back to article Amazon shames eBay with 24 per cent profit bulge

eBay blames its shrinking revenues on the melting economy. But sales continue to expand over at, eBay's conspicuous rival in the e-commerce game. During the first three months of the year, Amazon sales reached $4.9bn, a 18 per cent leap from the same quarter last year. And if you ignore the impact of inconvenient …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    A short history

    Where I work, which I joined 5 years ago there where quite a few ebay users, mostly for rare records (buy) and womens cloths (selling)

    I even sold a car via ebay

    Alas as the years have rolled on so one by one people got ripped off, and now we have but 1 ebay user at our works

    ebays vote-for model was worked on by the scammy type, pumping up their ratings nodoubt with a bit of sockpuppet style practises etc

    And when they struck Joe Public ebay said "Fuck you, sort it out yourself"

    You can't find a phone number to talk to anyone, the email as is is a bunch of form letters

    There was the whole Nintendo Wii snafu for two Christmas's

    Why would you want to throw your money in to a vipers den?

    The sooner ebay is history the better

  2. Repo
    Thumb Down

    eBay are digging their own grave.

    eBays woes are down to it's constant shafting of the sellers who have left in droves to Amazon Marketplace, PlayTrade etc, etc.

    In a time when people want perceived bargains, eBays revenue should be up as more people sell more tat. However, p off the sellers time and time again and the result is that you have less income. Constant rule changes and exhorbitant fee increases while maintaining appalling customer service is not a sustainable business model.

  3. raving angry loony

    scum and villainy

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that eBay treats both sellers and buyers like vermin whose only purpose is to have their wallets plundered. Meanwhile, Amazon and other have learned that better customer service means more profit.

    Personally, eBay can't disappear too soon. They've outlived their usefulness, and are today no more than a hive of scum and villainy. Something they seem to revel in.

  4. Richard Cartledge
    Thumb Down

    Ebay deserve to die

    They shaft the sellers, have frequently-changing protracted terms and conditions. They own Paypal which are a load of robbers too. They tried to join in the browser wars. The whole ebay experience these days is awful, I lost my temper and closed my account last November.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    feebay = failbay

    The double dipping of fees thanks to the insistence of having to use paypal has a big impact on sellers.

    The revamped feedback system, paypal disputes are the final nail in the coffin for most sellers.

  6. W

    PayPal lock-in

    For off-the-shelf media or higher value second hand tech items, I sell via Amazon Marketplace. For low value one-off 'collectibles' or anything being sold for spares, it goes on eBay.

    One of the major underlying differences between Amazon Marketplace and eBay is the payment system.

    Amazon Marketplace takes on an element of responsibility by requiring that you make a payment through them.

    eBay chooses to play silly beggars by persisting with the practically unavoidable imposition of the detestable PayPal as the only alternative to a cheque/PO, thus ensuring two bites of the cherry. Yet they also keep the PayPal side of things at arms length by registering the business in Luxembourg, etc.

    I suspect it's the eBay/PayPal lock-in element that eBay uses to both cream another layer of income from yet also relies on for wriggling out of it's responsibilities that is the source of most users' bile. So they've only got themselves to blame, really, by incorporating the lame duck that is PayPal.

    Amazon transactionas direct from them or via it's Marketplace are almost indistinguishable.

    The eBay experience is more akin to operating with an anonymous online Cash Converters via a silent faceless overseas third party.

    Oh, and the design of eBay & PayPal's sellers' interafce is appaling. Not that Amazon's is a pinnacle of intuition, although it's slightly more bearable.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A (former) seller's experience.

    Ebay have significantly eroded the profit margins of their sellers by hiking their fees. The continual restructuring of the system means sellers repeatedly having to change their business practices and pricing. When I was a seller every change was trumpeted as an improvement, yet always the small print would reveal increased costs. The triple combo of listing fees, final price fees and paypal costs seems to be designed to obscure the total cost. I finally closed my ebay shop at the end of last year because the ebay fees exceeded the costs of the stock on each transaction. (And no, my stock wasn't all that cheap!) It became so ridiculous that I used the only power I had and voted with my feet. A few thousand a year from me is peanuts for Ebay, but it all adds up.

  8. james newcombe


    I used to sell lots through eBay, but recently it has been a 'now and again' thing. I've literally sold a couple of CD's and a bag over the last month, and i'm surprised to find I now owe eBay £20, what a rip off! I'm closing the account very shortly, but i'm sure it (or a competitor) could be a success again with a different (ie less money-grabbing) model.

  9. Ian

    A few more reasons eBay sucks

    A couple more reasons it is in trouble:

    1. The shoddy and counter-intuitive. Nasty rollovers everywhere causing you to constantly hit the wrong piece of navigation

    2. And it often just fecks up and falls over on Safari running on OSX. No I am not going to change browsers cos of your shoddy code....c'mon I've already bought an expensive comuter, let me buy tat!

    3. The elephant in the room: as more people (especially small business people) use eBay, categories get saturated. The bargains that were to be had a few years ago are not to be had because you have savvier people buying as well as the eedjits who continue to pay well over the odds. This is kinda good for eBay because they make more $$ per transaction as the transaction values are higher, but for the average punter the net effect is lower satisfaction.

    4. And the bargains aren't there because more of the seller's margin gets snitched by eBay

    Just my 2 euro cents worth....

  10. Fihart

    e-bay going the way of BL

    The internet seems to foster an accelerated business model. Small enterprises, if successful, rapidly evolve into monopolies.

    It took the UK motor industry a century to go from hundreds of small brands to three majors (BMC, Standard Triumph, Rootes) to one (British Leyland). To zero.

    Ditto the US car industry, by the looks of it.

    Of course, monopolies can behave badly and get away with dud products but eventually they drive away all their customers.

    First to go will be e-bay, hopefully Microsoft next.

  11. patricia013

    Ebay's Core is Failing!

    So, Ebay "looks like a flea market" and "sellers are only noise" just a few things the new CEO told us all last year. Then he went on to take away any protection we had as seller "don't worry, we have your back" and I have yet to be able to get the knife out of it. Recently, the "wise" Mr. Donahoe proclaimed a 15 cent listing day for auctions on April 21! After making it known to one and all that auctions are dead and buyers don't want auctions anymore. Mr. Donahoe, you sure don't mind the flea market atmosphere or the noise when Ebay is in need of ready cash. You know where to auctions!!!!! This hapless man doesn't know WHAT he wants! Face it - he has no REAL business model and trying to keep track of Ebay's present day business model is like trying to find your way out of a day they want to be the world's largest retailer - the next day they want to liquidate large lots - first they claim auctions are dead and they don't want a flea market atmosphere and then they hold a 15 cent listing day for auctions asking sellers to clean out their basements and attics! Come on now...this type of "management" is as stupid as dirt! The only thing that tops it is a board of directors putting a multi-billion dollar healthy company into the hands of the present management team who have driven the business practically to its knees!

  12. Britt Johnston

    good news

    The news is not that Amazon is better than ebay, it is that Amazon has become a healthy business - recall that their business model was initially much criticised in Business Schools as uncertain and with no quick wins.

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