UPDATED 18:13 EDT / APRIL 13 2009

Wrap-Up: StumbleUpon and Skype to Leave the Fold, PayPal Seller Troubles [eBay Edition]

Three bits of big news concerning eBay continue to make the rounds today.

StumbleUpon leaves eBay, starting up again on own two feet [VentureBeat] – Eric Eldon reports that social news discovery site StumbleUpon, acquired in 2007 for $75 million, will be spun off into it’s own independent entity.

“We are grateful to eBay for its guidance,” said cofounder Garrett Camp in the press release. “However, we realized there were few long-term synergies between the two businesses. It is best for us to part ways and focus on our respective strengths,” said Camp. “This change makes it possible for StumbleUpon to continue to innovate and focus on becoming the Web’s largest recommendation service.”

Our Angle: It isn’t particularly surprising. StumbleUpon, while a great service and a boon to bloggers regardless of audience size, never really found a home inside the auction giant. It was a puzzling purchase, to say the least. This comes on the tails of rumors of Skype buying itself back, which John spoke about earlier this week.

The Dreaded PayPal Call [Internet Sector and Stocks Analysis from Seeking Alpha] – Scot Wingo, author of eBay Strategies blog, submitted to ISSASA a round up post including a potential big story in the making, rumors that for some unknown reason, PayPal may be asking sellers to maintain balances.

More and more sellers are getting the ‘dreaded PayPal call’ where PP is asking them to keep a 3-5% ‘reserve’ going forward.  For many sellers this can mean $20-100k locked up in your account indefinitely.  More on this topic later, but be ready for the call when it comes. 

Our Angle: We’re not able to find any other stories or backstory on this potential story, but Scot Wingo, if anyone, would know. Based on the recent February PayPal TOS change, it’s unlikely that this, like those changes, will affect anything but the most high volume sellers.  That means most folks probably won’t care about this – but PayPal needs to offer some sort of carrot for these high-volume users to keep them around, as several major PayPal and eBay sellers reportedly left the system entirely back in February.


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