The quarter was dominated by howls of outrage from eBay (EBAY) sellers who boycotted the site, screamed bloody murder, etc., over eBay’s new fee changes, but the move appears to have worked. As Bear’s Bob Peck reports, listings are up more than expected, and eBay’s stock is up 15%+ off its recent (screamingly cheap) low:
We estimate that eBay hosted 655mn listings in 1Q08, up 11% YoY and significantly ahead of our estimate of 600mn or 2% YoY, as listings growth benefited from the pricing changes in late February. 1Q listings will mark an acceleration from the 4% listings growth in 4Q and eBay is likely to exceed our 5% FX neutral GMV growth this quarter by a wide margin. We are encouraged by the initial performance of the marketplace changes at eBay and believe that several initiatives (improved search, feedback, protection) will improve the buyer experience and drive buyer demand back to the platform. We continue to recommend purchase of the shares.
· Weekly Listings Up 35% YoY. We estimate that eBay hosted 49M core listings last week, up 34% Q/Q and up 35% YoY. Quarter to date, we estimate that sellers listed 583M core listings, 3% Q/Q and 13% Y/Y.
· Listings were up 5% Q/Q and 23% YoY. Quarter to date, we estimate that sellers listed 189 million items on the U.S. site, down 3% Q/Q and 3.4% Y/Y.
· Quarter to date, we estimate that sellers listed 117 million items on the Germany site, up 6% Q/Q and up 13.3% Y/Y.
· Quarter to date, we estimate that sellers listed 88.6 million items on the U.K. site, up 1.6% Q/Q and flat Y/Y.