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back to article eBay's festive sales soar, but what's this? Profit DOWN 62%?

eBay not only made a wad of dosh over the festive period but it also scooped up loads more mobe-toting shoppers to boot. The online tat bazaar today boasted that 4,300,000 people signed up for new accounts using their smartphones during 2012. The website's CEO John Donahoe said these mobile shoppers are driving his firm's …

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Meh

All that money so little profit

So on revenue of 13 billion they made 757 million? that's about 5.8% profit

Their a web auction hosting company, how could they only make 5.8% profit? or is this some tax avoidance again

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Re: All that money so little profit

I don't want to suggest tax avoidance as I believe lawyers fees are tax deductible, however they do have an office in Dublin

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Re: All that money so little profit

Not revenue, turnover. Most of that 13bn went from one eBay user to another. ebay will just have creamed off a few % as 'commission'.

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Re: All that money so little profit

If I sell you a widget for £100 on eBay, that's not eBay turnover. It isn't eBay that do the selling - they are just a marketplace. The only money that touches their hands is the fees the seller pays.

The quoted $13bn revenue (and it is "revenue" if you look at the official announcement) includes money eBay received from their subsidiaries including eBay and PayPay. That's not the same as the volume of transactions passing through their systems.

As with all businesses they have costs to pay from the revenue...

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Re: All that money so little profit

That's what I was thinking. They typically charge 10% Final Value Fee, plus listing fees, and monthly fees for shops. This is their revenue.

They haven't been in the news much for buying up companies this year, so where's the rest of the cash...? Must be a tax thing.

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Re: All that money so little profit

Or perhaps these servers and engineers actually cost money too. They have 27'000 employees, that must cost a little bit of cash.

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Happy

Re: All that money so little profit

Ebay works like this:

Head Office - Orange County California USA.

Head Quarters - Bern Switzerland. (Swiss Bank Accounts = US tax avoidance)

Former CEO Meg Whitman - Bank Accounts in the Cayman Island = tax avoidance.

The management of Ebay had fucked over so many sellers and buyers - that the 2008 conference was a wash out.... almost NO ONE turned up.....

A seller called the Ebay staff on their corporate scamming bullshit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHY0r3Sn9rc

This is John Donohue's response.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3H9LPVknk8

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Holmes

Re: All that money so little profit

Ebay take at least 10% from each sale. If their profit is down on an increased number of transactions then either the transactions are for smaller cash value than before or the have become very inefficient . Or something else.

I suspect something else.

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the opposite of Better Business

One of the governing principles of a successful business is "leave something in it for the other guy". In other words, be reasonable. ebay seems to me to wring the last penny out of its monopoly and is an unpleasant environment as a result.

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Anonymous Coward

I'll leave feedback later

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Trollface

I saw their TV ads in the run up to Christmas, telling me it was the place where I could go to get all my Christmas shopping. Yes, because what I really want to get my family at Christmas is second-hand or knock-off tat.

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Really, normally all I see on a page is 99 items the same from different sellers and 1 auction item (I view items by 100)

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Anonymous Coward

nothing to do with mobiles

everything to do with a recession which is driving up sales of secondhand goods

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Go

Let's face it, ebay cuts out the Middle man. Barring the odd case of arbitrage, it's the cheapest place to buy anything because it is a worldwide market place. Some of it is tat, but most of that tat is the same tat you'll buy at B&Q, Tesco etc with a huge markup. If you're willing to wait a fortnight and avoid import duties then you can buy most goods at Wholesale prices direct from Hong Kong/China.

It is free market enterprise, and it's killing the high street through attrition as they simply can't compete. The older folks prefer to use high streets because that's what they're used to, but the younger ones are more internet aware and take advantage of this.

It's a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it gives consumers the cheapest deals, bad because high street businesses will collapse, the business rates they used to pay create a black hole in council finances and the jobs they provide will vanish. Scary times for retailers.

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Anonymous Coward

Ref. import duties

they DO open those boxes from China sometimes. And not only to pilfer the contents.

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re: the high st

And the high street killed the person selling things door -door

The reality of the web is that:

Past = manufacturer , importer,distributor, store chain, high street store - you

Today = manufacturer - you

If efficency savings are good for the city why aren't they good for the consumer?

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Anonymous Coward

"...the business rates they used to pay create a black hole in council finances and the jobs they provide will vanish."

One would have thought that true. But only yesterday I was reading an archived article from spring 2012 in which my local Council were bemoaning the fact that about 87% of collected business rates were not being returned by Whitehall anyway* - so the black hole has historically not been as big as I would have first thought.

*Although I believe this year things are changing so they can retain more, if not all, business rates collected.

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Bah!

eBay is far form "the cheapest place to buy anything", unless one invests in bowel-looseningly insecure last microsecond snipe software, and not even then for most things.

Though the widening of availability from local to (ideally) worldwide markets would seem to drive down costs (those Swedish "health" magazines are only rare if you are limited to buying from local sources), in practice shill bidding and the afore-mentioned sniping drives up the cost of any sale, often way past any definition of "reasonable".

Add to that the significant "caveat emptor" factor and the eBay marketplace starts to look very unattractive.

So much so that for out-of-print books I now prefer to use Amazon as my first source. I know what I will be paying for an Item, I can trust the description of said item far more than that given by an eBay seller, and I have recourse should the item in question be somehow unfit for purpose.

eBay is a car boot sale in which one is shown polaroids of the boot contents before being made to wear welding goggles and oven mitts as the purchase of something is conducted.

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Anonymous Coward

Not true at all!

As time has gone on I find the only things I buy using eBay are those that I simply can't find anywhere else. In fact I'd go as far to say that many things on ebay are over priced, or priced at the same level as you could get elsewhere with real consumer protections, even more so if you take into account p&p or the hassle of picking up.

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Deeply unpleasant

High fees and a poor buying and selling experience make Ebay a pain in the backside.

People winning auctions and vanishing with no real comeback are one of the biggest problems. Just wastes time for the seller who then has to go through a whole appeal process to get their fees back. If Ebay cracked down on the bad eggs in the basket I might use it more.

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Unhappy

Re: Deeply unpleasant

I agree - the system is very biased towards buyers. As a seller I am unable to leave negative feedback, yet the buyer can do so with impunity whether a good service has been provided or not.

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Re: Deeply unpleasant

This isn't entirely fair. You can set up your account to open a case automatically against anyone who doesn't pay within a specified number of days. If there is no response within a couple of days, the buyer is automatically flagged as non-paying and fees are refunded. On a Buy It Now sale you can also specify immediate payment with Paypal, which solves the problem at source.

Fees may seem high, but on the other hand they're providing you with a global ecommerce platform and payment system and where else can you get that? Maybe on Amazon, but as a casual seller, I've found eBay is generally easier.

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