Industry News & Trends

eBay sells 3 mmmmillion vehicles

Hello Jeff,

eBay Motors has announced its three millionth vehicle has sold on the site since its launch as a formal category in 2000. This milestone demonstrates the strength of the eBay Motors platform and the ever-increasing interest in buying and selling vehicles online.

A full press release is below for your review.

If interested to learn more, I would be able to connect you with Rob Chesney, vice president of eBay Motors.

Let me know if I can be of assistance.

Thank you for your time.


Allen Arnold
Airfoil Public Relations
P: (248) 304-1423

**Sorry for the quick post,
I’m in FL for the Digital Dealer Conference but wanted to get this out encase anyone was interested on knowing about it.  If you have some comments or feedback…post it and I will do my best to get Rob Chesney on answer any questions.


eBay Reimburses Buyer, Giving a New York Construction Worker a New Start

SAN JOSE, Calif. (April 17, 2008) – eBay Motors ( announced today that its three millionth passenger vehicle has sold in the U.S.

The milestone vehicle is a 2002 Ford F-250 pickup truck purchased by Patricia Weidler of Otego, N.Y., to help her husband, Dan, start his own construction business. The couple bought the pickup from 8-year eBay veteran David Pelis, of Pelis Auto Sales in Northampton, Mass. In celebration of the purchase, eBay Motors reimbursed the Weidlers, plus provided $3,000 in parts and accessories to help get their construction company started. For more details, visit   

Dan, a long-time construction worker and volunteer for the New York Steel Union following the 9/11 tragedy, became sick with Lyme disease a year ago and struggled to maintain his three-hour work commute to the city each day. The Weidlers began planning to start a local construction business that would allow Dan to work closer to home with more flexibility. To get started, Dan needed a truck of his own.

“I knew having his own business would help him feel better,” Patricia said. “I found the perfect truck on eBay Motors, bought it for almost half the list price and was thrilled!”

“We’re happy we were able to help empower the Weidlers to get a new start,” said Rob Chesney, vice president of eBay Motors. “With our wide selection, user-friendly features and competitive prices, eBay Motors empowers our community to have the best car-buying experience possible.”

Patricia said her options were limited shopping for a car in their rural town. She went to eBay Motors to search outside the immediate area and feels she saved more than $5,000 by shopping on the site, purchasing the truck for only $8,886.

As more people recognize the opportunity to save time and money while choosing from a comprehensive selection, eBay Motors has become the most trusted and visited destination for researching and buying vehicles online.* A passenger vehicle sells on the site every 56 seconds. 

“Recent enhanced search capabilities and other vehicle research tools have simplified the purchase process for buyers, helping propel us to this milestone,” said Chesney.

Since it launched as a formal category in 2000, eBay Motors has constantly worked to improve the online automotive experience.  Recently, a number of changes launched based on user feedback, including the enhanced eBay Motors Local Market feature that allows users to search for vehicle listings within their zip code and a Kelley Blue Book tool that helps users gauge the value of the vehicle directly on the site. Additionally, users can shop with the new side-by-side comparison feature to view multiple listings all on one page.

About eBay Inc.

Founded in 1995, eBay Inc. connects hundreds of millions of people around the world every day, empowering them to explore new opportunities and innovate together. eBay Inc. does this by providing the Internet platforms of choice for global commerce, payments and communications. Since its inception, eBay Inc. has expanded to include some of the strongest brands in the world, including eBay, PayPal, Skype, StubHub,, and others. eBay Inc. is headquartered in San Jose, California.
About eBay Motors

eBay Motors (, a part of eBay Inc., is the Internet’s largest marketplace for buying and selling all things automotive.  The site offers everyday cars for everyday drivers, as well as collector cars, motorcycles, auto parts and accessories. eBay Motors is consistently ranked the No. 1 automotive site on the Web by Nielsen//NetRatings.

