Bill Roth, Ulitzer Editor-at-Large

Bill Roth

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Ebay's Silver Lining


(Full disclosure: As of this writing, I am likely to take a job with Ebay in the next few weeks).

Yesterday, Ebay posted earnings that were less than stellar at first blush. But when you dig behind the numbers, there are many reasons for optimism. First, the potential sale of Skype will generate cash for other activities. I must admin that I am a fan of skype, and would like to see them keep it, but I trust management to make the decision that they can spend the $2B in cashe  they hope to generate more profitably. It is also important to note that Gross Merchandise Value is up. As an eBay seller, I am quite aware that the marketplaces business makes most of its money off a percentage of the sale price of the items on eBay. Hence, more good news.

Second, a good chunk of the reason behind the depressed earnings was the integration of Bill Me Later. This is a good thing. The BML purchase, while not intuitive, is a great move. It not only beings on a payment method with higher margins, it also has been seen to be the only payment method that actually improved conversion on ecommerce sites. It not only helps customers, but it helps EBay as well.

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Bill Roth is a Silicon Valley veteran with over 20 years in the industry. He has played numerous product marketing, product management and engineering roles at companies like BEA, Sun, Morgan Stanley, and EBay Enterprise. He was recently named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Bloggers.