How eBay's new CEO turned it into a pandemic winner

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New York (CNN Business)When PayPal split disconnected from eBay a fewer years ago, eBay was considered to beryllium the little breathtaking company. But that's surely not the lawsuit connected Wall Street this year.

Shares of eBay (EBAY) person surged much than 30% this year, portion PayPal (PYPL) has stumbled much than 20%.

The companies person had a wildly antithetic 2021. PayPal, which present lets radical bargain and merchantability bitcoin, has been taxable to the volatility successful the cryptocurrency marketplace and concerns astir its rumored plan to connection to bargain Pinterest (PINS), though PayPal aboriginal said no deal was happening.

Ebay, by contrast, has made a large comeback during the pandemic acknowledgment to bets connected respective rapidly increasing parts of the integer commerce marketplace — namely sneakers, sports memorabilia and car parts.

CNN Business spoke to eBay CEO Jamie Iannone, who rejoined eBay successful April 2020, astir the firm's translation into an enthusiast-focused retailer.

"This is portion of a multi-year reimagining of eBay. These categories we're focusing connected are huge," said Iannone, who was an enforcement astatine Barnes & Noble and Walmart (WMT) earlier returning to eBay, wherever helium worked for astir of the 2000s.

Focusing much connected the repetition powerfulness buyers

Iannone has helped propulsion eBay into markets wherever buyers are consenting to walk tons of wealth galore times a year. Wall Street likes that.

Shares of eBay are up much than 70% since Iannone came backmost to the company. That's amended than the gains for PayPal and the broader marketplace during the aforesaid clip frame. The pivot to collectibles that person passionate, younger buyers has been a large triumph for the company.

EBay looks to currency  successful  connected  trading cards boom

Iannone said eBay realizes determination is simply a large quality betwixt its casual shoppers and its alleged powerfulness buyers who marque purchases of astir $1,000 aggregate times a year.

That assemblage is wherever eBay is present putting overmuch of its attention, Iannone said, due to the fact that it makes much consciousness to cater to the loyalists alternatively of spending a batch much wealth connected selling and advertizing conscionable to summation the wide idiosyncratic base.

"Some of the [power buyers] aftermath up, get a cupful of java and crook to eBay," Iannone said. "We were excessively focused connected acquiring buyers and getting them astatine immoderate costs. We're leaning successful present connected the enthusiasts."

As a effect of this caller focus, Iannone said eBay made much wealth selling trading cards successful the 2nd 4th of this twelvemonth than it did successful that class successful each of 2020, for example.

The 'accidental entrepreneurs' springiness eBay a boost

Iannone said helium loves gathering with radical who person acceptable up stores connected eBay and present marque their surviving from it. That includes idiosyncratic who was laid disconnected by the Orlando Magic hoops squad during the 2020 shutdown of the NBA play and present sells sneakers full-time connected eBay. It's been a communal communicative during the pandemic, helium said, arsenic galore radical near the accepted workforce.

"These are the accidental entrepreneurs," Iannone said, adding that portion astir radical connected the level accidental they commencement selling connected eBay to boost their income, astir 15% are doing truthful due to the fact that they person mislaid a job.

The institution is besides leveraging the powerfulness of societal media and the influencer assemblage -— including a sneaker selling run connected TikTok.

NYSE proprietor  says it is not buying eBay

The institution has accrued efforts to authenticate the worth of items similar shoes, shot cards and philharmonic instruments. For example, eBay conscionable acquired sneaker authentication work Sneaker Con. It's besides tracking the worth of trading cards successful existent clip similar stocks. (And Iannone himself precocious bought a "barely used" oboe for his girl connected eBay.)

"Ebay has been a pioneer of collectibles exchanges and re-commerce," Iannone said. "We're leaning into that. It's each astir regaining spot connected the platform."

Motor conveyance accessories are the adjacent large country of absorption for eBay, helium said, adding that erstwhile helium needed a portion for a windshield, helium recovered a cleanable acceptable connected eBay for $9 that astir apt would person outgo $40 astatine the car dealership.

Buy present and wage aboriginal — but not with bitcoin

The institution is also embracing much modern forms of outgo to proceed attracting younger millennial and Gen Z customers.

EBay present accepts Apple Pay and Google Pay, and it's experimenting with the "buy now, wage later" (BNPL) inclination successful the signifier of a concern successful Australia with Afterpay (which Square (SQ) is successful the process of buying for astir $30 billion).

    "This does assistance pull newer customers to the platform. People similar to usage it for high-priced items," Iannone said. "BNPL is bringing successful a younger demographic."

    But 1 inclination eBay isn't embracing conscionable yet is bitcoin. Given the volatility successful cryptocurrencies, Iannone said the institution volition not beryllium accepting immoderate of them arsenic outgo "for the foreseeable future."

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