Apples to Apples comparisons of eBay to Amazon... Underlying volume of transactions
The reason eBay generates more cash than Amazon is that it is the backbone for a larger volume / value of transactions. From the transcript:
"Before getting into the results, I want to take a minute to provide some perspective on our growth opportunities and on our company today. In 2012, we enabled more than $175 billion of commerce volume. This means that our company is now enabling 19% of global ecommerce and almost 2% of total global retail. That's the power and potential of eBay, Inc., and we're just getting started."
"Now let's take a look at the quarter, starting with PayPal. PayPal had another strong quarter, continuing to increase merchant coverage and share of checkout. With almost 700 million payments transactions handled, the fourth quarter was the busiest in PayPal's history. PayPal now has 123 million active accounts globally, with active account growth accelerating 1%. More than 5 million active accounts were added in the fourth quarter, PayPal's biggest gain in 8 years.
And PayPal Mobile generated exceptional growth, ending 2012 with almost $14 billion in mobile payment volume. That's more than triple the volume over the prior year. Mobile payments now account for about 10% of PayPal's total payment volume in 2012.
And PayPal continues to make great progress offline. For example, our Discover partnership, announced last August, is on track to launch in Q2 this year. Discover has 7 million merchant locations in the U.S. And further expanding our offline footprint, PayPal ended the year with 23 major retailers signed up for PayPal's in-store point-of-sale solution. PayPal is now live at more than 18,000 retail locations across the U.S., including Home Depot, Foot Locker and Jamba Juice. At the Jamba Juice location in Emeryville, California, we've just begun testing an order-ahead mobile feature. Consumers can now over their smoothie in advanced, pay with PayPal and then skip the line at Jamba Juice. We expect to roll this out to more Jamba Juice locations soon."
Unlike FBA, Paypal really is high margin business that leverages a fixed and already built out platform... eBay Now better leverages existing retail infrastructure and is superior from an efficiency point of view to Amazon's FBA model (though I still think it both are a mistake... UPS and FedEx do logistics just fine and have already built out the highly capital intensive infrastructure...)