Thesis Scientist

eBay Success Story

eBay Inc. is an American company which provides the consumer to consumer transactions on the internet. eBay permits customers to buy, sell or auction different items. It was begun in 1995 and has become one of the first companies to become a success as a result of the dot-com bubble. Its headquarters is in San Jose, California and had $14 billion revenue in the year 2012.

eBay provides a platform for an item auction and shopping for retail goods which permits people to buy products from their homes comfortably. The starting of eBay was not as straightforward as we may think. It was Iranian-American computer programmer Pierre Omidyar’s idea to launch a website that auctioned used, broken and second hand stuff. This website was known as Auction Web and it was launched on September 3, 1995. He did not take this website too seriously and just took it as a side hobby. But soon the traffic on his site increased and was soon asked by his ISP (internet service provider) to upgrade his account for accommodating the traffic that was accessing his site.

For paying for the up gradation which was around $250, he asked the customers to pay a fee to access the site. He was amazed to see that people were happy to pay and continued using the site in a regular way. So finally Omidyar had to hire an employee just to deal with the cheques that were coming to his office for the payments. That is how Chris Agarpao became the first employee of eBay.


In 1996, Jeffrey Skoll became its first president. The development it was experiencing was phenomenal and it required someone who could provide the appropriate structure for the company to grow and make most use of the public interest it was achieving day by day. In January 1997 alone the site hosted 2,000,000 auctions, which were 8 times more than the total number of auctions in the year 1996. In September 1997, the company changed its name to That very year it got funding from venture capitalists Benchmark Capital to the tune of $6.7 million.

eBay went public on September 21, 1998. On the first day itself the share price went upto $53.50. This made Skoll and Omidyar overnight billionaires. With Meg Whiteman is taking over as CEO and President in 1998, each detail was looked into and upgraded to make it a better experience for the user. Soon eBay grew and began to include some more categories other than the auction category. Their business began increasing and the company purchased PayPal in October 2002. In 2005, eBay bought Skype for $2.5 billion and sold it to Microsoft in 2011 for $8.5 billion. Soon they had established individually websites for various countries with special focus on the local requirements and limitations.

In 2008, the company had millions of registered comers, more than 15,000 employees and revenues around $7.7 billion. Today it sells everything from appliances to domain names to software to furniture to vehicles and everything that is not banned under that country’s law. It provides the latest products and discounts in addition to the excitement and rage of the auction place.

The auction place has taken the interest of various people who wait for purchasing used goods at lower rates and those who want to purchase collectibles. eBay has become the best source for every customer’s requirements. This model had been copied and utilized in many countries, i.e. India and Japan before eBay has entered and launched their own local website there.

There are many products that cannot be sold on eBay i.e. alcoholic beverages, tobacco, drugs and weapons. eBay is also employed for charity auctions and permits the seller to donate any amount they like from the amount received for their favored charity. eBay customers can pay using Paymate, PayPal, Moneybrookers, ProPay and to make transactions. eBay generates its revenue by taking a commission for each auction or sale that is made on the website. It depends whether it is a fixed rate product or product up for auctions. Sometimes they charge upto 10% on the sale amount other than the shipping charges. The rates differ from the U.S. in the European countries and South Asia. Today, eBay is one among the largest companies that sell products online. It has made a large customer base for itself that prompts even the top companies to showcase their products and offers through eBay so that it can get the attention of the global audience.

For selling broken laser lights and old appliances eBay has become a global marketplace where you can find what you require according to your budget. Today it is one of the top 20 most visited sites on the planet and has become a superpower on the internet with millions of transactions on its portal each day.

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