Five Thousand Sellers Account for 25% of eBay Sales

eBay marketplace has tens of millions of sellers selling worldwide, but as with other marketplaces the majority of sales is done by a small pool of top sellers. For example on Amazon.com 25% of sales is through just 1,000 sellers.

Without giving exact numbers during eBay’s Q4 2016 earnings call Scott Schenkel, Chief Financial Officer of eBay, said:

“About 80% of our GMV is through B2C sellers that do over $10,000/year and the rest is 20% that’s less that.”

Scott Schenkel, Chief Financial Officer of eBay

We estimate that top 5,000 eBay sellers account for 25% of worldwide Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV). Less than 35,000 sellers account for 50% of GMV.

The number of sellers Scott Schenkel referred to as those that do over $10,000/year and account for 80% of GMV, according to our research, is close to 270,000.

This analysis was done by calculating sellers feedback distribution. Feedback reviews isn’t a direct measure of sales volume, but it is the only public metric to measure the activity, and size of the marketplace.

eBay Seller Feedback Reviews

On eBay the volume of seller reviews is an order of magnitude greater than that of Amazon. While all sellers on Amazon received 4.2 million reviews in a month, sellers on eBay totaled close to 58 million reviews.

Seller reviews are more frequent on eBay, as they have historically been much more valuable to customers. On Amazon the rise of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) has decreased the role seller feedback plays. While over 100 million reviews were left in 2017 the volume of reviews is slowly shrinking. On Amazon.com for example feedback volume has decreased 40% from last year.

Close to 2.8 million eBay sellers received a review in the last 30 days. Compared to shy of 0.5 million on Amazon. eBay has many more hobbyist sellers selling one or two items, often used, and as an auction. This results in many more active sellers than on Amazon marketplace. However sales on Amazon have long since exceeded eBay.

eBay often refers to having 25 million sellers, a metric not reported in company’s financial fillings. Any of the 168 million active users can become a seller by listing a product, blurring the line between users, and sellers. Yet the Pareto Principle, commonly known as the 80/20 rule, stands - 20% of the workers produce 80% of the result.

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Juozas "Joe" Kaziukėnas

Founder of Marketplace Pulse, Joe wears multiple hats in the management of Marketplace Pulse, including writing most of the articles. Based in New York City. Advisor to other startups and entrepreneurs. Occasional speaker at conferences.

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