Retailers, consumers and prices
It’s open-mike day at eBay!
Wall Street technology investors spent much of Wednesday at eBay‘s San Jose campus listening to the online giant defend its company, especially its slowing marketplaces unit.
And for anyone doubting the relevance of eBay’s site in today’s crowded e-commerce field, Mark Carges, the chief technology officer of marketplaces, set them straight.
Walking the crowd through eBay’s enhanced search functions, Carges showed a slide encapsulating what may very well be the best of eBay — “A Hello Kitty wedding cake topper,” he announced, to giggles throughout the auditorium.
He paused for emphasis before adding: “Available only on eBay.”
The budding techie comedian made the crowd guffaw with a special mention of the item’s “satin floral accents.”
Other twitters, and not the virtual kind, came when Donahoe told the crowd to turn off their cell phones — “Unless they’re buy orders and then stay on as long as you like.”
And finally, regarding that perennial crowd pleaser, valuations, Donahoe asked Chief Financial Officer Bob Swan to explain to the gathered investors how they should value the company.
“Far be it for me to tell them how to value the company” said Swan, demurely.
“Give them hints,” suggested Donahoe.
The upshot? EBay — currently trading at 7 times projected 2009 earnings — is undervalued, and no laughing matter, according to the company.
Swan said the subject made him “miffed.”