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2019 Vault Rankings

At a Glance
Uppers

Anyone anywhere can buy or sell products online using a secure network and payment systems

Downers

Since customers are buying from individuals and not necessarily buying from reputable companies there are more opportunities for fraud and scams

The Bottom Line

eBay Inc. is the world's largest online marketplace with more than 97 million global users and includes eBay, PayPal, Bill Me Later, GSI Commerce and X.commerce.

About Ebay Inc.

eBay is a well-known e-commerce platform for online auctions. Trading goods every second of every day, eBay offers an online forum for buying and selling merchandise worldwide, from fine antiques to the latest video games. eBay generates revenue through listing and selling fees and through advertising, and boasts more than 177 million users and more than 1 billion listings globally. The company sells tickets to concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment via its Stubhub platform. eBay is available across digital platforms, including mobile. More than half of eBay’s sales are outside the US.

Operations

eBay generates revenue from net transactions, about 80% of the total, and from marketing services and other, about 20%.

Net transaction revenue consists of final value fees (fees payable on transactions closed in the Marketplace and StubHub platforms), listing fees, and other service fees. Marketing services and other revenue consists of sales from Marketplace, StubHub, and Classified, principally from the sale of advertisements, revenue sharing arrangements, classifieds fees, marketing service fees, and lead referral fees.

Geographic Reach

About 55% of eBay's revenue is generated outside the US. The company has a strong focus on Europe with Germany and the UK each providing about 15% of revenue. The company's classified websites are available in more than 1,000 cities around the world. 

The company has offices, data centers, product development offices, fulfillment centers, and customer service offices in about 35 countries.

Sales and Marketing

eBay’s online marketing efforts go to traffic acquisition in paid search, affiliates marketing, and display advertising. Offline advertising includes brand campaigns and buyer and seller communications.

Financial Performance

Although uneven, eBay’s revenue has trended higher for the past five years.

In 2017, sales rose about 7% to $9.5 billion, driven by a 6% increase in net transaction revenue and a 7% rise in marketing services and other revenue. US revenue was up 6% and international revenue was up 7%.

The company posted a net loss of $1 billion in 2017 compared to a $17.2 million profit in 2016. The company recognized a tax charge of $3.1 billion in 2017 related to the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Cash in eBay’s coffers totaled about $2.1 billion in 2017 compared to $1.8 billion in 2016. In 2017, the company generated $3.1 billion from operations and used $1.3 billion in investing activities and $1.8 billion in financing activities.

Strategy

Whether online, through the mobile channel, or offline, eBay's monetization strategy remains the same. The company is primarily a transaction-based business model that generates revenue through its e-commerce platforms. The company also generates revenue through marketing services, classifieds, and advertising.

eBay has made changes to enhance experiences for buyers and sellers. It allows users to search for products by image, using artificial intelligence technology. For buyers of high-end goods, the company introduced an authentication program to increase consumer confidence. Another new service has been guaranteed delivery in three days or less for tens of millions of items.

The company activated a global branding campaign called Fill Your Cart With Color to drive more traffic and new buyers to its sites. It rolled out local campaigns to increase brand awareness of eBay in North America, Europe, and Australia using television, digital, and social media channels.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2017 eBay and Flipkart concluded a three-part transaction. eBay sold its business in India to Flipkart and made a $500,000 investment in the company. The companies also agreed to make their inventories available to each other's customers.

In 2018 eBay acquired Giosis’ Japan business, including the Qoo10.jp platform. With the close of the transaction, eBay relinquished its investment in Giosis’ non-Japanese businesses.  The transaction expanded eBay’s footprint in Japan, one of the largest e-commerce markets in the world.

Company Background

Pierre Omidyar created a flea market in cyberspace when he launched online auction service Auction Web on Labor Day weekend in 1995. Making a name for itself largely through word of mouth, the company incorporated in 1996, the same year it began to charge a fee to auction items online. That year it enhanced its service with Feedback Forum (buyer and seller ratings).

The company changed the name to eBay in 1997 and began promoting itself through advertising. By the middle of that year, eBay was boasting nearly 800,000 auctions each day and Benchmark Capital came on board as a significant financial backer.

Ebay Inc.

2025 HAMILTON AVE
San Jose, CA 95125-5904
Phone: 1 (408) 376-7008

Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: EBAY
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
SVP Global Operations: Wendy Jones
Chairman: Thomas J. Tierney
President and CEO: Devin N. Wenig
Employees (This Location): 120
Employees (All Locations): 14,000

Major Office Locations

San Jose, CA

Other Locations

Los Angeles, CA
San Jose, CA
Valencia, CA
Boston, MA
La Vista, NE
Point Pleasant Boro, NJ
Farmington, NY
Portland, OR
Draper, UT
West Valley City, UT
Paris, France
Brussel, Belgium
Amsterdam, The Netherlands