* According to Nielsen//NetRatings, eBay Motors is consistently ranked the No. 1 automotive site on the Web with 34% of all online automotive minutes spent on the site and more than 11 million unique visitors per month. (December ‘07)

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
  • L
    Lao Shi
  • April 22, 2008

It is wonderful to see a success story like this amongst all the doom and gloom we read and hear about. True to form the affect the Internet has on the industry's sales as well as posting prices and information about the vehicles. So much for dealers who still think it is smart to not show price and inventory on their web sites, “Make em come in” school of sales management”

The amazing thing is that the phenomenon is just beginning. Yahoo’s new format for selling cars on line as well as Google’s new plans will add to this growing number.

Another great piece of news is The Beijing Auto Show and China's auto market is making a statement this week. We will be a major factor in the automobile industry as consumers and OEMs.

This show is unbelievable and has only just begun. The excitement is unbelievable as the old feelings about the industry are rekindled with enthusiasm, anticipation and excitement. Not only are there more cars in this show to make it the worlds largest the women are unbelievable gorgeous and there are sooooo many.

If we think ecommerce is big in the US wait until you see what they are doing here. Yahoo, Google, ebay and many others are all looking for the opportunities.

This show runs through 28th. With 900 vehicles on display this event is expected to attract more than 600k visitors, hmmmm, do not want to be here the last two days. Car sales in China are up 21.4 percent over last year, 2.5 million cars sold in the first quarter. Total sales are predicted to reach 10m vehicles in 2008.

Just two years ago, the Beijing auto show took place in a small cramped space in Beijing’s city center. The show alternates with Shanghai’s show, opens this week for six-days. Last years show in Shanghai was impressive and this year is a real WOW, God only knows what they have planned for next year. The Auto Show China 2008 is the first show in the new International Exhibition Centre; it must be the world’s largest certainly the most impressive, tech wise you got to love it here. Ecommerce is alive and well as there are thousands of kids all working the angle to make their first million this year. We “make way” for the men and women who boldly push past us on their way to their fortune.

  • J
  • April 23, 2008
I'd be interested in hearing the DR dealers' points of view on this topic. I'm frequently asked by clients and prospective clients what my thoughts on eBay are. I have two thoughts on the matter:

First, from personal experience selling probably 5 or 6 cars on eBay over the years, it seems to be a marketplace where final prices end up between wholesale and retail. I know there are dealers out there who don't just dump aged units on eBay, but they list everything on the lot. What seems to work best in these cases? Or do you treat eBay as more of a lead generating service for in-market shoppers? I know eBay seems to bring better prices for the rare stuff like classic cars or exotics, but what about the average $20k car?

Second, from a reach perspective, eBay has done a tremendous job of getting the shoppers on the site. Ask 100 private party sellers where the best place to sell a car would be and I bet half of them say eBay. As a dealer it's tough to beat the kind of targeted exposure that eBay offers. How do you as a dealer handle the high number of shoppers who are looking for cars $5000 below book?
Selling $5000.00 and under autos works great on ebay,
however with our dealership we have a very successful buy here pay here program and we have to resort to ebay to buy vehicles in that price range. Auctions have become a breeding ground for exporters and deals on buy here pay here inventory have become non existent.

Oh and I would chose craigslist since it is free
  • C
    Chris K
  • April 23, 2008
We've tried eBay but unless you are willing to pay $50 to sell a vehicle on eBay, which will ultimately require a dealer to give up any chance of profit, and throw away all your hold back, and ungodly follow up time - go for it. It's not a marketplace for new cars! I have had more success with Craigslist in the past 3 months, than the last 8 years with eBay. Wholesale cars seem to be the niche for eBay, and with hundreds of millions of them on the road, it's nice to see seller find some success through eBay.
eBay is awesome for squirrels. And no, I don't mean the bushy-tailed customers, I mean the squirrelly cars: inexpensive "wholesale" units and the rarest of the rare stuff. Highline works very well, but only if it is stuff that isn't easily attainable to everyone: ie. 1,3,5,7 Series BMW's and that sort. However, the occasional M cars can do okay....when you honor the eBay price :)
I was a featured speaker for Ebay Motors at NADA 2004 in Vegas.

