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      eBay Numbers drop. Page Views and Unique Visitors Fall

      May 9th, 2008 by Skip McGrath

      A report from Nielsen Online, a service that tracks online statistics for advertisers shows a sharp drop in eBay’s Page Views and Unique Visitors

      I was a bit shocked when I saw these numbers.  I expected eBay’s numbers to be flat versus the same quarter last year, but the new Nielsen numbers showed a sharp drop.

      Page Views fell over 11% from about 42 Billion to 37 Billion over the same period last year.

      Unique audience (visitors) fell over 12 million users, 186 Million to around 170 Million – a drop of almost 7%.

      Looking more closely at near term numbers, page views fell off a cliff in January and February and rebounded a bit in March but not back to the December levels when they were over 14 Million.

      There was one positive number. Stickiness to the site improved.  eBay users spent on average about 12% more time on the site than in the same period last year.

      These are very troubling numbers for eBay sellers.  I realize that the first quarter of this year was a period of turmoil with the new fee  and policy announcements coupled with the new search algorithm. Frankly that is why I was expecting flat or no growth in these important metrics, but I honestly didn’t expect a drop this large.  We won’t know the full impact of the new policies until the end of the third quarter of this year (September) as it will take that long for the new policies to have an effect.

      eBay announced that their shareholders meeting will be in Chicago just before the opening of eBay Live on June 19th. If you are a stockholder, you can get an invitation. The meeting will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency next door to the conference center. Typically eBay gives a little more insight into their numbers at the annual meetings than they do at the quarterly investor meetings.  This should be an interesting meeting.

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