eBay Q2 2022 Pre-Earnings Countdown & Highlights

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


eBay is set to announce Q2 2022 earnings August 3rd at 5 PM Eastern. Take a look back at some of the highlights from Q2 and what's happening so far in Q3.

Leadership Changes & Corporate News

Chief Product Office Pete Thompson announced he was leaving the company in March, with Eddie Garcia being named as his replacement.

Mohan Patt, VP Buyer Experience Product & Engineering left in April to join Meta/Facebook as VP Engineering.

VP Buyer Experience Bradford Shellhammer jumped ship in June, taking an offer to become Chief Product Officer at Etsy-owned musical instrument marketplace Reverb.

And Rob Hattrell, Head of Europe, departed the company in July.

No replacements for Patt and Shellhammer have been announced, while SVP GM Americas Jordan Sweetnam's role will be expanded to cover Europe instead of hiring a direct replacement for Hattrell.

The high level departures and a noticeable drop in open positions at the company have fueled concern that a hiring slowdown or layoffs could be on the horizon as the pandemic-driven ecom boom wanes.

Could Hiring Slowdown, Layoffs Be On The Horizon At eBay?
As pandemic-fueled ecom boom wanes, tech companies are slowing hiring, announcing layoffs - is eBay next?

Jamie Iannone celebrated his 2 year anniversary as CEO with reflections on where eBay has been and what he still has planned for the multi-year tech-led reimagination of the company.

eBay CEO Jamie Iannone Celebrates 2 Year Anniversary
CEO Jamie Iannone reflects on 2 year anniversary - what do you think of his leadership of eBay so far?

eBay's annual shareholder meeting was held in June with Iannone trying to paint a rosy picture by pointing to financial highlights from 2021 and specifically calling out 147M total active buyers as a positive sign of success showing his plans are working.

However, the year over year comparison paints a grim picture, showing not only did eBay fail to hang on to gains from the pandemic, they've lost ground made in the last four years and are almost back to Q1 2018 active buyer levels.

Overlaying GMV with Active Buyers paints an interesting picture that might cause one to question how well CEO Jamie Iannone's "high value buyer" plan is really working out.

Note: adjusted for eBay's restatement of historic GMV in December 2021

Closing Turkish marketplace GittiGidiyor means eBay will be losing at least 4 million more active buyers, which may not be as "immaterial" as they'd like us to think.

eBay To Close Turkey Marketplace GittiGidiyor
eBay announces plans to close GittiGidiyor, the Turkish marketplace they acquired a majority stake of in 2011.

The criminal cyberstalking case against 7 eBay employees who harassed and targeted online critics of the company came to a close with the final defendants pleading guilty to avoid trial and now awaiting sentencing in the fall.

Civil litigation against those 7 plus ex-CEO Devin Wenig, ex-Communication's Director Steve Wymer, Progressive F.O.R.C.E. Concepts, LLC and eBay Inc. is ongoing after the parties were unable to reach a settlement agreement in May.

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Former eBay Security Director Jim Baugh pleads guilty in bizarre stalking scandal that targeted bloggers.

eBay Payments

As part of the Spring Seller Update in April, eBay introduced On Demand Payouts and Spendable Funds.

Spendable funds allows sellers to use sales proceeds to fund purchases on the platform and is still in a slow phased rollout by invitation only.

eBay Spendable Funds - What You Need To Know
eBay Spendable Funds lets sellers use Payments balance for purchases on the platform - here’s what you need to know.

On Demand Payouts originally only allowed payouts to the seller's bank account on file, but has recently expanded to include an option for "immediate" payout to a debit card for a 1.5% fee.

However, sellers must still wait 1-2 business days for the buyer's payment to be processed and made available for payout before using either on demand option, so "immediate" may be stretching it a bit.

eBay Wallet Immediate Payout To Debit Card For A Fee
eBay rolls out “immediate” payout to debit card for Managed Payments - for a fee.

Sellers in the initial phases of Spendable Funds and On Demand Payout have reported technical problems with both features and these nascent initiatives are far from ready for primetime, in my opinion.

And while I expect Jamie will once again tell investors all about how eBay has virtually eliminated unpaid items on fixed price listings, sellers are still frustrated with the amount of unpaid auctions on the platform.

GM eBay Ads Elisabeth Rommel teased new ad types "coming soon" in June and we got our first glance at one of them just this week - eBay Offsite Ads Beta which is a cost per click product for Google Ad placement.

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.

However, less than 24 hours after receiving public scrutiny and critical seller feedback on the new ad product, eBay unexpectedly pulled the invites for the closed beta test and removed all mention of it from the site.🤨

The take rate ratchet effect on ads continues to ramp up as does the shoehorning of ads on every possible surface of the platform.

Promoted Listings Standard rates effectively had two recent increases. The first was the result of the Winter Seller Update changing the way ad fees are calculated to include shipping and sales tax, which went into effect June 1st.

And if that wasn't enough, eBay also announced the minimum ad rate for PL Standard would go from 1% to 2%, effective July 11.

eBay Increases Minimum Promoted Listings Rate To 2%
eBay increasing minimum ad rate for Promoted Listings from 1% to 2% effective July 11.

Promoted Listings Advanced cost per click was recently expanded from placement only in the number 1 search slot to now cover the top 4 spots in search, pushing Promoted Listings Standard and organic results even further down the page.

The reliance on ads to generate revenue could backfire as sellers squirm under the pressure of rising costs, buyers are turned off by an overly ad saturated user experience, and more consumers turn to ad blockers which can hide Promoted Listings both on and off site.

