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eBay’s new index makes business case for  marketplace sellers


A new platform-agnostic study from eBay Inc. reveals specific benefits for small-to-mid-sized businesses (SMBs) who sell via online marketplaces.

According to the eBay Global Marketplace Index (GMI), more than four in 10 (44%) U.S. SMBs say that selling through online marketplaces allows them to keep their physical stores open. When respondents were asked how the additional income from selling through marketplaces has helped them, 23% responded that they were able to reinvest in their communities. This percentage rose to 33% among SMBs with annual marketplace sales greater than $200,000.

Almost eight in 10 (77%) respondents said the income from building an online business gives them financial security. This figure reached almost nine in 10 (89%) among respondents who are physical store owners. About half (48%) of respondents have been able to get out of debt using the money they make from marketplaces.

Other notable findings include:

  • 37% of respondents say that the income from selling through online marketplaces has helped them rebuild their savings after an economic downturn, while 31% have been able to save for a child's education and 30% have paid their mortgage.
  • 69% of respondents claim their income has improved compared to before selling through marketplaces.
  • More than 50% say that selling through eBay or other online marketplaces expands their reach so that a majority of their sales come from outside their local community.

The GMI identifies five (5) universal dimensions as drivers of empowerment – lifestyle impact, financial security, financial growth, marketplace tools, and business environment. To quantify performance within these dimensions, 2,500 small online business owners were surveyed across five countries (U.S., U.K., Germany, Australia, and South Korea). Each dimension is equally weighed at 20 points, resulting in a maximum index score of 100 points.

Each country scored above 80 in the GMI, with 85% of small business owners around the world saying their online business gives them freedom or flexibility and more than 77% saying their online business gives them confidence or control. GMI scores for each country are as follows:


United States


United Kingdom



GMI Score






To create the GMI, eBay commissioned leading market research firm Euromonitor International.

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