How much of eBay’s revenue comes from haram?

eBay provides an online marketplace for individuals to list and sell items.

eBay earns its revenue from the following revenue sources:

  • Net Transaction Revenues:

eBay earns its revenue primarily by taking a percentage of the “final value” of items sold on its marketplace.

In addition, eBay charges fees to list and promote products on its platform.

eBay offers subscription options for high-volume sellers.

  • Marketing Services and Other Revenues:

Includes revenues from selling advertisements, revenue sharing arrangements, and first-party inventory programs.

The contributions from each of eBay’s revenue segments in their 2020 annual report were as follows:

Areas of concern for Practical Islamic Finance are revenue generated from eBay’s advertising and promotion services (if the product advertised is not Islamic). 

The following table depicts the declining percentages of Ebay’s Marketing Services and Other revenue segment relative to its total revenue from 2018 to 2020:

201820192020
Marketing Services & Other Revenue / Total Revenue
14.27%

12.25%

9.45%

In addition, eBay lists the following categories of goods sold to be material to its business operations: 

Automotive products, clothing, books, movies, music, electronics, collectibles, art, home appliances, garden, sporting goods, toys, games, business and industrial supplies, health, beauty, and other.

It is difficult to determine exactly how much revenue eBay generates from advertising haram products. 

However, given the aforementioned categories of goods eBay considers as material to its business, we estimate ~20% of its advertising revenue to be suspect.

Accordingly, if our guess is accurate, Practical Islamic Finance estimates ~2% of eBay’s total revenue comes from haram sources.

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

Only a non-material portion of Ebay’s revenue comes from haram. 

Does eBay rely on interest to operate?

According to the company’s annual report for the fiscal year ended December 26, 2020 (Numbers in thousands, U.S. dollars):

Interest Income: $39,000

Total Revenue: $10,271,000

Interest Expense: $305,000

Total Expenses: $7,560,000

Interest Income / Revenue: 0.38%

Interest Expense / Total Expense: 4.03%

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

Riba is used but not relied upon in eBay’s operations.

What is eBay’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) impact?

Environment

According to eBay’s 2020 Impact Report, the company uses 74% renewable energy for all its data centers and offices as of 2020.

In addition, Ebay’s use of renewable energy increased 9% from 2019.

Social

According to eBay, its eBay for Charity program raised nearly $123 million for nonprofits in 2020.

In addition, eBay has a high Glassdoor rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 from over 4,100 current and previous employees compared to a 3.3 average for all other Glassdoor rated companies.

Governance

A cyberstalking and harassment campaign conducted in 2019 against an online newsletter led to charges made public in 2020 against seven members of eBay’s global security team, as well as arrests of two of those charged.

The CEO of eBay at the time Devin Wenig has since been replaced.

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

eBay has a net positive ESG impact.

Comfort Rating

From eBay’s business, financial, and ESG reviews, Practical Islamic Finance rates eBay stock as:

Comfortable to invest in from a Halal perspective.

Sources

Shop by Category 

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Form 10-K 

EBay customers must reset passwords after major hack 

eBay Reviews

eBay Impact Report  

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