eBay Mobile Trading and Selling Case Study

Developing an online mobile phone trade-in service


By 2014, nearly a third of shoppers were trading-in or selling their old mobile phones in-store, when making an upgrade, and another third were holding on to their old phones. Both groups faced barriers to selling their phones online. Armed with this data, eBay saw the opportunity to develop an enhanced online mobile phone trade-in/selling program, but needed more information on the specifics of how to proceed.

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CMB combines the very best of advanced analytics know-how and strategic consulting. From design to implementation, CMB is a true partner that really understands our business. The CMB team’s work was critical to the success of one of our top priority projects— helping us define the target market and finalize the actual offer.

Kellie Cobaugh, Sr. Director B2C Selling at eBay


eBay partnered with CMB for a two-part study to define, refine, and develop a cellphone trade-in and sales product:

  • In the first phase, CMB conducted research to help eBay understand the selling/trade-in landscape, shopper requirements while selling/trading-in, unmet needs, and identify target segments for a successful selling program.
  • In the next phase of the research, CMB explored the makeup of the target audience and their size. This phase yielded insights into differences between convenience-oriented and value-oriented customers.
  • By employing discrete choice modelling, CMB helped eBay finalize its program features and overall value proposition.


The research helped eBay make enhancements to its cellphone selling program and launch a major marketing campaign to coincide with the launch of new cellphones by major companies in the fall of 2014.