Are eBay Listings Being Blocked By Ad Blockers?
eBay sellers are concerned Promoted Listings are being blocked by ad blockers at an alarming rate.

Authenticity Guaranteed & The Vault

eBay officially launched The Vault for graded trading cards initially over $750, then lowering to $500 with white glove service for submissions over $100K coming next year.

eBay Vault Officially Launches For Trading Cards Over $750
eBay has officially opened the Vault, accepting trading cards sold for $750 or more.

They've also added graded trading cards and pack pulled autograph cards to authenticity guaranteed.

And in July, eBay announced authentication for fine jewelry, as well as a fee increase for the entire jewelry category to pay for it.

eBay Authenticity Guaranteed For Fine Jewelry
eBay launches authentication program for fine jewelry in collaboration with GIA, the Gemological Institute of America.

Seller Updates & New Features

The Spring Seller Update in April was mostly minor changes, but the biggest impact seems to have come from changes to how eBay calculates page views.

eBay now filters out "non-human" bot traffic and by default will show only views from a rolling 30 day period in Seller Hub reports instead of the lifetime totals sellers had seen previously.

eBay’s New View Counting Policy & Reports
Breakdown of eBay’s new listing views calculation that filters out bot views & only shows last 30 days by default.

eBay says the change shouldn't impact sales, but sellers have been reporting serious declines and question whether the new view counting policy, category changes, and increasing cost of doing business on the platform are to blame.

eBay Summer Sales Slump Or Signs Of A Marketplace In Decline?
Many eBay sellers report sales plummeting - is it normal seasonal slump or signs of serious trouble for the marketplace?

Personalization was rolled out last year but it appears eBay may have had difficulty getting sellers onboard initially. They've recently opened up more categories for this feature and have been cold calling sellers to try to increase adoption.

eBay Pushes Personalization, Opens More Categories In US
eBay cold calls sellers to promote Personalization & expands category eligibility for the feature.

Another feature that was rolled out last year, Scan To List for trading cards, has finally expanded beyond the US but unfortunately is still limited to Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokémon cards with no updates on when sports cards might be added to the mix.

eBay Expands Scan To List For Non-Sports Trading Cards To Canada
eBay announces Scan To List for Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, & Pokémon cards is now available to sellers in Canada.

Meanwhile, scrappy startup CollX just hit the 200,000 user mark for their competing sports card scanning app.

eBay is finally testing out the Share & Save social sharing function offering sellers reduced final value fees of to 2.75% plus $0.33 on items sold to buyers who click through links shared on social media.

eBay Australia Runs Share & Save Social Sharing Promo
eBay Australia extends Share & Save promo to sellers with Basic, Feature or Anchor Stores through September.

eBay Live beta had it's debut livestream in June and made an appearance at The National Sports Collectors Convention in July.

While both events went well, they were carefully curated livestreams managed and produced by eBay with an influencer guest host - a far cry from the user generated live events sellers are able to host via competitor Whatnot.

eBay Live Shopping For Collectibles
eBay is launching a new live shopping platform aimed at the collectibles market.
Whatnot & eBay To Go Head To Head Live From The National
Both Whatnot & eBay will stream live shopping events from The National Sports Collectors Convention July 27-31.

New Initiatives & Other News

In May, eBay joined a consortium that acquired a $263 Million stake in Funko - striking a deal to become the preferred secondary marketplace for Funko and partner on exclusive product releases.

eBay To Be Preferred Secondary Marketplace For Funko Pop!
eBay set to be preferred secondary marketplace for Funko as part of consortium acquiring 25% stake in company.

eBay announced the acquisition of NFT marketplace KnownOrigin in June. Artist sentiment was mixed with some offering congratulations and others expressing concern about what selling to a large corporation like eBay will mean for decentralization and empowerment of creators.

eBay Acquires NFT Marketplace KnownOrigin
eBay acquires NFT marketplace KnownOrigin, built on the Ethereum Blockchain, as it moves deeper into cryptoart.

Desperate parents faced difficult choices as price gouging on infant formula was allowed to run rampant on the platform during a national emergency supply shortage. eBay finally took a small amount of superficial action, but only after facing public pressure and regulatory and media scrutiny.

Formula Shortage Leaves Parents Paying eBay Scalper Prices
Desperate parents turning to eBay during infant formula shortage find rampant price gouging on the marketplace.

Norwegian second-hand clothing and furniture marketplace Tise became the first company to receive backing from eBay's nascent venture capital investing arm.

eBay Ventures Backs Norwegian Second-hand Marketplace Tise
eBay Ventures investments backs Norwegian second-hand fashion & furniture marketplace Tise in $20M funding round.

Technical Issues

There are too many technical issues plaguing the site to give an exhaustive list, but here are some of the most recent ones impacting sellers.

eBay continues to struggle with Video In Listings with sellers reporting long delays for review and errors when uploading videos.

A glitch in the Send Offer feature is causing some major pricing errors. In some instances, eBay is only accepting the first digit of the price entered, for example $25 becomes $2 and $130 becomes $1.

Sellers impacted by this error are forced to either sell at a loss or cancel the order and risk negative feedback.

eBay Offers Glitch Only Accepts First Digit Of Price
eBay sellers report glitch in Send Offer feature causing major pricing errors - only picking up first digit of price.

eBay removed thousands of free listing credits for store subscribers without warning - was it a glitch or a play to get a temporary listing fee revenue bump?

Has eBay Removed Extra Free Listings For Stores?
Sellers report free listings in select categories offer is gone - did eBay remove pandemic perk without warning?

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