eBay Statistics: Insights and Trends (2024)

Whether you’re already an eBay seller, or only thinking about selling on eBay occasionally, statistics are a sure way to prove which direction is best to consider for your online store. Today, we will delve deep into eBay revenue throughout the years, eBay sales statistics by category, and much more.

When Was eBay Established? 

Established in 1995 as a platform for auction-style sales, eBay swiftly expanded its horizons, becoming a global marketplace for both new and second-hand items. Today, its influence stretches across continents, reaching millions of buyers and sellers alike. The statistics provided in this article are intended to give eBay sellers with insight into potential eBay selling opportunities.

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eBay Statistic Overview

Online marketplaces have revolutionized the way we shop, offering a wide array of products at our fingertips. A recent study by Statista sheds light on the dominance and reach of these platforms in the U.S. market as of April 2023. 

most popular online marketplaces

Amazon is at the top of the list, with a whopping 58.03% share of online visits. Trailing behind, but still maintaining a strong presence, is eBay with a 13.11% share. The results demonstrate eBay’s enduring relevance, even in a market increasingly dominated by Amazon. 

Walmart also maintains its lead in the online market with a 6.53% share, demonstrating its successful transition from a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer to a significant online player. Etsy, known for unique and handmade items, accounted for 5.02% of visits. 

Lastly, Target, another retail giant, holds a 2.64% share, underscoring its efforts to boost its online footprint. These eBay stats emphasize the competitive nature of online retail and highlight the importance of innovation and customer engagement in retaining and growing market share.

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What Does This Mean for eBay Sellers? 

First and foremost, despite the towering presence of Amazon, eBay still commands a respectable 13.11% share of online visits as of April 2023. This indicates that eBay remains a formidable platform with a vast and engaged customer base. Sellers can leverage this large audience to diversify their online presence and reach a different segment of buyers.

However, the competition is fierce. With Amazon dominating the market, eCommerce sellers must bring their A-game when listing on eBay. This entails providing high-quality product images, crafting compelling product descriptions, offering competitive pricing, and ensuring top-notch customer service.

Moreover, the rise of platforms such as Walmart and Etsy suggests that eCommerce is not a one-size-fits-all business. Different platforms cater to different demographics and offer unique selling propositions. For instance, while Etsy caters to a niche of handmade and unique products, Walmart and Target, being traditional retailers, might appeal to a demographic looking for established brands or specific product categories.

All in all, the data suggests that while eBay remains a relevant and viable platform for eCommerce sellers, it’s crucial to approach it with a tailored strategy. Understanding the platform’s audience, staying up-to-date on market trends, and differentiating oneself from competitors are essential steps to achieving success on eBay.

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eBay Seller Statistics

The eBay Seller Statistics reveal a transformative trajectory in the retail landscape, particularly in the U.S. The data depicts the growing importance and influence of eCommerce on total retail sales over the past decade. In 2013, eCommerce made up a modest 5.8% of total retail sales. However, according to Statista, by 2025, this figure is projected to rise to 21.9%.

ecommerce as percentage of total sales

Diving deeper into the data, we notice a steady progression in the earlier years. By 2019, eCommerce accounted for 11.1% of total sales. Yet, a remarkable shift occurred in 2020, when the figure surged to 14.2% — a 3.1% leap from the previous year. This could be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which prompted a radical change in consumer behavior. As brick-and-mortar stores faced restrictions or shutdowns, and consumers prioritized safety, online shopping became the preferred, if not the only, option for many.

Interestingly, the eCommerce percentage remained stagnant at 14.2% in 2021, suggesting that the rapid adoption of online shopping in the previous year had reached a temporary plateau or that consumers returned to physical stores as restrictions eased. Nevertheless, the projection for 2023 shows another leap, with eCommerce constituting 17.9% of total sales. By 2025, almost 22% of all retail sales in the U.S. are expected to be online.

