There’s a new sheriff in eBay County and John Donohue has his shirtsleeves rolled up. Get ready for some changes, sports memorabilia auction fans.
As expected, long time eBay CEO Meg Whitman stepped down Wednesday, yielding the floor to a former Dartmouth College basketball player as the auction giant looks to begin a new era in the wake of some disappointing financial performances.
John Donohoe said the company will announce a new fee structure next week that will include lower listing fees, but higher final value fees paid by sellers. That could mean more items to search through and less revenue for the company, but the new CEO believes it will strengthen eBay’s stature in the long run.
eBay’s overall emphasis could be shifting from auctions to fixed priced listings, which could make the site more feel a little more like Amazon.com. eBay won’t jump off the horse it rode to superstardom, though.
“Auctions will always be the core of the core of eBay, it’s what makes eBay unique,” Donahoe told the New York Times. However, fixed priced sales now account for 40 percent of eBay’s marketplace revenue. “We are following our users. They like convenience so what we are simply doing is putting a more explicit focus on that,” Donohoe said.
During the 4th quarter earnings teleconference Wednesday, Donohoe said the company plans to place greater emphasis on the exposure its eBay stores receive when a user searches for a particular item.
"So for instance, if you do a search for — I grew up in Chicago so I was a big fan of Ernie Banks in the 60’s, –so for an Ernie Banks baseball card and our core format only had 10 items, yet we have 30 of them in the store’s format, we will show the store’s format in core search," he said.
eBay has struggled to deal with instances of fraud, notably in the autograph arena. Donohoe promised to implement measures soon that he says will make eBay "safer and easier" to use.