Learn eBay and Become a Power Seller HTML version
Learn eBay and Become a Power Seller
Ten Years of eBay
Yes, you read that correctly: ten years.
eBay was created in September 1995, by a man called Pierre Omidyar, who was living in
San Jose. He wanted his site - then called 'AuctionWeb' - to be an online marketplace,
and wrote the first code for it in one weekend. It was one of the first websites of its
kind in the world. The name 'eBay' comes from the domain Omidyar used for his site.
His company's name was Echo Bay, and the 'eBay AuctionWeb' was originally just one
part of Echo Bay's website at ebay.com. The first thing ever sold on the site was
Omidyar's broken laser pointer, which he got $14 for.
The site quickly became massively popular, as sellers came to list all sorts of odd things
and buyers actually bought them. Relying on trust seemed to work remarkably well,
and meant that the site could almost be left alone to run itself. The site had been
designed from the start to collect a small fee on each sale, and it was this money that
Omidyar used to pay for AuctionWeb's expansion. The fees quickly added up to more
than his current salary, and so he decided to quit his job and work on the site full-time.
It was at this point, in 1996, that he added the feedback facilities, to let buyers and
sellers rate each other and make buying and selling safer.
In 1997, Omidyar changed AuctionWeb's - and his company's - name to 'eBay', which is
what people had been calling the site for a long time. He began to spend a lot of money
on advertising, and had the eBay logo designed. It was in this year that the one-
millionth item was sold (it was a toy version of Big Bird from Sesame Street).
Then, in 1998 - the peak of the dotcom boom - eBay became big business, and the
investment in Internet businesses at the time allowed it to bring in senior managers