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{{pp-move|small=yes}}{{short description|American multinational e-commerce corporation}}{{Use American English|date=August 2015}}{{Use mdy dates|date=May 2019}}{{coord|37.2952|-121.9260|type:landmark_region:US-CA|display=title}}{{Lowercase title}}

Devin Wenig {{small>(CEO)}}}}| industry = Internet| services = Online shoppingweblink}}Public company>PublicEBAY}}NASDAQ-100S&P 500>S&P 500 ComponentAuctionWeb)Auction Co., Kijiji>eBayClassifieds, Kijiji, iBazar, GittiGidiyor, Gumtree, G-Market, StubHub,,, Qoo10.jp10.746 billion(2018)}}HTTPS://WWW.SEC.GOV/ARCHIVES/EDGAR/DATA/1065088/000106508818000009/EBAY201710-K.HTM >TITLE=EBAY, INC. 2017 ANNUAL REPORT (FORM 10-K) WEBSITE=SEC.GOV, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2.265 billion}} {{small|(2017)}}1.016 billion}} {{small|(2017)}}25.981 billion}} {{small|(2017)}}8.063 billion}} {{small|(2017)}}(December 2017)}}}}eBay Inc. ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|iː|ˌ|b|eɪ}} {{respell|EE|bay}}) 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 was founded by Pierre Omidyar in the autumn of 1995, and became a notable success story of the dot-com bubble. eBay is a multibillion-dollar business with operations in about 30 countries, as of 2011.{{Update inline|date=August 2019}} The company manages the eBay website, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a wide variety of goods and services worldwide. The website is free to use for buyers, but sellers are charged fees for listing items after a limited number of free listings, and again when those items are sold.WEB, Seller fees & invoices,weblink eBay, September 8, 2014, In addition to eBay's original auction-style sales, the website has evolved and expanded to include: instant "Buy It Now" shopping; shopping by Universal Product Code, ISBN, or other kind of SKU number (via, which was shut down in 2017); online classified advertisements (via Kijiji, or eBay Classifieds); online event ticket trading (via StubHub); and other services. eBay previously offered online money transfers as part of its services (via PayPal, which was a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay from 2002 to 2015).NEWS,weblink PayPal Spinoff Day Has Arrived -- What Does It Mean for Investors?, Borison, Rebecca, July 20, 2015, TheStreet, December 1, 2018, en-US,



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. In his responding email, the buyer explained: "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers." It soon became the first online auction site allowing person-to-person transactions, which led to a mass volume of online transactions.BOOK, Bunnell, David, The ebay Phenomenon: Business Secrets Behind the World's Hottest Internet Company, 2001, John Wiley & Sons, 9780471436799, 71–81,weblink The eBay Business Model, 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) prompted him to start charging those who used eBay, which was not met with any animosity.BOOK, DeNardis, Anthony, Thinking Differently, eBay Going Forward, 2013,, 978-1304706645, 15,weblink June 28, 2017, It did result in the hiring of Chris Agarpao as eBay's first additional employee to process mailed checks coming in for fees.NEWS,weblink 'The Perfect Store', Cohen, Adam, June 16, 2002, New York Times, August 22, 2018, en, File:Pomidyarji.jpg|thumb|left|Pierre OmidyarPierre OmidyarJeffrey Skoll was hired as the first new 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 {{formatnum:2000000}} auctions, compared with {{formatnum:250000}} during the whole of 36, The eBay Phenomenon by Elen Lewis publ2008 by Marshall Cavendish booksThe 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, but found it already taken by the Echo Bay Mines, a gold mining company, so he shortened it to his second choice, In 1997 the company received $6.7 million in funding from the venture capital firm Benchmark Capital.Meg Whitman was hired by the board as eBay president and CEO in March 1998. At the time, the company had 30 employees, half a million users and revenues of $4.7 million in the United States.NEWS, The history of eBay: How the internet auctioneer rose to the top,weblink June 28, 2017, The Telegraph, April 15, 2011, In 2001, eBay had the largest userbase of any e-commerce site.The frequently repeated story that eBay was founded to help Omidyar's fiancée trade Pez candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager, Mary Lou Song, 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.After eBay went public, both Omidyar and Skoll became instant billionaires. eBay's target share price of $18 was all but ignored as the price went to $53.50 on the first day of trading.WEB,weblink eBay roars into public trading, CNET, The Pez dispenser myth generated enormous amounts of publicity and led to some of eBay's most explosive early growth among toy collectors. However, at the time, Beanie Babies (manufactured by Ty, Inc.) were the leader in the toy category and the most difficult brand to find in retail stores. Beanie Babies quickly became the dominant product on eBay, accounting for 10% of all eBay listings in 1997.BOOK, Bissonnette, Zac, March 2015, The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute, Penguin Books, The Efficient Market, 122–125, 978-1591846024, NEWS, Lessons from the Great Beanie Babies Crash,weblink Fortune Magazine, Anne Vandermey, March 11, 2015, July 11, 2018, While eBay was still a privately held company, two major factors contributed to its growing market share:
  • The growing collectibility of Beanie Babies in the mid-1990s – collectors internationally were trying to complete their collection of Beanie Babies
  • Ty producing the first business-to-consumer Web site - the original Ty Web site contained an online trading post where people could trade their Beanie Babies; however, the trading post was overwhelmed with unsortable listings, creating a legitimate demand for a more efficient online system to buy and trade Beanie Babies in the secondary market
As a result, eBay provided a user-friendly interface to search for specific Beanie Babies that collectors were searching for.On September 21, 1998, eBay went public. In the risk factors section of the annual report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in 1998, Omidyar notes eBay's dependence on the continued strength of the Beanie Babies market.WEB,weblink Pierre M. Omidyar: The Web For The People, Bloomburg BusinessWeek, December 5, 2004, June 17, 2018,


