Macy’s In Australia: No, John, It’s Not All Thanks To eBay

Written by Frank Hayes
January 26th, 2012

eBay’s bid to become the link between big U.S. retailers and Australian customers is off to a less-than-sterling start. On January 18, eBay CEO John Donahoe bragged to an earnings call audience that Macy’s used eBay Australia to get a foothold Down Under without creating a brick-and-mortar presence. “Macy’s saw that the Australian dollar was very strong,” Donahoe said. “The Australian consumers are very open to import and they’re looking for brands. And Macy’s opened up a store in eBay Australia, and so they’re now reaching consumers in Australia on the eBay platform without having to have assets reside in the country.”

Well, sort of. Actually, was already selling to Australian customers last summer, using third-party vendor FiftyOne to handle shipping, customs, currency issues and customer service. And the Macy’s eBay Australia store currently has no products; Macy’s spokesman Jim Sluzewski said the eBay store was tested only through the end of 2011 and Macy’s is now evaluating its results. So Macy’s wasn’t depending on eBay to reach Aussies, and the eBay store was already closed when Donahoe did his bragging. Other than that, he got it right—we hope.


2 Comments | Read Macy’s In Australia: No, John, It’s Not All Thanks To eBay

  1. Ric Says:

    John Donahoe is so anxious to impress his Wall Street Masters that it comes as no surprise he exaggerated and got the facts wrong during the conference call.

    Of course this is not the first time eBay’s CEO has played fast and loose with the facts in an effort to paint a rosier picture than reality would dictate. He will exaggerate facts as demonstrated here, or omit important relevant facts when discussing results during conference calls.

    One fact he continues to side step / omit is the fact that GMV as he has reported has not factually increased as he has purported, but rather, GMV as he reports it is reflective of the fact that eBay has ratcheted up pressure on sellers to include shipping costs in the selling price of an item.

    In doing this, he can say GMV has increased when in fact the increase is largely accounted for by the fact that postage costs are now concealed as part of the selling price instead of being separated.

    Before eBay assessed the penalty fee on shipping costs (which can only be avoided by sellers when they artificially inflate the selling price of their item by adding shipping costs into the selling price of an item) eBay was unable to count shipping revenue as part of GMV. Now that eBay has coerced so many sellers into adding shipping costs into the selling price, eBay now counts shipping costs as Gross Merchandise Value because they have engineered it so that it is no longer possible to separate out those costs.

    If so many sellers were not avoiding the Final Value Fee eBay imposed on shipping costs, eBay would lose much of the artificial GMV growth they have been reporting, and investors would have a much clearer picture of eBay’s actual marketplace health.

  2. John Says:

    The fact is he is chasing away business for retailers with his policies. You have droves of ebay sellers now selling their inventory on their own websites and other venues. Mr Donahoe is attempting to lure huge retailers to ebay and he forgot one thing, a small business online has a much lower overhead and prices are cheaper on that small business website. Buyers are finding those sites and Mr Donahoe is having to bend the truth and continously raise fees on ebay to cover up his blunders.


StorefrontBacktalk delivers the latest retail technology news & analysis. Join more than 60,000 retail IT leaders who subscribe to our free weekly email. Sign up today!

Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

Our apologies. Due to legal and security copyright issues, we can't facilitate the printing of Premium Content. If you absolutely need a hard copy, please contact customer service.