Even I am starting to get worried. Despite a Free Listings Day in the US, week 7 listings metrics have not improved. Year over year growth, according to Merrill Lynch, even deteriorated a little further with core listings moving from down 9.2% last week to down 9.3% this week. It is reasonable to assume that without this promotion, eBay listings would have continued their more pronounced downward trend this week. But as eBay management are quick to point out, absolute listing data is not everything. While listings data is negative, core/store product mix, ASP's, conversion rates, and FX are all working in eBay's favor. As an example, lets take eBay's Q207 results, in which, despite having 6% drop in year over year listings, GMV actually grew 12%.
In Q3 we are likely to see similar effects. The problem is that instead of starting with a 6% drop in listings, it is currently looking like we will start at a 12% drop. This means that even if eBay manage to squeeze out 18 points of growth from mix, conversions, ASPs and FX, we will still only reach single-digit Y/Y GMV growth rates. This may not seem so bad given the circumstances, but for eBay, it will be the first time in its history as a public company that GMV growth is a single-digit. Not a great way to start the all-critical Q4.