So you’ve read about how lucrative ecommerce can be and you’re keen to give it a go. You know you’ve got to sell. But where and how do you begin?
Started in 1995, eBay has become one of the most popular online marketplaces for sellers to market and sell their goods today and is certainly an attractive and good option for an ecommerce venture.
But before simply launching yourself onto the platform, there are certain eBay statistics and facts that can help you with crafting the best eBay strategy for your ecommerce store.
That involves understanding everything – including how many people use eBay, its biggest markets, and their best-selling product categories.
In this article, we’ll present to you the ten most important eBay statistics you need to know in 2021.
If you’re serious about launching an ecommerce business on eBay, then you definitely need to take notice of this eBay dropshipping guide.
- 1. Number of eBay Users
- 2. eBay App Usage and Downloads
- 3. Top-Selling Product Categories on eBay
- 4. Number of eBay Listings
- 5. eBay’s Gross Merchandise Volume
- 6. Importance of Mobile to eBay’s GMV
- 7. Promoted Listings on eBay
- 8. Free Shipping on eBay
- 9. Ebay Listings: New or Used
- 10. Distribution of eBay Sellers
- Summary: eBay Statistics
- Want to Learn More?
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1. Number of eBay Users
One of the very first eBay statistics sellers should know concerns its usage – how many people use eBay.
As of Q1 2021, there are 187 million eBay users worldwide. This marks a 1.08 percent growth in the number of eBay users from the previous quarter and a 7.47 percent increase from the year before (eBay, 2021).
The company attributes a part of its quarterly growth to its ongoing SEO efforts in its key categories. More specifically, the number of active buyers in the trading cards category doubled and new buyers for sneakers reaching the platform through SEO tripled.
Aside from a few dips in 2016 and 2019, the number of eBay users has been increasing steadily since the start of the previous decade. Back then, there were just 89.5 million active buyers on the online marketplace – less than half of what it has today.
Even though eBay’s a US-registered company, its users are scattered across 190 different markets. In fact, 57 percent of eBay’s total revenue comes from its international operations.
2. eBay App Usage and Downloads
The eBay app has been downloaded a total of 476 million times. In the US, the app is proving to be particularly popular.
This makes the eBay app the third-most popular mobile shopping app among shoppers in the US, behind ecommerce giant Amazon’s and Walmart’s mobile apps, which are used by 80 percent and 43.8 percent of US mobile users respectively.
The eBay app also offers the highest reach among all Android retail apps worldwide. It’s estimated 6.27 percent of all Android users can be reached with the eBay app – much higher than that of Amazon (0.97 percent) and Walmart (1.78 percent).
3. Top-Selling Product Categories on eBay
“Electronics & Accessories” is the top-selling product category from eBay with 16.4 percent of all items sold on eBay falling into this category (Edison Trends, 2018).
Not surprisingly, this ties in with what most eBay users search for.
If you’re interested in selling electronic goods and accessories, you might want to consider Bluetooth-related items. Five of the 12 most-sold electronic items on eBay this year offer Bluetooth capabilities.
But if electronics aren’t your thing, clothing and accessories are nearly quite as lucrative – 16 percent of all products sold on eBay are from this category.
“Automotive” (11 percent), “Health & Beauty” (9 percent), and “Sports & Outdoors” complete the list of the five best-selling product categories on eBay.
4. Number of eBay Listings
Here’s another eBay statistic that could affect your decision on how and what to sell: there are a total of 1.7 billion listings on eBay (eBay, 2021).
That’s more than nine times the number of eBay buyers, which means there are a lot of products vying for the attention of 187 million buyers! With electronics and accessories as eBay’s top-selling product category, expect all sellers to want a piece of that pie.
Undoubtedly, competition for sales is high, which means you must be prepared to go the extra mile with optimizing your product listings. Writing informative product descriptions and including relevant keywords will help send your products higher on eBay’s search results pages.
However, you shouldn’t only be considering the top-selling categories because there are plenty of other ways to get your products selling on eBay.
For sellers who are still unsure about what they should sell online, eBay actually has an extremely handy page that can help sellers decide what to list and sell. Their “best selling items” page has a list of products that serves as a guide for potential sellers. Not only does it recommend categories, but it also dives into specific items in each category.
5. eBay’s Gross Merchandise Volume
eBay prides itself as an online platform to discover “great value and unique selection” and it sure has numbers to back that up.
The latest eBay statistics from the first quarter of 2021 show that the amount of gross merchandise volume (GMV) on its marketplace hit $27.5 billion (eBay, 2021).
In layman’s terms, that means that $27.5 billion worth of goods were bought and sold on its marketplace platforms during this period. This figure includes its mobile apps, localized counterparts, and ebay.com itself.
Of the $27.5 billion in GMV, the majority of it came from eBay’s international buyers, who are responsible for $17.1 billion (or 62.2 percent) of the overall GMV of the quarter.
