Tag: eBay

Top judge calls for Ebay style courts

courtA top UK judge has called for the creation of civil courts which are held online, citing online auction outfit eBay as a method which could work.

Lord Dyson, the head of civil justice in England and Wales, said the justice system had been slow to take advantage of internet technology, and described proposals for a state-run online court as an “exciting milestone”.

A recent report by the Civil Justice Council said an online system – which would operate for cases involving less than £25,000 – would allow documents to be submitted online for examination, with the option of telephone hearings.

And the group went on to illustrate how eBay dealt with a “remarkable” 60 million disputes between traders every year using an “online dispute resolution” system.

Lord Dyson stressed that the idea was still at an early stage, and said transparency – allowing the public and media access to the proceedings – was still a “really important question” which needed to be sorted out.


Paypal boss cashes in his chips

paypal-logoPaypal executive Don Kingsborough, who helped get the outfit to move into physical retail stores, stepped down in January.

Kingsborough was instrumental in PayPal’s attempts to push innovations such as in-store ordering and pickup and physical-checkout payment at chains.

His exit comes as the company competes with the likes of fast-growing startup Square to get its payments system adopted in more retail chains across the United States.

The company increasingly has had to contend with rivals such as Square, which is popular with smaller businesses, and the Tame Apple Press thinks that it will have to surrender ground to Apple Pay, even if take up from that is proving sluggish.

The thought is that Paypal is slowing. eBay said it enjoys “a strong foothold in offline retail,” but analysts say it has been difficult for the tech companies vying for checkout space to contend with the simple convenience of debit or credit cards.

No one is saying why Kingsborough is leaving.  It seems that he might have been frustrated that he could not so as much as he wanted.

One quote attributed to him was “!I think we were able to move the needle, but I have to say I leave a little frustrated in that I wish we as an executive team would have done more.”

eBay is also preparing to lay off some seven percent of its workforce, or 2,400 jobs, including PayPal employees, before the two companies split in the second half of 2015.

Ebay does deal with Icahn

Faustian_BargainOnline auction outfit Ebay has done a deal with its activist investor Carl Icahn that will give investors a greater say in its PayPal payments unit once it is spun off.

Ebay said it exploring a sale or public offering of its enterprise unit.

The deal clears the way for a future buy  of eBay and PayPal by companies looking to gain a foothold in the e-commerce and online payments markets. Alibaba, Google and Amazon could all be interested.

Meanwhile Ebay is going to cut its workforce by seven percent, or 2,400 jobs, in the current quarter. While the company is making a pile of money, its outlook for the 2015 first quarter and full year fell short of what the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street expected, so its workers will have to pay the price.

The planned job cuts will be across the board in all parts of the company except the board. Payments and enterprise divisions will be hit, eBay said. Restructuring and separation costs are expected to be between $210 million and $240 million in the first quarter and $350 million to $400 million for the entire year.

Also under the deal with Ichan, Icahn Capital executive Jonathan Christodoro was named to eBay’s board. He will have the ability to transition to PayPal’s board once the spin-off occurs.

Two Wall Street bankers has been added to its board, because you always need a board full of bankers.

PayPal agreed to adopt a number of measures proposed by Icahn, which the billionaire said enhance corporate governance at the fast-growing payments arm. The provisions are intended to give shareholders a larger voice in important decisions, particularly an acquisition bid.

They include a provision that any “poison pill” designed to ward off acquisition attempts be ratified by stockholders or expire after 135 days, and that holders of 20 percent of its shares be allowed to call a special meeting of stakeholders.

EBay plans to split its marketplace division from PayPal in the second half of this year. PayPal will be a standalone publicly traded company, which some analysts say will be worth $40 billion.


Ebay boss will get $23 million golden handshake

Scrooge-Porpoise EBay Chief Executive John Donahoe will get an exit package worth an estimated $23 million after the company splits from payments unit PayPal next year.

Chief Financial Officer Bob Swan will get an exit package worth about $12 million. The figures could change depending on the performance of eBay’s share price.

That is good money considering that they do not really have to do much work to collect the cash other than just leave. After eBay announced its planned split with Paypal both of them said that they would be clearing out their offices.

To be fair, involvement with a much smaller company would be beneath them and EBay and Paypal would need CEO’s and accountants who were a little lower down the IT Industry food chain.

eBay spokeswoman Amanda Miller said in a statement that Donahoe’s transition package is closely tied to the performance of the company during the separation period and the company’s stock price at the time of separation

The terms were approved by eBay’s board on December 15. Other executives may also step down after the company splits its marketplace division from PayPal. Those other executives who leave will get benefits including a cash payment equivalent to 1.5 times their annual base salary, the filing said.

Algorithms gouge online buyers

smartphone-shoppingA study by a team of researchers at the Northeastern University have discovered that online shops target people based on their profiles and charge some more than others for the same products.

The team said that people regularly receive personalised content, such as specific offers from Amazon.  That, the study shows, can be to a person’s advantage but e-commerce sites manipulate search results and customise prices without anyone knowing.

The researchers looked at 16 popular e-commerce sites, including 10 general shops and six hotel and car rental sites,to measure price discrimination and price steering.

“We have found numerous instances of price steering and discrimination on a variety of top e-commerce site,” they said in a report.

