eBay ‘Exuding Confidence’

eBay Wednesday told it like it is – even in a down economy, people want to buy and trade stuff online.

At its annual financial analyst conference in San Jose, the online auction giant reaffirmed its financial predictions for the rest of this year and said its revenue would be coming from both predictable and not-so-predictable sources.

The company said it estimates its revenue to hit between $1.17 billion to $1.18 this year and predicted $3 billion in revenue by 2005.

“Working with our community of users, eBay has built a transaction-based business like no other,” said eBay president and CEO Meg Whitman, president and CEO of eBay. “The power of our business model along with the ongoing dedication and success of our buyers and sellers give us great confidence in the future.”

Whitman, who expects stay with the company for at least the next four years, said the company plans to increase its range of merchandise, expand global operations and sell more products at fixed price trading.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company currently boasts 24.2 million unique users on eBay and $511 in gross merchandise sales per active user. The company defines “active user” as anyone who has bid, bought or sold in the last year, excluding people who use eBay’s sister sites – Half.com and Korea’s Internet Auction Co.

The company also unveiled a holiday-oriented ad campaign centered on the tagline “Do it EBay” as a follow up to last year’s successful campaign.

In addition to its formidable auction business, the company said it is making money hand over fist in its well-established areas such as computers and eBay Motors along with newer categories such as apparel and business and industrial.

That should send chills down at Amazon.com , which is set to launch a new apparel store featuring clothing from name-brand apparel companies.

Ebay’s acquisition of PayPal also seems to be paying off. Although it is too early to identify trends, the company said that after only two weeks of using the dominant online payment service PayPal’s total payment volume increased more than 10 percent during the prior week.

The company said its international revenue streams will be coming from eBay’s top three international sites – eBay Germany, eBay United Kingdom and Internet Auction in Korea.

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