Despite Facebook’s unparalleled social graph and its numerous attempts at capturing a percentage of the global classifieds market, eBay still remains a leader.
Not only is eBay still strong in the US and owns a minority share in Craigslist, but also it possesses a controlling stake in many international online classifieds sites.
Yet, when you look at eBay’s stock exchange performance, it’s severely behind Amazon and Alibaba, with a PE (price/earnings) ratio that’s below 15, while $AMZN is trading at 90!
Sure, eBay is not nearly as innovative as Amazon, but still, there’s no excuse for an internet company to trail so much behind even centuries-old companies like Coca-Cola.
I think eBay should redefine itself as a “marketplace economy” company and should expand beyond second-hand goods, which is now under heavy pressure against Craigslist and Amazon.
As a marketplace economy company, it may absorb:
- Talent marketplaces like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr
- Skillset marketplaces like Teachable, Udemy, Codecademy
invest and grow…
Yes, this totally contradicts with their recent sale of StubHub. But, ticket marketplaces are not really a growth area in the 2020s, and the two I pointed out above (and possibly more) may be different, as they’re newer greener.
This may be something that their management has also considered but couldn’t make the needle move because of the intense activist-investor pressure. If the InterContinental Exchange bid gets accepted, and the company goes private, the eBay management will have more flexibility to take such drastic actions.