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Popularity of eBay's auction service in decline

Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 09:51 by Mike Price

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A new report from ChannelAdvisor suggests that although eBay is still one of the world's biggest online retailers, the auctions side of its business is not faring well in the current climate.

The number of items auctioned online using eBay's bidding platform was down by 26.2 per cent in February of 2015, compared to the same month last year.

In fact, the report reveals that there has been a monthly decline in the number of auction sales made on eBay for every month in the past 12. And February saw a particularly steep drop in activity, with even the busy pre-Christmas period in December of 2014 witnessing a 12.9 per cent dip.

It is worth pointing out that the decline in auctions hosted by eBay may be steep, but it remains the global leader in this market. But, of course, the company's executives are likely to be concerned by this trend, as will the third party sellers who rely on the site to engage with buyers online.

Of course, auctioning is not the only aspect of eBay's operations and in fact it does deliver fixed price items to customers, if this is the choice of the seller. But its brand has been built up over the years as a result of its auctioning activities, so it would be seriously damaging if this was to wane to the point that the company was forced to stop offering auctions altogether.

The ascent of eBay during the 1990s made it one of the early success stories of the e-commerce era, but in the past year it has suffered the major blow of being separated from PayPal, the payments organisation which has been going from strength to strength, in spite of its former parent company's weakened state.