October 20, 2010, 5:15 PM

eBay’s merchandise sales increase 3.3%

The online marketplace’s profits jumped 23.4% in the third quarter.

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The value of merchandise sold on eBay Inc.’s marketplace increased 3.3% year over year in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, eBay Inc. reported today. The company’s Q3 revenue remained largely unchanged from a year ago.

For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, eBay reported:

  • The value of goods sold through eBay’s online marketplaces, excluding autos, increased 3.3% in the second quarter to $12.59 billion from $12.19 billion in the same quarter last year. 57% of marketplace revenue was from outside the U.S.
  • Fixed-price sales represented 60% of marketplace volume compared with 56% a year earlier, reflecting eBay’s shift away from the auction format as more large and midsized retailers use eBay as a sales platform.
  • Active users of eBay’s marketplaces totaled 93.2 million, up 4.5% from 89.2 million a year earlier. (Active users are those who have listed or bought on eBay in the previous 12 months.)
  • Payment volume increased 26.5% year over year to $22.4 billion, of which 62% came from the company’s merchant services unit that handles off-eBay payments for e-retailers. Payments with eBay’s PayPal online payment service account for the majority of the rest, with Bill Me Later accounting for 1% of total payment volume.
  • Active users of eBay’s payment services, which include consumers with PayPal or Bill Me Later accounts, increased 16.0% year over year to 90.5 million from 78.0 million.
  • EBay’s total Q3 revenue rose slightly to $2.25 billion from $2.24 billion a year ago.
  • Q3 net income was $432 million, up 23.4% from $350 million a year ago.

"EBay is delivering a better experience in key categories such as fashion and electronics, where we’ve made it easier to shop in three popular categories, MP3 players, GPS navigation systems, and DVDs," said John Donahoe, eBay president and CEO, during a conference call with analysts.  "We’re also offering consumers incredible value with our daily deals and fashion bulk sales and we’re delivering more convenient ways to shop on eBay anytime, anywhere and to get the best deals through our mobile innovation."

Donahoe also pointed to the growth in eBay's mobile commerce business.

"Our eBay iPhone app has been downloaded almost 13 million times around the world and mobile shoppers can now find eBay on all four major smartphone platforms–Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Windows 7," he said. "Compared to the $600 million in GMV we did last year, this year we expect mobile GMV to easily exceed our $1.5 billion goal."

Although eBay's U.S. Marketplace business remained stable, it remained lackluster, says Colin Sebastian, a stock analyst with Lazard Capital Markets. However, there is a bright spot, he says. "PayPal continues to expand rapidly off eBay while also increasing penetration on eBay," he says.

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