eBay Inc. reported total gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $19.35 billion in its first fiscal quarter of 2022. This a drop of 20% from a year earlier and the fourth consecutive quarter of declines. Still, Q1 GMV was 17% higher than the $7.98 billion reported in Q1 2019 at the dawn of the pandemic.
Total sales for the online marketplace in the first quarter were $2.48 billion, down 5.9% from the comparable period of 2021. Analysts, on average, estimated $2.46 billion, according to data Bloomberg compiled.
More troubling for the marketplace is that active buyers, defined as the number of people who paid for a transaction in the prior 12 months, fell to 142 million in Q1. That’s the fourth consecutive quarter of decline in the number of active buyers.
eBay sales forecast
Looking ahead, eBay warned that results in the present quarter would be lower than it had forecast previously. The marketplace issued revised guidance to analysts of GMV in Q2 of $18.02 billion to $18.42 billion. Revenue guidance for Q2 is $2.35 billion to $2.40 billion. EBay cited the impact of the war in Ukraine, inflation and a drop in consumer confidence for the lower guidance.
The Q1 results and the forecast for Q2 suggest that eBay sees continuing headwinds as shoppers gradually return to stores and the pandemic-era boom in ecommerce fades. Just last week, Amazon.com Inc. reported its first quarterly loss since 2015 as ecommerce sales declined and costs rose.
How the Ukraine War impacts eBay sales
“Since late February when the war in Ukraine began, we’ve seen lower ecommerce traffic, rising inflation and gas prices and home energy costs. And historically low consumer confidence, particularly in the U.K. and Germany,” eBay CEO Jamie Iannone said on a call with analysts after the earnings report. “As we look forward to the rest of 2022, we find ourselves in the most dynamic macro environment I have seen. We expect more near-term headwinds to ecommerce growth rates this year, and our revised guidance reflects our best view based on recent trends.”
Iannone told analysts that eBay’s advertising and payments businesses could boost profits even if total spending on the site falls. In addition, he said eBay would increase its focus on higher-priced items like brand-name sneakers, watches and other collectibles, which attract what the online marketplace calls “enthusiast buyers.”
Iannone said eBay has 18 million such high-frequency buyers and that they drive 70% of the marketplace’s GMV.
EBay is No. 5 in the 2022 Digital Commerce 360 Online Marketplaces Database
Changes at eBay
In the first quarter of 2022, eBay:
- In April, eBay announced it appointed Eddie Garcia as chief product officer.
- During the quarter, eBay launched its Authenticity Guarantee service for trading cards sold for $750+ in the U.S. With this addition, the company now offers authentication in four key enthusiast collector categories. They include sneakers, watches, handbags, and trading cards.
- eBay expanded its authentication of luxury handbags to the U.K. and Australia. The company also expanded the number of brands the Authenticity Guarantee covers and began authenticating men’s bags in the U.S.
- eBay added the ability for buyers to request, for a fee, expert verification for watches valued between $1,000 and $2,000.
How is eBay doing financially?
In the third quarter ended March 31, eBay reported:
- Revenue of $2.5 billion, down 6% on an as-reported basis and down 5% on a foreign exchange (FX) neutral basis.
- GMV of $19.4 billion, down 20% on an as-reported basis and down 17% on an FX-Neutral basis.
- A net loss from continuing operations of $1.3 billion.
Percentage changes may not align exactly with dollar figures due to rounding.
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