For eBay sellers and other eCommerce merchants, these figures underscore a clear trend: the digital marketplace is not just a supplementary channel but is increasingly becoming a dominant force in the retail sector. Sellers should prepare for this ongoing digital shift, optimizing their online presence, improving customer experience, and ensuring they are well-equipped to handle the increasing volume and demands of online consumers.

eCommerce’s Share of Total Retail Sales in the US

2013 5.8%

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eBay Advertising Statistics 

Another important seller statistic showcases the change in digital retail media advertising spending in the US from 2020 to 2025.

change in digital retail media advertising spending

The evolution of digital retail media advertising spending in the U.S. from 2020 to 2025 provides interesting insights into the evolution of digital marketing in the retail sector. In 2020, a significant 53.3% of advertising spending was channeled into digital retail media, reflecting the rise of eCommerce and the urgency for businesses to capture online audiences. 

However, the subsequent year, 2021, witnessed a decline to 49.3%. This reduction might suggest that many businesses, after heavily investing in digital advertising during the early pandemic months, decided to reevaluate or diversify their advertising strategies, or perhaps even faced budget constraints due to economic challenges.

The most striking transformation occurred in 2022, where the percentage plummeted to 21.5%. This sharp decline could be indicative of several factors, such as market saturation, the evolution of alternative advertising mediums, or a strategic shift in the retail sector’s advertising focus.

The figures from 2023 to 2025 reveal a stabilization of the trend, hovering around the low twenties. The projection of 19.7% in 2023, followed by a slight rise to 22.5% in 2024, and then a modest increment to 23.2% in 2025 suggests that while digital retail media advertising remains vital, it might not be the primary focus as it once was in 2020.

For sellers, this trend underscores the importance of adopting a holistic advertising strategy. While digital retail media advertising is essential, it’s equally critical to diversify marketing efforts, explore innovative channels, and ensure that the chosen mediums align with the brand’s target audience and goals. 

The statistics reflect a dynamic digital advertising landscape, emphasizing the need for adaptability and a strategic approach to remain competitive and effective.

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eBay Buyer Statistics

Delving into eBay’s active buyer statistics from the first quarter of 2010 to the second quarter of 2023 offers a revealing glimpse into the platform’s journey, its peaks of popularity, and the challenges it faced amidst a rapidly changing digital marketplace. The increase in total active buyers on eBay from the 1st quarter of 2010 to the 2nd quarter of 2023 provides valuable insights into the platform’s popularity and market penetration through time. 

number of ebay's total active buyers

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How Many People Use eBay

Starting in Q1 2010, eBay boasted a healthy 89.5 million active buyers, a figure that saw consistent growth over the next several years. By Q1 2011, this number rose modestly to 95.9 million. However, it wasn’t until Q3 2012 that the platform witnessed a more substantial increase, hitting the 108.3 million mark.

This upward trend continued to surge as 2013 rolled in, with 123.5 million active buyers in the first quarter, followed by a leap to 145.1 million by Q1 2014. This consistent rise is indicative of eBay’s strong market position during these years and possibly its efforts to expand its services, improve user experience, and diversify its product listings.

The momentum slightly decelerated but remained positive, with the number climbing to 156 million by Q1 2015 and then experiencing slower growth over the subsequent years, touching 162 million in Q1 2016 and 165 million in Q1 2017. A more noticeable growth spurt occurred in 2018, peaking at 179 million active users by its end.

Number of eBay total active buyers from 1st Quarter 2010 to 2nd Quarter 2023 (in millions)

Quarter/YearNumber of eBay active buyers
Q1 201089.5 million
Q3 2012108.3 million 
Q1 2014145.1 million
Q1 2015156 million
Q4 2018179 million
Q1 2019171 million
Q1 2022142 million
Q1 2023133 million 

A Shift After 2018

However, post-2018, the trajectory began to shift. From a high of 179 million in Q4 2018, the numbers slightly decreased to 171 million in Q1 2019. The impact of the global pandemic in 2020 is evident, with numbers fluctuating between 174 million in Q1 and a drop to 161 million in Q2. Post-pandemic periods in 2021 and 2022 saw the figures retreat further, descending to 142 million by Q1 2022.

By the first quarter of 2023, the number further diminished to 133 million, indicating potential challenges in retaining or attracting new users or the possible rise of competitive platforms. For sellers, understanding this trend is crucial. While eBay remains a significant player in the e-Commerce space, it’s vital to monitor such trends, evaluate buyer behaviors, and possibly diversify platforms to ensure sustained reach and sales.

