The Tech News Blog

May 21, 2014

eBay Urges Users to Change Passwords After Hack

New eBay Logo

EBay is urging all users to change their passwords following a cyber attack that compromised one of the auction site's databases.

According to today's announcement, the database contained encrypted passwords, but there is no evidence that financial or credit card data was accessed or compromised, or that there was any unauthorized activity on eBay users' accounts.

Still, eBay suggests that everyone change their passwords; users will be reminded starting today via email, the Web, and other channels.

The hack, which occurred between late February and early March, was detected only two weeks ago. EBay has since conducted "extensive tests" on its networks before issuing today's warning.

"Information security and customer data protection are of paramount importance to eBay Inc., and eBay regrets any inconvenience or concern that this password reset may cause our customers," the company said in a statement.

July 22, 2013

eBay Now Brings Deliveries to the Desktop, More Cities

eBay Now Desktop

eBay Now is expanding to the desktop, making it easier for anyone to place same-day orders without having to search for their cell phone.

Users can browse products from stores like Macy's, Home Depot, and Target, place an order online, and have their items delivered to their door (or any other specified location), usually within an hour.

The eBay Now app debuted for iOS in October, offering delivery to the San Francisco area. It has since launched in San Jose and New York City, and will continue to expand today with service to the Bay Area Peninsula, Brooklyn, and Queens. Chicago and Dallas will receive access later this summer.

"We are using our mobile leadership to lead in multi-screen," Dane Glasgow, vice president of Local and Mobile at eBay, said in a statement. "We want to make every screen shoppable, and eBay Now is the latest example of how we're bringing that to life."

eBay Now was developed for the desktop based on consumer usage and demand: a majority of orders are between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., when users are usually at the office. Now, instead of sneaking a purchase on their cell phone, people can surreptitiously use their employer's computer to buy a forgotten phone charger or a bottle of ibuprofen.

August 4, 2012

eBay Smartphone Trade-Ins Spike After iPhone 5 Rumors

Apple iPhone 4S (Virgin Mobile)

The closer we get to the rumored announcement day of Apple's iPhone 5, the more inclined your average iPhone-owning Jane and John will be to sell their antiquated devices in the hopes that they'll be able to pick up a brand-new Apple smartphone.

But don't take our word for it – try eBay's.

According to representatives from the popular online auction site, speaking to CNET's Josh Lowensohn, the company saw an upswing in users looking to trade their smartphones in via eBay's "Instant Sale" program following last week's iPhone 5 announcement rumors.

In Instant Sale, one merely has to submit what device it is that a person wants to sell, describe an accessory or two that might come with it, describe the condition of the device, and accept eBay's proposed offer. If a user agrees, eBay handles all of the shipping arrangements (and costs), and a user receives his or her cash via Paypal.

Basically, the program is eBay's answer to third-party "buy my stuff" services like Gazelle or any of the innumerable trade-in programs offered by manufacturers themselves.

And, according to eBay, its Instant Sale service saw a 70 percent bump in smartphone submissions last week, undoubtedly prompted by new rumors that Apple's big iPhone 5 announcement event will take place on September 12.

Users submitted more than 100,000 smartphones to eBay's Instant Sale program, and chief among them – for Apple devices, at least – was the 16-gigabyte version of Apple's iPhone 4S.

April 18, 2012

PayPal Again Boosts eBay to Profits

PayPal Here

For the past quarters, eBay's success has been built on the foundation of its PayPal Payments business. The company continued that trend Wednesday, with a boost from its traditional Marketplaces business as a bonus.

EBay reported net income of $570 million, a 20 percent increase over the same period a year ago. Revenue also jumped 29 percent to $3.28 billion.

In part, that's due to the continued success of eBay's Payments business, also known as PayPal. Payments recorded $1.309 billion in revenue, up 29 percent from the same period a year ago. Total payment volume increased by 24 percent to $33.9 billion, with its Merchant Services division that serves companies outside of eBay outperforming the use of PayPal on eBay by a 2:1 ratio. Home Depot, for example, allows shoppers to pay with PayPal at its 2,000 or so U.S. stores.

PayPal also recently launched Paypal Here, a credit-card reader for mobile point-of-sale payments.

January 18, 2012

eBay Profits Soar 254 Percent, Boosted by Skype

Ebay reported a 254 percent increase in profits for the company's fourth quarter, thanks to its sale of VOIP service Skype to Microsoft.

One-times gains aside, however, eBay also reported a healthy 15 percent increase in net income when considered from a non-GAAP perspective. Revenue rose by 35 percent, thanks to growth in eBay's Payments and Marketplaces businesses, which includes its auction business.

Ebay reported net income of $1.98 billion on revenue of $3.38 billion, an increase of 254 percent and 35 percent, from the same quarter a year ago. Skype officially became part of Microsoft in October as part of a $8.5 billion deal.

Although eBay was founded upon its auction business, the site has evolved into a one-stop payments provider, with acquisitions like RedLaser helping find real-world goods on online sites, and MyLo providing the opposite service: tracking the physical inventory of local stores. Meanwhile, services like PayPal have consistently delivered profits as eBay's Marketplaces business has wavered.

December 12, 2011

HP TouchPad Buyers Overwhelm eBay in Bid for Cheap Tablets

HP TouchPad

Consumers hoping to get their hands on a discounted HP TouchPad overwhelmed eBay last night after the company put a limited number of the tablets up for sale, irking more than a few shoppers.

HP added refurbished TouchPad tablets to its eBay storearound 7pm Eastern Sunday night at rock-bottom prices: $99 for the 16GB and $149 for the 32GB, down from $499 and $599, respectively.

According to a leaked document published by TechCrunch last week, the sale was supposed to first go live for HP employees and open up to the public on Monday. But after news of the sale was publicized online, eager fans started refreshing HP's eBay store as soon as the clock hit 7pm.

According to the comments on PCMag's Sunday story, a few people managed to snag the device. "Thanks HP for making this such a holiday pleasure!!!! You guys rock!" wrote one user.

"So it took me an hour of refreshing but I finally got one, though it was a 32 not a 16gb, which really is even better lol," wrote another.

Many commenters, however, reported sluggish response time on eBay, with some people successfully adding TouchPads to their shopping carts, only to have their orders cancelled at checkout.

July 20, 2011

eBay’s Profits Sink; PayPal Continues Strong Growth

eBay reported healthy but diminished profits and a 25 percent jump in revenue for the company's second quarter. The company's PayPal or Payments business also continued to make up a larger chunk of the business.

eBay reported net income of $283.4 million on revenue of $2.8 billion, a 31 percent decrease in profits against a 25 percent increase in revenue. The company's profits were dragged down by charges associated with its GSI Commerce for $2.4 billion.

eBay's Marketplaces auction and sales division recorded $1.67 billion in revenue, a 19 percent increase. But net revenue from its Payments division increased by 31 percent to $1.07 billion. eBay's Payments business now represents 39 percent of the company's revenue, up from 37 percent a year ago.