eBay is an online global commerce platform that allows users to connect and trade. Anyone can create an account and begin selling or buying goods or services. eBay generates revenue through transactions across its platform, marketing services, and advertising. eBay has several competitors in the e-commerce space, such as Amazon, Shopify, and Walmart.
- eBay is primarily a consumer-to-consumer ecommerce marketplace, which generates revenue through transaction fees and marketing services.
- As one of the few lingering successes of the dot-com era, eBay sports more than 133 million individual users.
- The company is heavily invested in other companies and has, at one time or another, owned all or part of PayPal, Skype, StubHub, and others.
eBay generates revenues through its advertising initiatives and listing and selling fees. Revenues are driven by transaction volume, which eBay calls Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV). In the first quarter of 2023, eBay experienced $18.4 billion in GMV and total advertising revenues of $317 million. GMV drove revenues, along with advertising, to a total of $2.5 billion for the quarter.
Net income for the quarter was $569 million, up $1.9 billion from -$1.34 billion in the first quarter of 2022. eBay’s active user count for the quarter was 133 million, down from 134 million in the previous quarter and from 142 million in the first quarter of 2022.
One of the first items sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer.
eBay’s Business Segments
eBay operates and reports in one segment, its Marketplace, which is the core of its business. Because it operates globally, the company breaks revenues into four geographical areas—the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and the Rest of the World (ROW).
Revenues in the U.S. were $1.261 billion, which was 50.24% of total revenues and a 2.8% increase from the same quarter of 2022.
Revenues in the U.K. were $381 million, which was 15.18% of total revenues and an 8.8% decrease from the same quarter of 2022.
Revenues in Germany were $252 million, which was 10.04% of total revenues and a 7.7% decrease from the same quarter of 2022.
Through its eBay for Charity program, eBay enables customers to support more than 83,500 nonprofit organizations worldwide.
Rest of the World
Revenues from the rest of the world were $616 million, which is 24.54% of total revenues and an 8.1% increase from the same quarter of 2022. This broad area is composed of roughly 187 of the estimated 190 countries eBay operates in.
eBay’s Recent Developments
In October 2022, eBay finished its acquisition of TCGplayer, a collectible card game trading card platform. The acquisition is expected to boost collectible sales for each platform.
eBay faces growing regulatory challenges throughout the world as regulators continue to tighten their grip on taxing online sales. Additionally, the European Union will soon require online marketplaces to verify seller and buyer information and introduce other obligations that might affect its operations in Europe.
How Much Profit Does eBay Make a Year?
In 2022, 2021, and 2020, eBay generated gross profits of $7.1 billion, $7.7 billion, and $7.1 billion, respectively.
Is eBay on the Decline?
While eBay does have intense competition and posted income and cash flow losses for 2022, it started 2023 strong. It still has a solid user base and had more than $18 billion in transactions in the first quarter of 2023. The company believes that e-commerce is showing signs of returning to lower pre-COVID-19 levels as consumers return to their old shopping habits.
Is eBay Still Profitable?
According to its 2023 first quarter report, eBay remains profitable.
The Bottom Line
A competitive online sales platform, eBay makes money from advertising, the fees it charges, and the services it provides to its customers. It was one of the first to popularize an online method of matching buyers and sellers. It continues to be popular and profitable because of its dedication to customer experiences, welfare, and safety.
eBay’s strategy is to remain relevant by acquiring businesses that complement its platform. It’s also incorporating new technologies and partnering with others in the retail industry to deliver better and more attractive services to customers.