eBay Australia – Opens Melbourne Office After Etsy Opens Melbourne Showroom: Strategy

eBay follows Etsy’s lead with new Melbourne base

By Michelle Hammond
Wednesday, 06 June 2012

eBay Australia has followed in the footsteps of online retailer Etsy, establishing a physical presence in Melbourne, in a bid to further build its seller base.


It’s been confirmed eBay Australia has opened an office in Melbourne in order to support its advertising business in Victoria, which has attracted more than 80 new clients in the past year.


The office will be managed by Adam Krass, eBay Australia and New Zealand’s state manager for Victoria, South Australia and WA.


According to eBay, the office will provide a local service for the company’s “many” Melbourne clients, which to date have been managed out of eBay’s Sydney office.


Working alongside Krass will be eBay advertising sales executive Andrew Steed. Together, they will manage and grow eBay’s Melbourne presence while working closely with local partners.


Steed’s background includes working at Starcom MediaVest Group, while Krass previously worked in television sales at the Nine Network and Seven Affiliate Sales.


According to Krass, the opening of the Melbourne office will enable eBay “to better service our [Victorian] clients’ needs on a day-to-day basis”.


“In the past year, a large number of new clients in the Melbourne market have utilised the eBay platform,” Krass said in a statement.


“We look forward to helping our partners continue to make the most of the substantial amount of data available online, and channelling that in a meaningful way through Geotribes.”


Geotribes, which Krass described as a “market-leading geodemographic profiling system”, is a new resource for advertisers on eBay. It segments the population by social resources and needs.


Australian marketers can target advertisements online based on social economic status, life stage and needs, thus capitalising on the $30 billion eCommerce market.


eBay’s arrival in Melbourne comes three weeks after New York-based online retailer Etsy announced the opening of a Melbourne showroom, as it homes in on the Australian market.


Etsy, a global marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, and arts and crafts materials, was launched in 2005 and now attracts around 40 million consumers a month.


The site also has 875,000 active sellers who grossed more than $US525 million in sales last year. Australian traders and consumers accounted for about 3% of this figure.


However, the site reported sales growth in the Australian region of nearly 75% last year, suggesting it is becoming increasingly popular among Australian sellers and consumers.


About 30% of Etsy sales from Australian sellers are to local buyers, with the remaining 70% of sales going to buyers overseas.


Etsy recently raised $40 million from venture capital firms including Index Ventures, Accel Partners and Union Square Ventures, which have backed the likes of Facebook and Twitter.


According to Etsy’s community manager for Australia, Kirsteene Phelan, Australia is one of Etsy’s most important international markets, suggesting eBay could have some stiff competition.

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