Hot Topics:

Marketplaces Helps eBay Inc. Beat Expectations

eBay reports strong fourth quarter.

Record earnings for eBay Marketplaces, the popularity of mobile shopping and another strong quarter for PayPal helped eBay Inc.’s revenue grow by double digits in the final quarter of 2012.

Officials reported on Wednesday that eBay’s revenue increased by 18 percent year over year during the final quarter of 2012, with revenue reaching $4 billion. Net income during Q4 was $751 million—a 62-percent decrease year over year on a GAAP basis.

According to news reports, net income got a big boost during the 2011 fourth quarter with eBay’s sale of Skype.

eBay Marketplaces saw a net revenue of $2.05 billion during the fourth quarter—a 16-percent increase compared to the previous year and a new record, according to eBay.

“eBay Marketplaces, in particular, had a terrific fourth quarter, with growth in the U.S. accelerating three points [and] outpacing ecommerce”

During the fourth quarter, merchants sold about $19 billion worth of goods, excluding vehicles. About $7 billion of that was in the U.S.—a 19-percent increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. About $11.8 billion came from international sales—a 14-percent increase year over year, officials add.

Gross merchandise volume for fixed-price listings, excluding vehicles, increased by 21 percent on eBay Marketplaces and accounted for 68 percent of GMV.

For the entire year, eBay’s revenue reached $14.1 billion, a 21-percent increase compared to 2011, officials note.

Mobile, PayPal drive growth

John Donahoe, eBay’s president and CEO, says the fourth quarter numbers exceeded eBay officials’ expectations.

“eBay Marketplaces, in particular, had a terrific fourth quarter, with growth in the U.S. accelerating three points [and] outpacing ecommerce,” he says. “Mobile continues to rewrite the commerce playbook, and we continue to be a mobile commerce and payments leader.”

He reports mobile commerce volume reached $13 billion. That’s more than twice the volume for 2011. According to eBay, the download of its mobile apps helped drive the increase, as mobile apps attracted more than 4 million new customers last year.

PayPal also had a strong fourth quarter. The number of PayPal accounts increased by 15 percent, with about 2 million new PayPal accounts added every month during final quarter of 2012. That’s the fastest growth rate for PayPal accounts in years, eBay states.

PayPal mobile transacted about $14 billion in payment volume—three times what it did in 2011.

eBay expects to post a net revue of between $3.65 billion and $3.75 billion during this year’s first quarter. For all of 2013, it projects a net revenue of between $16 billion and $16.5 billion.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • We’ve actually done better on Ebay in the first quarter of 2013 than the fourth quarter of 2012.

Newsletter Signup