Though the total transacted value in Q1 2021 is only 3.4 percent higher than that of the previous quarter, it marks an impressive 29.2 percent year-over-year increase. In fact, at just over $3 billion, eBay’s revenue in the first quarter of 2021 increased 42 percent year-over-year – the fastest growth rate since 2005.
6. Importance of Mobile to eBay’s GMV
With consumers spending increasingly more time on mobile devices, many are now researching for and even purchasing products with their mobile phones. That said, expect eBay to place significant emphasis on its mobile apps going forward.
This is especially since 63 percent of eBay’s marketplace GMV involves a mobile touchpoint (eBay, 2019). This is a 10 percentage point increase from 2017 when the company launched what it called “eBay 4.0” – an app update with improved features for both buyers and sellers in a bid to boost company sales figures. Currently, more than half of all of eBay’s transactions are viewed on a mobile device before the purchase is carried out. So if you’re an ecommerce owner looking to sell on eBay, we recommend you go the extra mile to ensure that your product listings on the platform are optimized for mobile users.
7. Promoted Listings on eBay
With its massive pool of 1.3 billion eBay listings, it’s no wonder some eBay sellers are opting to invest a little more in advertising to ensure their listings are able to cut through the crowd and reach users.
As it stands, more than 940,000 sellers are using eBay’s “promoted listings” feature on over 250 million listings (eBay, 2019). This helps sellers to boost their listings’ visibility and consequently, sales.
Using eBay’s prompted listings presents a win-win situation for both eBay and its sellers. Sellers can choose the rate they would like to apply to the listing and sellers are only charged for the promotion if the item is sold.
Clearly, it’s a feature that’s worked extremely well. This has helped to generate $89 million in revenue for eBay from just the second quarter of 2019 alone, marking a year-over-year growth rate of over 130 percent.
8. Free Shipping on eBay
If you want to take your eBay business even further, you may want to consider offering free shipping. As it stands, 71 percent of all purchases made on eBay have been shipped for free (eBay, 2019).
According to eBay, this is an added incentive that helps to attract more buyers and boost visibility by having listings placed higher in search results.
But even though free shipping may be an attractive option for buyers, as a seller, you may want to give this option a bit more thought.
Depending on the product you’re selling, offering free shipping may end up costing you more. This is especially for bulkier items sold to buyers in inaccessible areas or who are located far away from you.
Before you decide, you may want to check out our article on whether you should offer free shipping to help guide your decision.
9. Ebay Listings: New or Used
80 percent of all goods sold on eBay are new (PR Newswire, 2018). But in terms of sell-through rate, used items are actually outperforming new items.
(It might be interesting to point out that the very first item sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer!)
Globally, more than half of all used items listed on eBay get sold, as opposed to one-third of new items. However, the figures are pretty different for items sold on eBay US, with sell-through rates of 56.3 percent for new items and 39.8 percent for used items.
Regardless of whether you decide to sell new or used items, make sure to list its condition accordingly and correctly or you may be in violation of eBay’s selling practices policy.
eBay offers different tag options for both new and used items that vary according to the item and the condition it’s in. For example, a new pair of shoes can be listed as “new with box” or “new – open box”. Likewise, a second-hand book’s condition can be “like new”, “very good”, “good”, or “acceptable”.
10. Distribution of eBay Sellers
If the above eBay statistics still aren’t enough to convince you of the online marketplace’s popularity in the US, here’s another fact that can attest to that: nearly three out of every ten (28 percent, to be exact) of all eBay sellers are in the US (Statista, 2019).
That makes seven million US sellers out of the 25 million eBay sellers around the globe.
The second largest group of eBay sellers lies across the Atlantic in the UK, where 25 percent of all eBay sellers are. That means more than half of all eBay sellers worldwide are located in either of these two countries.
This is followed by China (17 percent) and Germany (16 percent). These four markets are home to 86 percent of all eBay sellers.
Australia completes the list of the top five countries where eBay sellers are located, with three percent of sellers from the land Down Under.
Now that you’ve been presented with the above-mentioned eBay statistics, you have a better idea of the preferences of eBay users as well as some characteristics of eBay listings. With that, you can start getting your eBay strategy up and running to give your competitors who are already on there a run for their money or to get a headstart on those who have yet to realize the ecommerce potential eBay holds. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out the best dropshipping products to sell this fall for ideas!
Summary: eBay Statistics
Here’s a summary of the eBay statistics you need to know in 2021:
- There are 187 million eBay users worldwide.
- The eBay app is used by 34.9 percent of all US mobile users.
- 16.4 percent of items sold on eBay fall in the “Electronics & Accessories” category, the top-selling category.
- There are 1.7 billion listings on eBay.
- $27.5 billion worth of goods were bought and sold on eBay’s marketplace platforms in Q1 2021.
- More than 60 percent of eBay’s marketplace GMV involves a mobile touchpoint.
- 940,000 eBay sellers use the “Promoted Listings” feature on over 250 million listings.
- 71 percent of eBay purchases are shipped for free.
- 80 percent of goods sold on eBay are new.
- 28 percent of eBay sellers are in the US.
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Is there anything else you’d like to know about eBay statistics and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!