EBay, global online auction and trading company launched by American entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar in 1995. eBay was one of the first companies to create and market an Internet Web site to match buyers and sellers of goods and services. The company, which caters to individual sellers and small businesses, is a market leader in e-commerce worldwide.
eBay Inc. is an American multinational e-commerce corporation based in San Jose, California, that facilitates consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales through its website.
eBay is a multibillion-dollar business with operations in about 32 countries and more than 13,300 employees, as of 2019. Its revenue for 2020 was 10,27 billion dollars.
The AuctionWeb was founded in California on September 3, 1995, by French-born Iranian-American computer programmer Pierre Omidyar 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; the buyer explained: "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers."It soon became the first online auction site allowing person-to-person transactions, and its popularity boomed.
Reportedly, eBay was simply a hobby for Omidyar until his Internet service provider informed him he would need to upgrade to a business account due to his high website traffic. The monthly price increase from $30 to $250 prompted him to start charging eBay users, who did not object. Chris Agarpao was eBay's first additional employee to process mailed check payments.
Jeffrey Skoll was hired as the first new president of the company in early 1996. In November 1996, the E-Commerce platform 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: from 250,000 auctions during all of 1996 to 200,000 in January 1997 alone.
The company officially changed the name of its service from AuctionWeb to eBay in September 1997, after Echo Bay Technology Group, Omidyar's consulting firm. The domain name echobay.com was already taken by a gold mining company, so Omidyar shortened it to eBay.com.
Customers can participate in Web sites set up within their own country or use one of the company’s international sites. There are eBay Web sites for both the U.S. and Canadian markets, most European countries, and several countries in Asia.
Latin American Web sites are operated in association with Mercado Libre, an e-commerce provider running similar operations. Although auctions constitute the bulk of eBay sales, fixed-price sales also constitute a significant share of transactions.
eBay relies on its users to self-regulate the trading community through a feedback system that allows buyers to rate sellers on transactions. In theory, unscrupulous vendors are exposed and lose the trust enjoyed by reputable sellers.
According to britannica.com