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Number Of Active Buyers On eBay At Lowest Level In 5 Years – 159M in Q2 2021

Robert Pascal
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eBay is one of the pioneers of e-commerce but competition in recent times has eroded its dominance. In more recent times, eBay has had to yield to Amazon which is now the pre-eminent name in e-commerce. According to, the number of active buyers on eBay is at its lowest level since Q2 2016 after recording just 159M active users in Q2 2021.

Number Of Active Buyers Lowest Since 2016

eBay, as we know it today, was founded in 1995 and was one of the early success stories of the dot-com bubble. As one of the pioneers of e-commerce, eBay dominated the 2000’s and was the largest e-commerce site of the decade. Since then, names such as Amazon and more recently, Alibaba, have emerged and have eroded the influence that eBay once had.

One metric where this is evident is the plateauing and even decline of the number of active buyers on eBay. Since 2010 the number of active buyers had steadily increased from 89.5M all the way to a high of 179M in Q4 2019. This record high was short-lived, however, as the number of active buyers has since experienced periods of plateauing and sharp QoQ dropoffs. In Q2 2021 eBay reported 159M active buyers, its lowest number since Q2 2016 when the company had 158M, active buyers.

Revenue Grew In 2020 But Still Lags Behind Amazon’s Growth

Despite this decrease in active buyers, eBay’s revenue still benefitted from the lockdowns of 2020 when e-commerce experienced a surge in engagement. eBay’s annual net revenue decreased by 12.86% from 2017-2018 and amounted to just $8.64B after falling from almost $10B in 2017.

In 2020, revenue experienced its first growth year since 2017 after experiencing a substantial 18.93% increase as a direct result of the lockdowns imposed by the pandemic. Despite this growth, however, a comparison with Amazon shows how much further eBay is lagging behind.

Amazon doubled eBay’s revenue growth in 2020, taking full advantage of the couch commerce that emerged from the pandemic. But even before the pandemic, eBay’s revenue growth had failed to reach double digits since 2014 while Amazon had recorded at least a 20% growth in the same time period.

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