined eBay founder Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media as Head Of Product and then became Partner Emerging Tech at Pierre's "social change venture", Omidyar Network.

eBay Names Shripriya Mahesh To Board Of Directors
eBay expands Board of Directors, welcomes a new “old” face to the table as Shripriya Mahesh joins effective immediately.

In February, eBay lost GM eBay Authentication James Hendy and Director Vertical Merchandise, Bob Means, who was the public face of many of eBay's trading card, toys, and collectibles efforts including eBay Vault and eBay Live shopping.

And another boomerang rehire, Blair Ethington, rejoined the company as VP Focus Verticals.

eBayUK and eBay Australia both experienced leadership shuffles with UK GM, Murray Lambell moving to Global GM Home, Garden & Refurbished and UK CMO Eve Williams taking his place, as well as Australia VP Managing Director David Ramadge moving to VP International Markets and previous GM of Hard Goods Sarah Sternau promoted to fill the Managing Director role.

eBay Ventures invested in a £7.5 million funding round for UK-based luxury resale outlet Cudoni in January.

It would appear that was not a wise investment as Cudoni announced this week they are going out of business due to "macroeconomic conditions."

Luxury UK Resale Outlet Cudoni Closes 3 Months After eBay Ventures Investment
Luxury resale outlet Cudoni is closing 3 months after raising £7.5 million, partly backed by eBay Ventures.

eBay acquired AI powered compliance company 3PM Shield ostensibly to help fight counterfeits and boost compliance - but my initial testing of the software doesn't bode well for the tech led reimagination of the platform.

eBay Acquires AI Powered 3PM Shield To Fight Counterfeits & Boost Compliance
eBay has announced an acquisition of AI assisted compliance software 3PM Shield to fight counterfeits on the platform.

eBay's February 10-K filed with the SEC revealed the company is planning for probable losses of $64 Million+ and possible criminal action related to the 2019 cyberstalking scandal.

The scandal has gained renewed public interest since being featured on 60 Minutes after victims Ina and David Steiner filed an amended version of their lawsuit adding ex-eBay SVP Global Operations Wendy Jones as a named defendant along with CEO Devin Wenig, CCO Steve Wymer, eBay Inc., security company Progressive F.O.R.C.E Concepts, and 7 eBay security personnel who pleaded guilty in criminal cases.

Inside The eBay Cyberstalking Scandal: Battle For Justice Rages On
Over 3 years after shocking eBay cyberstalking scandal, the victims are still fighting for justice & accountability.

eBay Promoted Listings

eBay made major changes to Promoted Listings attribution in March, substantially expanding when sellers will be charged promoted listings ad fees.

Major Money Grab In eBay Promoted Listings Update
eBay just made a major money grab with promoted listings ads - here’s what you need to know!

Promoted Listings Advanced has expanded to cover 7 search slots - still retaining the top 4 spots plus 3 new "premium placements."

eBay Expands Promoted Listings Advanced Ads To 7 Search Slots
eBay announces Promoted Listings Advanced Cost Per Click has expanded once again, from 4 search slots to 7.

eBay continues their march to monetize every available pixel on the site but pushing intrusive Promoted Listings ads on to buyer watch lists.

eBay Promoted Listings Intrude On Buyer Watch Lists
eBay continues to try to monetize every pixel on the site, now pushing Promoted Listings ads into buyer watch lists.

The beta test of Promoted Display ads for eBay Stores also continues, with competing stores shown in prominent above the fold placement on the listing page raising seller concerns about buyer confusion and false advertising.

New eBay Promoted Display Ads For Stores Seen In The Wild
Is eBay testing Promoted Display ads that will promote competing stores in prominent listing page placement?

eBay is also still testing Offsite Ads beta for Google ad placement.

My original assessment when Offsite Ads beta was first tested last year was it's a short-sighted cannibalization of Promoted Listings Standard and nothing in further testing has changed that opinion.

eBay Rolls Out Offsite Ads Beta For Google Ad Placement
eBay rolls out new OffSite Ads Beta Cost Per Click Google Ads product for fixed price listings.

