eBay buys Twice in first growth move since PayPal spinoff

In its first business play after splitting from PayPal on Friday, eBay has acquired part of a used clothing e-retailer to bolster its online consignment business.

eBay will buy the core technology from Twice, a San Francisco Web company that sells used clothing mailed to them, and splits the proceeds with consumer-sellers. eBay will also hire 10 engineers and technical experts from Twice, including the two co-founders, who started the company in 2012, an eBay spokesman said.

The remaining 30 full-time employees and 200 part-time employees have lost their jobs as a result of this acquisition, the spokesman said. They have been offered severance packages from Twice. eBay declined to disclose how much they were paying in the deal.

The remainder of Twice’s operations — its warehouses for receiving and shipping clothes, website and customer service operations — will shut down. The Twice website is not accepting any new items to sell, and is offering 30 percent off purchases through Wednesday.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the month.

eBay plans to use Twice’s technology to help power its new service, eBay Valet, which allows people to send collectibles, electronics other items to third-party merchants to sell for them. Last month, eBay Valet jumped into clothing — Twice’s main focus. Twice’s technology will help improve eBay’s logistics in collecting items to sell, listing and pricing them on the site, and shipping them out to buyers. Twice had offered a fairly seamless system where customers who wanted to sell clothes could download a prepaid shipping label on the website, package their items and ship them to one of Twice’s warehouses.

Twice raised $23 million from investors.

The acquisition dovetails with the agenda laid out by new eBay CEO Devin Wenig, who said last week in an interview with the Mercury News that, after PayPal’s spinoff Friday, he wanted to return the company’s focus to recruiting and retaining more small sellers, and growing eBay’s consignment offerings.

“We’re not limiting ourselves,” Wenig said. “But I don’t feel the need to try to do all things for all people.”

eBay has done a bunch of housekeeping in that effort, selling its Enterprise unit last week for $925 million and selling back shares of Craigslist it had owned for years.

On a conference call with investors to discuss eBay’s first-quarter earnings, Wenig said: “An estimated $100 billion of value is trapped in people’s closets and garages, and that’s just in the US. This is an enormous opportunity.”

eBay stock is up 6.6 percent since opening bell Monday.

Photo: The sign at eBay headquarters in San Jose, Calif. is photographed on Friday, April 19, 2013. By Gary Reyes/ Bay Area News Group.


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  • So the company that has constantly said that, unlike Amazon, it is never going to compete with its independent sellers, is now going to compete directly with its independent sellers; eBay has in the past attempted several iterations of such consignment service and all have failed—this smells of utter desperation to me, and …

    The reality is, the eBay/PayPal “split” is no split at all, both of these clunky operators are effectively still joined at the hip and, neither has much future; not even PayPal once the sham “spin-off” arrangements between these two unscrupulous entities eventually expire, and, even without the destructive guiding hand of the ex Bain & Co. cretin, Johnny Ho, the eBay marketplace will undoubtedly continue on its journey down the toilet …

    PayPal may presently be number one in the eyes of many online payers but not so in the eyes of many of the small business payees that invariably bear the brunt of PayPal’s clunky, unregulated, faux “banking” operations. The fact is, “PreyPal” is licensed only as a “money transmitter”, not as a bank and, in the main, operates as a parasitic intermediary, a “merchant of sorts” (PayPal’s own words) that rides on the back of the retail banks’ existing payment systems via a credit card merchant account with one of those retail banks … http://bit.ly/1nSA1Zl

    The reality is, these two unscrupulous commercial entities still very much need each other; in particular, the clunky “PreyPal” desperately still needs the business it gets from eBay—hence the five-year exclusivity agreement to try to maximise and underpin PayPal’s market value; regardless, as eBay continues to atrophy, as indeed it undoubtedly will, so too will “PreyPal” atrophy, and if “PreyPal” does not simply whither away along with eBay, then there are now a number of other more professional operators that are presently preparing the hole in the ground for clunky PayPal’s ultimate interment …

    Undoubtedly, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, et al, will soon enough overwhelm PayPal’s petty and clunky contribution to mobile payments (next time you visit Home Depot, ask the cashier how “Pay Here With PayPal” is going—LOL); methinks Facebook Payments will likely soon bury PayPal in the person-to-person (C2C) payments sphere (David Marcus certainly made the right move); and the new online retail payments offerings direct from the world’s retail banks via MasterCard (“MasterPass”) and Visa (“Visa Checkout”) will eventually bury PayPal’s online payments operations also—except on the likes of the eBay marketplace where PayPal’s “spin-off” from eBay—a spin-off that eBay’s Johnny Ho fought tooth and nail against—will go down as the greatest commercial “pea and thimble” trick of the twenty-first century …

    Having said that, it should be noted that, being into the eighth (and final) year of his failed “three-year turnaround” of eBay, and in the process thereof having brought the eBay marketplace virtually to its knees, the cretinous Johnny Ho has now removed his destructive capabilities from eBay to the spun-off PayPal, and that being the case, potential long term investors should be warned that they invest in either eBay’s or PayPal’s future at their very great peril; indeed, existing eBay/PayPal shareholders should cash in their shares and run …

    In August 2007, when the cretinous Johnny Ho was already effectively in control of eBay, both eBay’s and Amazon’s shares were ~$40. What are the shares worth now?

    PYPL ~$40; EBAY ~$29; AMZN ~$487—LOL …

    “Money, not morality, is the principle of commerce …”—Thomas Jefferson.

    Demonstrably, that principle applies, in spades, to both eBay and “PreyPal” …

    And, not even the criminal code gets in the way of commerce at eBay Inc. eBay will directly cheat sellers, and calculatingly facilitate and aid and abet the defrauding of buyers by others as long as there is a benefit in such activity for them … “Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #5” … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

    eBay’s fanboys and paid shills should worry; in five years time when the current exclusivity agreement between these two unscrupulous commercial entities expires, they both most likely will be by then in the palliative care ward, and methinks that Carl Icahn will be by then applying reverse pressure to get (then) PayPal’s cretinous Johnny Ho to agree to allow eBay to re-buy the dying “PreyPal”, or for “PreyPal” to buy the dying eBay, (either way for 99c) so that they can both attempt to continue underwriting each others’ atrophying revenues …

    And, eBay looks set to take a ~$1.5 billion bath on the sale of its Enterprise unit for $925 million. Needless to say this unit was another of the cretinous Johnny Ho’s brilliant acquisitions …

    The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

  • mister oddjob

    buy on ebay! When something doesn’t work or if you change your mind. Just complain to ebay and they will always make the seller return your money. sometimes you even get to keep the item. EBAY IS ALWAYS ON THE BUYERS SIDE!