Table of Contents
Key Business Metrics
Our management periodically reviews certain key business metrics for operational planning purposes and to evaluate the effectiveness of our operational strategies, allocation of resources and our capacity to fund capital expenditures and expand our business. These key business metrics include:
Gross merchandise volume. Gross merchandise volume, or GMV, is the total sales value of all merchandise sold through our marketplaces during a given period. We review GMV because it provides a measure of the volume of goods being sold in our marketplaces and thus the activity of those marketplaces. GMV also provides a means to evaluate the effectiveness of investments that we have made and continue to make, including in the areas of customer support, value-added services, product development, sales and marketing, and operations. The GMV of goods sold in our marketplaces during the three months ended December 31, 2013 totaled $234.4 million.
Completed transactions. Completed transactions represents the number of auctions in a given period from which we have recorded revenue. Similar to GMV, we believe that completed transactions is a key business metric because it provides an additional measurement of the volume of activity flowing through our marketplaces. During the three months ended December 31, 2013, we completed approximately 129,000 transactions.
Total registered buyers. We grow our buyer base through a combination of marketing and promotional efforts. A person becomes a registered buyer by completing an online registration process on one of our marketplaces. As part of this process, we collect business and personal information, including name, title, company name, business address and contact information, and information on how the person intends to use our marketplaces. Each prospective buyer must also accept our terms and conditions of use. Following the completion of the online registration process, we verify each prospective buyers e-mail address and confirm that the person is not listed on any banned persons list maintained internally or by the U.S. federal government. After the verification process, which is completed generally within 24 hours, the registration is approved and activated and the prospective buyer is added to our registered buyer list.
Total registered buyers, as of a given date, represents the aggregate number of persons or entities who have registered on one of our marketplaces. We use this metric to evaluate how well our marketing and promotional efforts are performing. Total registered buyers excludes duplicate registrations, buyers who are suspended from utilizing our marketplaces and those buyers who have voluntarily removed themselves from our registration database. In addition, if we become aware of registered buyers that are no longer in business, we remove them from our database. As of December 31, 2013, we had approximately 2,471,000 registered buyers.
Total auction participants. For each auction we manage, the number of auction participants represents the total number of registered buyers who have bid one or more times in that auction. As a result, a registered buyer who bids, or participates, in more than one auction is counted as an auction participant in each auction in which he or she participates. Thus, total auction participants for a given period is the sum of the auction participants in each auction conducted during that period. We use this metric to allow us to compare our online auction marketplaces to our competitors, including other online auction sites and traditional on-site auctioneers. In addition, we measure total auction participants on a periodic basis to evaluate the activity level of our base of registered buyers and to measure the performance of our marketing and promotional efforts. For the three months ended December 31, 2013, approximately 603,000 total auction participants participated in auctions on our marketplaces.