eBay is a world-renowned US company that provides online auction services, operates its own website, and owns eBay Enterprise.
The online auction appeared in 1995 after the release of the first version of the platform. The founder and owner of the company is a programmer Pierre Omidyar. At that time, he already owned the Echo Bay Technology Group.
Initially, the site was called AuctionWeb, it was part of his own site. The first thing that was put up for auction was Pierre's non-working laser pointer. He sold it for $14.
Initially, the auction was free, which attracted a large number of buyers and sellers. By the end of 1995, more than 1,000 auctions had already been held here. The site attracted not only the fact that there were no commissions, many people wanted to get rid of unnecessary things that are a pity to throw away, but to sell cheaply - just right. Moreover, in those years, various cheap goods were just popular on the site.
Despite the growing popularity of the project, Pierre decided to reconsider his attitude towards it only a few years later. As a result, eBay became not just a hobby, but a full-fledged project, and in 1997 the name AuctionWeb was changed to a more sonorous one – eBay.
How does eBay work
As the site grew in popularity, Omidyar began to realize that he had created something unique. As a result, he took up its active development. Then three basic principles of eBay were formulated:
- Anyone can contribute.
- All participants must be friendly to each other.
- Communicate with each other with respect.
A few years later, the brainchild of Pierre took a leading position among similar auctions in America. The project developed rapidly and significant expenses began to be required to work on it. The developer decided to take a commission of 6% for each transaction, which covered part of the costs. At the same time, Omidyar realized that he could not cope with management and for the future development of the project, an intelligent manager who was well versed in business processes was needed.
Starting the search for such a specialist, Omidyar even negotiated with Steve Jobs, who was just not busy and was considering suitable options for cooperation. The offer was almost accepted, but at the last moment, Jobs decided to return to his own brainchild - Apple. Later, a suitable manager was found. They became Margaret Whitman - at that time the manager of a company that was engaged in the production of children's toys.
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Despite the fact that eBay is one of the leaders in online auctions, it has serious competitors: Yahoo and News.com, which also launched their own auctions. Deciding to follow in the footsteps of eBay, Yahoo also made its auctions free. In turn, eBay management bought up smaller online auctions in various countries.
Continuing the fight against competitors, eBay introduced the function of paying for purchases with credit cards, which were gaining wide popularity at the time. In 2002, eBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion.
None of the auctions in the world can compete with eBay. The only market that this auction did not receive was Japan, where Yahoo! is the leader.
Interesting facts about eBay
During the existence of the auction, unusual lots were repeatedly put up for sale, for example:
- a resident of America sold a place for an advertising tattoo on his forehead for $10,000;
- In 2006, a Shakespeare manuscript that survived the great fire of London 350 years ago;
- the world's only yellow McLaren F1 car;
- space for advertising on the site, one pixel in size;
- Volkswagen Golf, which belonged to Pope Benedict XVI.
Today, the Omidyar project is still the leader among online auctions. Branches of the company are open in more than 20 countries. Anything can be put up for sale, as long as it is not prohibited by law. And the eBay app – one is the most popular on mobile devices.
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