Some sites altered prices by hundreds of dollars and travel sites showed inconsistencies in a higher percentage of cases.

They said Expedia and hotels,com “steered a subset of users towards more expensive hotels”.

The team said that price differences were significant in some of the cases. Amazon and Ebay were excluded from the study and so too were firms like Apple.

Although the researchers said they contacted the sites they surveyed, they did not say how or if the companies replied.

Christmas cancelled at eBay

santa-naughty-listIt seems that eBay has been naughty and is worried that Santa will not visit it this Christmas.

The online auctioneer trimmed its full year revenue forecast because it expects a weaker than expected holiday shopping season.

EBay cut its full-year revenue outlook to between $17.85 billion and $17.95 billion from its previous range of $18 billion to $18.3 billion.

The company also forecast fourth quarter revenues of less than $5 billion, falling short of the $5.2 billion expected by Wall Street.

Weak economic data from the United States and China is fanning fears of another global slowdown, forcing investors to re-examine the world economy that is only just emerging from one of the worst recessions in history.

The fact is that analysts are not certain what will happen this Christmas, but signs from the luxury retailers indicate that things might be tight.

US retail sales, which account for about one-third of consumer spending, recorded their first fall since January last month.

eBay’s marketplaces division, which grew less than some forecast and the fear is that the company’s dependence on Europe might have also played a role in depressing its outlook.

Ebay may change mind on Paypal

janus1Online auction outfit Ebay has changed its mind about Paypal and might spin off the fast growing unit.

For a while now it has been suggested that Ebay should off-load Paypal to make a fast buck. In fact, activist investor Carl Icahn has said as much. But EBay CEO John Donahoe said that PayPal was important to eBay’s business and a split would not make sense.

However, EBay told potential candidates for the position of PayPal chief executive officer, a post that David Marcus vacated in June, about a possible spinoff of the payments unit.

EBay spokeswoman Amanda Miller clearly did not get the memo and insisted that that board will continue to “assess all alternatives to create that long-term value and to enhance the growth and competitive positions of both eBay and PayPal.” This position has not changed said.

It is a little odd that Ebay is thinking about it. Donahoe won Icahn  over to his point of view. Ichan backed off from his demand in April, saying that while he supported a PayPal split in the near future, now was not the time. Although that was April and thinks might have changed by the end of the year.

eBay, Argos partner for collection

argos-logoFor some time now, eBay has been pushing discussion about the future of etail, the high street, and how brick and mortar will intersect with online shopping – now, in a bold move, the company has joined up with Argos in a bid to offer the best of both worlds.

Online shoppers will be able to buy selected goods from eBay and pick them up in-store at Argos outlets across the UK. 50 eBay merchants are taking part, but are anonymous at time of publication.

Argos already has its own click and collect service but expanding it to include popular eBay stores will certainly not harm the company, provided the scheme is implemented properly. Amazon, which eBay increasingly sees as its top competition rather than its original selling point as a bidding website, has collection points in the UK too.

Earlier this year, Argos reported its first sales boost in years. It attributed much of this to the check and reserve feature. This is not to be sniffed at considering the otherwise lacklustre state of the UK’s tattoo-parlour, betting and pawn-shop packed high streets.

eBay has trialled a service called eBay Now across the pond in New York and San Francisco, partnering with popular retail outlets such as Home Depot and Urban Outfitters to arrange for goods to be delivered within the hour for a fee. This may be rolled out to Britain next year.

Commenting on the announcement, Warick Business School’s retail expert, Dr Scott Dacko, said whether or not this service becomes “the” model, integration between online and offline sales is “the future for retail”.

“It is likely to be a win-win-win arrangement, with both partners and UK consumers benefiting all round,” Dacko said. “I am sure the arrangement will prompt a host of competitors to move more quickly into not only seamlessly integrating their online and brick-and-mortar operations but also looking into similar partnerships as well”.

During Christmas last year, eBay experimented with a bricks and mortar showroom where customers could try out products and interact with them through an app.

eBay gets ever so bullish

smartphone-shoppingeBay has driven up its share value after making bold forecasting claims.

In its forecast of annual earnings the net giant said it would push for an earnings growth  of 15 percent to 19 percent over the next three years.

Speaking to investors yesterday the company’s head honchos said this was mean a projected revenue of $21.5 billion to $23.5 billion in 2015, compared to $14 billion in 2012.

They said this would be made possible through the company’s global expansion as well as drilling down focus in local commerce areas.

They added that the company would also embrace the mobile trends more fully.

And there was a good news for the company’s marketplaces business, which hosts external merchants will bring in around $110 billion in sales in 2015, a huge jump from the $75 billion in 2012.

The bold claims have now seen its shares rise by more than four percent, a feat which is sure to impress shareholders and show that chief executive John Donahoe, who joined the company in 2009, has fulfilled part of his promise to get the company back on track after it fell on the wayside amidst strong competition from Amazon.

M-commerce to double in next 12 months

google-walletMobile shopping is the new black and a recent survey carried out by Conlumino indicates that it will continue to grow at an impressive rate for the foreseeable future. M-commerce has already risen 55 percent compared to a year ago and it is now estimated that it will grow another 115 percent over the next 12 months.