Tuesday, January 20, 2009

eBay - Then and Now

It was September 4, 1995 in San Jose, California, when a computer programmer Pierre Omidyar put up "AuctionWeb" as part of a website for his online consulting firm Echo Bay Technology Group. Omidyar tried to register the domain name EchoBay.com, but a gold mining company Echo Bay Mines had already taken it. So he settled for the shortened domain name eBay.com. Since then eBay has become the largest online auction website not only in the United States, but around the world.

It had always been part of the saga that the very first items sold on eBay were the PEZ candy dispensers that Pam Wesley (Pierre Omidyar’s fiancee) owned. Not so. Omidyar sold the very first item on eBay, his very own broken laser pointer. To his astonishment it had sold for $14.83.

To this day, eBay has millions of members who sell and buy on the site and has helped thousands of people start their own businesses. As of December 2008, over 700,000 people in the United States rely on their eBay sales as part of their income.

eBay has became so huge that it has websites located in the following markets.
Asia Pacific: Europe: North America:
Australia Austria Canada
China Belgium United States
Hong Kong France
India Germany
Malaysia Ireland
New Zealand Italy
Philippines Netherlands
Singapore Poland
South Korea Spain
Taiwan Sweden
United Kingdom

EBay's Pierre Omidyar, center, Meg Whitman and Jim Griffith in front of those Pez dispensers.
By Jack Gruber, USA TODAY

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