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eBay Whisper

eBay Whisper

Research Question: Are mid-to-large sized online sellers prioritizing eBay’s Marketplace over other options?

Report Available: August 6, 2015


Blueshift’s initial research shows eBay Marketplace’s gross merchandise value slowed last year but stabilized in the first two quarters of 2015. eBay plans to implement new strategies to increase traffic after suffering a downgrade from Google in its search ranking and losing millions of buyers due to a data breach. Some large sellers have recently noticed slowing sales and expressed concern about eBay’s initiative to advance its small and medium sized sellers.



  1. In response to slowing growth, eBay is installing three new strategies to improve traffic to the site, including improved cataloging and categorizing of its listings to boost search engine rankings, enhancing the buyer experience by attracting more unique items from sellers, and enriching its mobile apps, especially their search functions. eBay anticipates Marketplace growth between 3% and 5% through mid-2016.
  2. Retailers can opt for other offline and online channels, threatening eBay’s position as the primary marketplace for sellers to list products. Many sellers have noticed Etsy’s push to attract large sellers to its platform as it has been courting small batch manufacturers. Currently 21% of Etsy stores drive 75% of the orders on Etsy. Recently, several large sellers discussed how current changes on eBay have negatively impacted their sales. In mid-2014, eBay was discovered using black-hat search tactics to boost its ranking on search engines, causing GOOG to downgrade eBay’s search results. This search issue still persists today.
  3. eBay has focused on attracting large sellers to its platform since Meg Whitman left in 2008 and the strategy has worked. Today,high volume, low-priced enterprise or “managed” sellers often receive premium search placement and other perks that help increase their sales on eBay. In Germany, eBay has tapped its largest and highest-rated sellers to participate in eBay+, a program that intends to compete with Amazon Prime. eBay’s international success is evidenced by the below chart: eBay’s top 5 global sellers are in Europe.
  4. Blueshift’sOctober 9, 2012 eBay report found eBay’s fixed price format was a positive move for the company, but only two of 27 sources felt that eBay would take market share from


Is eBay’s core value proposition significant enough to attract and retain enterprise level sellers? To gain insight into eBay and the e-commerce marketplace industry, Blueshift will gather data and issue a market research report from independent sources in the following areas: large domestic eBay sellers, large international eBay sellers, mid-sized domestic eBay sellers, mid-sized international eBay sellers and industry specialists.


Companies: eBay (EBAY), Amazon (AMZN), Alibaba (BABA), Etsy (ETSY), Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB), Mercadolibre (MELI), (OSTK)