Why eBay Is Ready to Rebound

Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, online marketplace giant eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY  ) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at eBay and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

eBay facts

Headquarters (founded)

San Jose, Calif. (1995)

Market Cap

$66.1 billion


Internet software and services

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$14.1 billion


CEO John Donahoe (since 2008)

CFO Robert Swan (since 2006)

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)



$9.4 billion / $4.5 billion




Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 87% of the 4,395 members who have rated eBay believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Just yesterday, one of those Fools, jviolin73, succinctly summed up the eBay bull case for our community:

eBay is undervalued at the present time. With its fingers in a significant portion of online commerce through PayPal as well as the revamping of the site to focus on fixed priced sales, I believe eBay will continue to grow quickly. Great long term investment.

If you want market-thumping returns, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Of course, despite a strong four-star rating, eBay may not be your top choice.

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Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2013, at 10:01 PM, Intuos wrote:

    Could you tell me why the mainstream media, including the Motley Fool, never investigates ebay's dark side? Instead we are given this impression that they are some happy-go-lucky company who are there to just help you out. Anyone who has long term experience with them could literally write a book on their questionable business practices.

    1. Could you explain the consumer scam they have been running regarding so called "free shipping". In an effort to compete with Amazon they are trying to force sellers into offering free shipping as Amazon often offers this. Sellers who do not offer this are forced to pay higher fees, which are passed onto buyers. Sellers who do not offer free shipping also have their items placed lower in searches.

    There is no such thing as free shipping - USPS and UPS don't deliver packages for free so buyers can either pay for an item with an amount added for shipping or pay a higher price for the item with shipping built into the price of the item. However, here is the catch - the amount they pay for "free shipping" is more than if the shipping was added on as a additional charge.

    Why? Well shipping charges are based upon the weight of an item and how far it travels. So a 5 pound package sent Priority Mail can cost anywhere from $8.85 to $21.20 depending upon where its sent. Now if I offer shipping as an additional charge the shipping charge will be computed based upon the buyer's zip code. Now if I want to offer "free shipping" I have no way of knowing where the buyer lives so I'll have to increase the price of the item $21.20 in case the buyer lives far away. Every single buyer, other than one living in the farthest away zone are OVERCHARGED for shipping. This is consumer fraud - a plan by ebay to brainwash buyers, who typically know nothing about shipping, into paying higher prices. So then how would ebay's financial status look if they they were sued for this fraud by state attorney generals and forced to refund millions of dollars.

    2. It does not stop there. If your are an honest seller on ebay and for example issue a refund to a customer for a overcharge on the shipping ebay also scams you on its fees. For example, lets says the weight of the package was less than the estimate and you send the customer a $10 refund on the shipping. PayPal will automatically credit your account $.29 for its fee (2.9%). On the other hand ebay will not automatically refund its $.90 final value fee on the shipping (9%). There is no technical reason for this, they simply want to overcharge you on the final value fees. Imagine how many millions they are stealing in this fashion. If you call them they will say there is nothing they can do. If you press them they may relent and offer a refund so long as you provide details for your paypal account, meaning they are expecting you to spends hours on the phone, making it not worth your time. If you attempt to obtain long term records form PayPal for many transactions they lie to you and never send them.

    3. Their sales figures are overstated. In the fall of the 2012 they started charging sellers a final value fee on shipping in addition to the price of the item. So if you sell a $10 item with $10 shipping they call it a $20 sale. Its not a $20 sale. The $10 in shipping is going to the post office they are simply acting a agent for the post office. The only thing they have earned is a 9% fee on the shipping and the item. And we have not touched on the legally of charging sellers for shipping when they in fact should be charging the post office a commission.

    4. How about the many incidents during seller boycotts when ebay would suddenly have glitches whereas large number so items from other sites they own would accidentally show up on ebay to pad their numbers in addition to a large number of fake listings.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2013, at 12:01 AM, mpg54 wrote:


    1. Why is Free-shipping so complicated for you? Just raise the items price to cover your shipping costs, and eBay fee, duh. If you price it right you can still beat your competitors on other sites. It's not consumer fraud, most people do want to do the math, or the extra step needed to calculate it, they want 1 bottom line price. eBay is accelerating the velocity of the transaction, which does nothing but assist you as a Seller. Shame on you for not understanding that.

    2. If you did Free Shipping you wouldn't have this issue at all. Again eBay's trying to help you, but your too stubborn and locked in to your old ways to see it, or understand it.

    3. Again build the cost of your eBay fee into the price of the item. eBay does not dictate your listing price, your argument is pure non-sense.

    4. eBay making this list of companies makes your statements ring very hollow:

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2013, at 12:24 PM, anthonyd46 wrote:


    Sure i can build it in the price all I want, but then im limiting to a buy it now listing only, which can sit for days, months, or years in some cases. If i have a buy it now or best offer with free shipping up if anyone offers me something now my free shipping padding is potentially ruined because someone offered me say $20 less. So with your strategy I have to lock my self into one listing type and maybe wait ages for the item to sell which creates dead inventory that sits longer than it has to. Free shipping is ridicolous and only works on certain situations otherwise it just either hurts your time , profit, or sometimes both.

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2013, at 1:19 PM, mpg54 wrote:


    You can't tell me that an Auction will force your item to be moved versus a 'Buy it now' where it could sit, that's BS. Your item will sell or it won't sell, again eBay is just providing you the option of format. Pretty cool that you have that option.

    As I buyer I rarely look at Auctions anymore. I prefer 'Buy it now' with free Shipping. It's fast and easy. You as a seller need to price it right or don't sell it. This is the same problem for Merchants anywhere they sell, the price has to be right. eBay is not creating the demand, the Market does, price it right and it will sell. If not the demand wasn't there in the 1st place.

    The whining about eBay makes some of you Seller's sound like Amateur's. At least have a rational argument. Most of you sound like Children that didn't get a lollipop from eBay this year.

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