Vertical Focus Strategy

eBay launched Guaranteed Fit for car parts as the next step in their Motors Parts & Accessories vertical focus, but sellers worry they will pay the price for eBay's inadequate fitment tools.

eBay Launches Guaranteed Fit For Car Parts - Will Sellers Pay The Price?
eBay touts Guaranteed Fit for car parts - will sellers pay the price for eBay’s not fit for purpose fitment charts?

eBay is also leveraging their strategic partnership with heavy equipment auction platform bidadoo to offer Verified Condition for Heavy Equipment.

eBay Leverages Bidadoo For Heavy Equipment Condition Verification
eBay leverages strategic partnership with bidadoo to offer Verified Condition for Heavy Equipment.

Sneaker authentication for the UK market has been expanded to include children's shoes that meet certain brand and price criteria.

eBayUK Expands Sneaker Authentication To Kids Shoes
eBayUK expands Authenticity Guarantee program to include children’s sneakers that meet brand & price criteria.

Updates & New Features

Nine months after launching, eBay has finally added auction functionality to eBay Live livestream shopping, but the user experience still needs a lot of work.

eBay Adds Auctions To Live Shopping Experience
Auctions finally come to eBay Live, but the user experience still needs a lot of work.

As eBay moves ahead with their new International Shipping program, buyers and sellers alike are struggling to get adequate help and support from customer service.

eBay Support Not Up To Speed On New International Program
As eBay continues to roll out new International Shipping program, buyers & sellers both find support lacking.

eBay is beta testing a new Social Media sharing functionality for stores, currently enabled for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Unfortunately, it still does not include the Final Value Fee discount for social sharing that was promised at eBay Open in 2021.

eBay Social Media Beta For Stores Rolls Out To Select Sellers
eBay testing Social Media beta functionality for stores, currently enabled for Facebook, Instagram, & Pinterest.

Shortly after the Winter Seller Update that increased fees for many sellers, eBay announced it would be ending both listing and commission fees for private sellers in Germany.

eBay Germany Ends Fees For Private Sellers
eBay private sellers in Germany will no longer pay listing or Final Value Fees, effective March 1, 2023.

Meanwhile, eBay is using fee discounts and promotions in the UK and Canada to encourage sellers to list more "pre-loved" items on the platform.

Can Money Buy eBay Pre-Loved Fashion Love?
Will eBay win hearts with pre-loved fashion voucher promo & Love Island partnership or is heartache ahead?

eBay has also been testing changes to Stores and listing page design, most of which have not been popular with users.

For example, Quick View in Stores allows buyers to completely bypass the listing page and checkout without ever seeing item specifics or descriptions.

eBay Stores Quick View Bypasses Description On Way To Checkout
eBay adds Quick View feature to stores allowing buyers to Add To Cart & checkout without seeing description.

And even if a buyer does click through to the full listing page, they are now likely to be shown partial item specifics and descriptions as critical seller-provided information may now be hidden behind a "show more" button.

eBay Hides Listing Descriptions Behind Show More Button
eBay tests length limit in listing descriptions, hiding important seller-provided info behind “show more” button.

Technical Issues

The tech-led reimagination of the platform is still struggling and technical issues plague the site on an almost daily basis.

Just a few examples of recent issues negatively impacting the eBay user experience:

Sellers unable to create Promoted Listings ad campaigns:

eBay Sellers Can’t Create Promoted Listings Ad Campaigns 2-22-23
eBay sellers can’t create Promoted Listings ad campaigns in embarrassing & costly technical blunder.

Major disruptions to search functionality with autocorrect returning inaccurate and irrelevant results.

eBay Search Autocorrect Gone Wild
eBay buyers frustrated by autocorrect running wild in search & returning inaccurate results.

Image resolution problems causing picture quality to be blurry and disabled zoom functionality.

eBay Image Size Resolution Glitch 4-20-23
eBay users report glitch causing the first image on listings to be too small, blurry and/or not able to zoom in.

That's it for the pre-earnings recap - stay tuned for full commentary on eBay's Q1 2023 earnings call this Wednesday!


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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!

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