Ebay

Platform/Software
Year initiated: 
1995
Record Status: 
Description: 

eBay Inc. is an American multinational corporation and e-commerce company, providing consumer to consumer & business to consumer sales services via Internet. It is headquartered in San Jose, California, United States. eBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar in 1995, and became a notable success story of the dot-com bubble; it is a multi-billion dollar business with operations localized in over thirty countries.

The company manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide. In addition to its auction-style sales, the website has since expanded to include "Buy It Now" shopping; shopping by UPC, ISBN, or other kind of SKU (via Half.com); online classified advertisements (via Kijiji or eBay Classifieds); online event ticket trading (via StubHub); online money transfers (via PayPal) and other services.

It is not a free website, but charges users an invoice fee when sellers have sold or listed any items.

Version history (text): 

AuctionWeb was founded in California, on September 3, 1995, by French-born Iranian-American computer programmer Pierre Omidyar (born June 21, 1967) as part of a larger personal site. One of the first items sold on AuctionWeb was a broken laser pointer for $14.83. Astonished, Omidyar contacted the winning bidder to ask if he understood that the laser pointer was broken. In his responding email, the buyer explained: "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers." The frequently repeated story that eBay was founded to help Omidyar's fiancée trade Pez candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager in 1997 to interest the media, which were not interested in the company's previous explanation about wanting to create a "perfect market". This was revealed in Adam Cohen's book, The Perfect Store (2002), and confirmed by eBay.

Reportedly, eBay was simply a side hobby for Omidyar until his Internet service provider informed him he would need to upgrade to a business account due to the high volume of traffic to his website. The resulting price increase (from $30/month to $250) forced him to start charging those who used eBay, and was not met with any animosity. It resulted in the hiring of Chris Agarpao as eBay's first employee to handle the number of checks coming in for fees.

Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman of eBay

Jeffrey Skoll was hired as the first president of the company in early 1996. In November 1996, eBay entered into its first third-party licensing deal, with a company called Electronic Travel Auction to use SmartMarket Technology to sell plane tickets and other travel products. Growth was phenomenal; in January 1997 the site hosted 2,000,000 auctions, compared with 250,000 during the whole of 1996. The company officially changed the name of its service from AuctionWeb to eBay in September 1997. Originally, the site belonged to Echo Bay Technology Group, Omidyar's consulting firm. Omidyar had tried to register the domain name echobay.com, but found it already taken by the Echo Bay Mines, a gold mining company, so he shortened it to his second choice, eBay.com.

(Wikipedia)

Image: 
Ebay
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Record posted by: 
Sumeya Hassan