My $0.02.
Ebay use to be a selling bonanza (details below). Today, Its viable if you have the right inventory, you're located in the Ebay sales sweet spot and... you're are not in NY.

Ebay Opportunity #1
Ebay retailing sweet spots are found within a 1-2 hour drive from a major city (i.e. NY, Bost, Atlanta, Jax, Dallas..hell any where in TX for that matter!, Chi, Denver, etc..) Not only do you have the zllion buyers in "your" megalopolis to sell to , flights in are easy, cheap and often direct, PLUS, shipping options are far easier to execute.

Ebay Opportunity #2
A Vacation Destination. Fly in, drive home.

Lemon Law.
NY retailers are bound to honor NY's very rigid Lemon Law. If you follow the letter of the law, Reconditioning costs are very high.

Why Ebay lost its luster...
As I recall, back in 03-04, Ebays rate increases shook out the millions & millions of hobbiest / part timers that amused themselves with all things on ebay. Take those "players" out of the game and we were left with shoppers that didnt have a clue what a reserve was. We sold 99% of our ebay sales over the phone.

All the late bloomers in the auto dealer retail world finally woke up and started agressively marketing on the net. The early adopters lost their advantage.

just my 2 pennies.
Two points, first - the number one most hit automotive website is eBay Motors. Is it wise to ignore the one place online where more folks go then anywhere else? If you have eBay Local, make sure you take your monthly reports and graph the results against your AutoTrader,, etc - I think you will be surprised. Second - of all my lead sources online, eBay leads are the trickiest to work with, though we have found the closing rate for our eBay Local leads to be one of our top providers. I believe most dealers struggle with eBay, so they write them off as quick as they can. My two cents is that dealers must rise to the challenge and learn how to work eBay well, as their presence online cannot be ignored. Kevin Frye/eCommerce Director Jeff Wyler Auto Family
I used to run one of the main branches of eBay Motors (2000-2002) when it was first getting started. I am still very thankful that they gave me that opportunity.

Back then we were focused on proving the viability of the Internet as a whole as a remarketing or retail venue. We didn't have access to template companies that allowed the ease of listing vehicles that is available now. In other words, it was a pain.

We were experimenting a lot and signed pilots with major leasing companies and banks to remarket their vehicles online. We would do so under the premise that we would sell the vehicle quicker and bring the same or more than Black Book Wholesale Average. At that time, most of these companies would sell these vehicles for around 95-97% of BBWA. Our goal was to get more and do it quicker than typical "auction" means.

We did just that! We were selling vehicles that we never seen, started or inspected for just over BBWA, with no information and some pictures taken in the dark. Seriously.

The reason I mention this is because I feel that I can harness the power of eBay about as good as anyone. After I left, I tried it in multiple applications over multiple companies and the results where o.k. in that it generated a lot of traffic but the results as a "retailer" were difficult to substantiate.

eBay is the best online "auction" out there. People go to auctions to find those rare gems and/or to get a deal. Our goal was to get BBWA and I am sure most dealers want closer to retail.

Plus, to add to that, the fees and time invested to do it right can kill you. In addition to this there is arbitration, seller mis-representations, non paying bidders, scams and challenges when people want to use Paypal.

So, I am very happy for eBay and this milestone. eBay will continue to dominate in regards to unique, exotic, hard to find vehicles and to the eBay addicts.

They will also do well with the sub $5k vehicles and the bargains.

Listing all your Tauruses, G6's and Sonatas, unless you are a price leader will result in my opinion in poor ROI.

BTW, Rob Chesney is a great guy and always seems willing to listen to suggestions as to how to get better. Give him your feedback if it isn't working for you or your model.

  • F
  • May 11, 2010
Good for you and us.Thanks for saying this in such an eloquent and approachable way