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eBay Website Traffic Share

In July 2023, approximately 68 percent of visitors to ebay.com came from the United States. Of these U.S. eBay visitors, 54 percent favored using desktop devices to access the site. However, in other examined countries, most users showed a preference for mobile browsing.

CharacteristicDesktopMobileOverall Traffic Distribution
United States53.85%46.15%67.66%
United Kingdom30.97%69.03%2.64%

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eBay’s Second-Hand Purchase Trend

Another important buyer statistic is the share of eBay buyers purchasing second-hand goods in order to save money in 2022.

share of ebay buyers purchasing second hand goods

The appeal of online marketplaces like eBay is frequently based on the diverse range of products they offer, which varies from brand-new items to second-hand or used goods. An intriguing trend that emerged in 2022 is the growing propensity of buyers to opt for second-hand items on eBay with a specific intention to save money. 

A significant 56% of all eBay buyers leaned towards purchasing pre-owned goods for monetary savings. Even more compelling is the insight into the behavior of the Gen Z demographic, a group typically associated with trends and new purchases. Surprisingly, 54% of Gen Z respondents also exhibited this thrift-conscious approach on eBay. 

This reflects a shift in consumer behavior, where the value and cost-effectiveness of a purchase may overweigh the allure of brand-new items, even among the younger consumers. These patterns highlight the ever-evolving dynamics of eCommerce and hint at the emergence of a more budget-conscious consumer base.

From this data, sellers should recognize the increasing appeal of second-hand or pre-owned items on platforms like eBay, especially for the purpose of cost-saving. This trend is not limited to a particular demographic but spans across, including the younger Gen Z.

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Monthly Downloads of the eBay App Worldwide

Globally, eBay saw its mobile app achieve 2.3 million downloads in July 2023. During the observed time frame, the highest monthly downloads worldwide occurred in January 2021, reaching 3.4 million for that month.

monthly downloads of the ebay app worldwide

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eBay Sales Statistics by Category

In February 2021, nearly a year after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, disposable face masks dominated eBay sales, averaging over 293 items sold for each listing every week. Mobile phones and smartphones also ranked high in sales, with listings selling an average of 76 units weekly.

leading items sold per listing per week on ebay

Also see our eBay Fee Calculator.

Key Takeaways

In the rapidly shifting eCommerce landscape, sellers must remain agile and informed. Although Amazon continues its towering dominance in the online marketplace, eBay’s 13.11% share in online visits as of April 2023 reveals its significant and enduring presence. However, the eCommerce environment is intensely competitive, making it essential for sellers to elevate their offerings on eBay through stellar product presentations, competitive pricing, and excellent customer service. 

Furthermore, the emergence of platforms like Walmart and Etsy indicates the diverse needs and preferences of the online shopper. Importantly, the rise in buyers’ preference for second-hand items on eBay, spanning all age groups, including Gen Z, underscores a growing budget-conscious trend. Thus, sellers need a strategic, adaptive, and diversified approach to maximize their reach and sales in this ever-evolving market.

ebay statistics infographic

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As of Q2, 2023 eBay has about 138 million active users, which is considered a downward trend in recent years.

eBay is used by a wide range of age groups. Historically, studies have shown that users between the ages of 35 and 64 have been the most active on eBay. However, it's worth noting that usage patterns can change, so periodic market research is essential to identify current dominant age groups.

While eBay remains a major player in the online marketplace industry, its growth rate has been eclipsed by some other platforms, particularly Amazon. The perception of "popularity" can be subjective and can depend on specific metrics, such as active users, sales volume, or brand recognition. In recent years, the number of active users has been slowly dropping.

eBay's target audience is broad given its marketplace nature. It targets both individual sellers looking to offload unwanted items and businesses aiming to reach a global customer base. Demographically, eBay appeals to adults across various age ranges, particularly those comfortable with online shopping. Its auction model also attracts bargain hunters and collectors. According to statistics, the majority of eBay's target market are Caucasian males, in the age range of 25-34.

The number 1 seller on eBay is Second Sale. Second Sale offers books, and has a special offer ‘buy three, get one free’.


Dominika Kaminska

Dominika Kaminska

Amazing content you need, amazing content we deliver. Whether you need marketing, eCommerce, or news digest related to eCommerce, Dominika is here to guide you through it all. You will also find her in the top tips section, giving only top-notch advice.

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