“Alexa, is there anything good happening on Prime Day this year?” “…Did you check eBay?”

Shop the Crash Sale starting 7/15.

#CrashingPrimeDay

Ebay has thrown down the gauntlet to Amazon announcing its very own “blockbuster” sales event to troll its online rival.

In an effort to cash in on the Amazon Prime day hype, Ebay has said it is set to launch a “Crash Sale”, a thinly veiled dig at Amazon’s propensity to crash during its Prime Day event, thought to have cost it around $90 million last year.

Ebay will offer discounts of up to 50 per cent on leading technology brands including Apple, Samsung, KitchenAid, Garmin and LG during Amazon’s 48-hour Prim Day event beginning on July 15.

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@eBay

We’re crashing the party with deals on things you actually want. Stay tuned. 🎉

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However, if Amazon should crash during the event, Ebay has promised to pile on more “too-good-to-be-true” deals to abate shoppers need for a tech bargain.

This forms part of a wider sales event for Ebay, which will be offering deals of up to 85 per cent off certain items for three weeks starting July 1, including robot vacuums, stand mixers, smart home gear and more.

READ MORE: Amazon Prime Day to run for 48 hours for the first time

From July 1 – 7 this will take the form of “July 4th Savings”, followed by “Hot Deals for Hot Days” from July 8 -22 which will include daily deals on tech, appliances and smart home devices.

“Ebay is primed to deliver exactly what shoppers want during this year’s crash (sale),” vice president of Ebay Americas Jay Hanson said.

“July has become a massive shopping season, and our summer sales include blockbuster deals that will not disappoint.”

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EBay, PayPal see a very mobile future — Tech News and Analysis

EBay, PayPal see a very mobile future — Tech News and Analysis.

EBay and its payment subsidiary PayPal’s mobile business is growing so fast that it’s hard to predict where things will end up, even months into the future. That’s one of the takeaways from the last year in which PayPal had to constantly revise its mobile payment predictions as payment volumes kept rising.

If you recall, PayPal said in the fall of 2010 that it expected to do some $1.5 billion in mobile payment volume for 2011 based on the $750 million in mobile payments it did in 2010. In April, it upped its estimate for 2011 to $2 billion, and then again in June, it revised its prediction, saying $3 billion in volume. By October, it said it now believed it was on pace to do $3.5 billion in mobile payment volume by the end of 2011. So how much mobile business did PayPal actually do? $4 billion, thecompany said this week at CES.

This isn’t about calling out PayPal for faulty predictions, but to point out that mobile is growing far faster than the company imagined. Mobile payment volume went from $750 million in 2010 to $4 billion a year later. That highlights the shift that’s happening as more and more payments, transactions and business flows through mobile devices.

EBay is also seeing this first hand. It did nearly $2 billion in mobile gross merchandise value in 2010, and then recorded $5 billion last year. Now, eBay is predicting it will do $8 billion in mobile GMV and PayPal will do $7 billion in mobile payment volume this year. Those numbers are a fraction of what the company does in total GMV on eBay and payment volume via PayPal, but the projected growth is very big, outpacing the company’s overall growth, and it reflects just how fast mobile is expanding. And if the past year is any indication, eBay could be very well be off in terms of how much volume actually flows through mobile.

We saw that this holiday season was boosted by mobile in a big way. IBM  reported earlier this week that 14.6 percent of all online sessions on a retailer’s site in December came from a mobile device, compared to 5.6 percent over the same period in 2010. IBM also said that sales from mobile devices doubled, reaching 11 percent of all online purchases versus 5.5 percent in December 2010. That no doubt helped online retails sales grow by 7.5 percent in December over the previous year.

This shift to mobile is increasingly going to become the norm, not just a holiday phenomenon. People are turning to mobile devices and they’re getting very comfortable with the idea of buying and paying through them. EBay is seeing this in a big way, but others will too if they aren’t already.

eBay agrees to sell Skype to focus on e-marketplace and PayPal | InternetRetailer.com – Daily News

Four years after it acquired the Skype Internet telephone communications platform to support communications between its online buyers and sellers, eBay has agreed to sell a 65% stake in Skype Technologies S.A. for just over $2 billion to an investment group that will operate Skype as a standalone company. Analysts said the deal was a positive move for eBay, which will be able to better concentrate on its eBay.com marketplace and PayPal payments system while still sharing in the expected growth of Skype as a global communications platform.

"Skype is a strong standalone business, but it does not have synergies with our e-commerce and online payments businesses," says eBay CEO John Donahoe. "As a separate company, we believe that Skype will have the focus required to compete effectively in online voice and video communications and accelerate its growth momentum."

The investment group, headed by Silver Lake, a Menlo Park, CA-based technology investment firm, has agreed to pay eBay $1.9 million in cash plus $125 million in a promissory note in a transaction expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. In addition to the 35% stake retained by eBay, the acquisition price places a total value on Skype of $2.75 billion, close to the $3.1 billion eBay paid for Skype in 2005, says Colin Sebastian, who covers e-commerce stocks as senior vice president of equity research at Lazard Capital Markets.

Although Skype has produced strong revenue growth—up 25% year over year in the second quarter ended June 30, to $170 million, after rising 44% year over year to $551 million in 2008—Skype never took off as a tool widely used by eBay.com buyers and sellers and produced relatively low profit margins compared to the rest of eBay, Sebastian says. "Skype was growing faster than eBay overall, but also at lower margins, so it was a mixed bag for eBay`s financial impact," he says.

Skype had 405 million users as of the end of 2008, mostly outside of the U.S., with revenue per-user for the year of less than $1.50.

Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor Corp., which helps retailers connect to eBay.com and other e-marketplaces, notes most users of eBay in the U.S. are more likely to use a conventional phone to call an eBay seller`s 800 number than click a Skype button and talk via their computer.

"Many times eBay sellers don`t want to be contacted," he adds. "Especially for items in the less-than $100 range, one phone call can destroy an eBay seller`s already very thin margins. Most eBay sellers tend to avoid the addition of customer service reps whenever possible."

EBay, meantime, is under pressure to improve its core e-marketplace business and continue the growth of PayPal amid a highly competitive payments market, says Sucharita Mulpuru, principal analyst for retail e-business at research and advisory firm Forrester Research Inc. "There`s so much competition encroaching on PayPal, eBay`s crown jewel, that eBay needs to have all hands on deck," she says.

Sebastian adds that focusing more on its e-marketplace and payments businesses will help eBay score better on Wall Street. "As part of our justification for upgrading shares of eBay earlier this year, we anticipated that a spin-off of Skype would position eBay more clearly with investors as a leading Internet platform for e-commerce and payments, along with a fast growing classified advertising business," he says.

In April of this year, eBay announced plans to separate Skype from the company and considered filing for an initial public offering of Skype stock next year, but chose to sell a majority stake instead, Donahoe says. "This deal achieves our goal of delivering short- and long-term value to eBay and its stockholders, without the possible delays and market risk of an IPO," he says. "Selling Skype now at this great valuation, while retaining an equity stake, makes sense for the company. And it allows us to focus all of our energies on the opportunities in front of PayPal and eBay."

eBay agrees to sell Skype to focus on e-marketplace and PayPal | InternetRetailer.com – Daily News