As the company expanded product categories beyond collectibles into almost any saleable item, business grew quickly. In 2000, eBay had 12 million registered users and a cyberinventory of more than 4.5 million items on sale on any given day.NEWS, Flea Market at Your Fingertips, Lisa Hoffman, Citizens Voice, Wilkes-Barre, PA, 38, July 6, 2000, subscription,weblink, December 23, 2018, In February 2002 the company purchased iBazar, a similar European auction web site founded in 1998,NEWS,weblink The history of eBay, The Daily Telegraph, July 24, 2017, en, and then bought PayPal on October 3, 2002.WEB,weblink It's Official: eBay Wed PayPal, CNET, October 3, 2002, October 4, 2015, By early 2008 the company had expanded worldwide, counting hundreds of millions of registered users as well as {{formatnum:15000}} employees and revenues of almost $7.7 billion. After nearly ten years at eBay, Whitman decided to enter politics. On January 23, 2008, the company announced that Whitman would step down on March 31, 2008, and John Donahoe was selected to become president and CEO.WEB,weblink John Donahoe,, November 1, 2011, Whitman remained on the board of directors and continued to advise Donahoe through 2008. In late 2009 eBay completed the sale of Skype for $2.75 billion, but still owned 30% equity in the company.NEWS,weblink Breaking: eBay Completes Skype Sale At $2.75 Billion Valuation, The Washington Post, November 19, 2009, November 1, 2011, Robin, Wauters,


In 2012 eBay was charged by the United States Department of Justice with entering into non-solicitation agreements with other technology companies involving their highly skilled employees.WEB,weblink After Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel, Pixar, and Intuit, Antitrust Employment Charges Hit eBay, Bill, Singer, November 19, 2012, Forbes, On September 30, 2014, eBay announced it would spin off PayPal into a separate publicly traded company, a demand made nine months prior by activist hedge fund magnate Carl Icahn. The spinoff completed on July 18, 2015. eBay's then chief executive, John Donahoe, stepped down from that role.WEB, De La Merced, Michael, Sorkin, Andrew, EBay to Spin Off PayPal, Adopting Strategy Backed by Icahn,weblink The New York Times, September 30, 2014, NEWS, Mukherjee, Supantha, EBay follows Icahn's advice, plans PayPal spinoff in 2015,weblink Reuters, September 30, 2014, Reuters, September 30, 2014, WEB, Cheng, Roger, eBay, PayPal to split into separate companies in 2015,weblink CNET, September 30, 2014, Flipkart and eBay entered into a strategic partnership in 2017 under which eBay Inc acquired a 5.44% stake in Flipkart in exchange for its eBay India business for $211 Mn and a $514 Mn cash investment. As part of the partnership, Flipkart decided to use the eBay's platform for global outsourcingweblink January 31, 2018, eBay announced that they would replace PayPal as its primary payments provider with Netherlands-based start-up Adyen. The transition was set to be completed by 2021, but PayPal would remain an acceptable payment option on the site until further notice.NEWS,weblink Why eBay abandoned PayPal for a smaller European competitor, Browne, Ryan, February 1, 2018, CNBC, February 2, 2018,

Corporate affairs

Board of directors

As of November 2014 the board of directors was as follows:WEB, Board of Directors,weblink eBay Inc, November 4, 2014,


In September 2012, eBay introduced a new logo set in the Univers typeface, but using a thinner variation of it,WEB,weblink Brand New: eBay Settles for Lowest Bid., Brand New, February 5, 2015, installed on the website on October 10, 2012. It replaced the logo with a thicker variation of Univers which had been used since its establishment in 1995. An all red, eBay logo with the same type set was also introduced to be used temporarily for various holidays.File:EBay former logo.svg|1995–2012File:EBay logo.svg|2012–present

Profit and transactions

eBay generates revenue by a complex system of fees for services, listing product features, and a final value fee for sales proceeds by sellers. As of 2019 the US-based charges $0.35 as an insertion fee for a basic listing without any adornments. The final value fee is 10-12% of the total amount of the sale, which is the price of the item plus shipping charges.WEB, eBay selling fees,weblink Reduced final value fees are available to business registered customers. Other eBay websites follow a similar fee structure, but with different cost charges.Under US law before 2018, a state cannot require sellers located outside the state to collect a sales tax, which made making purchases on eBay more attractive to American buyers. Sellers that operate as a business do follow state tax regulations on eBay transactions.WEB,weblink Ebay's history – know your roots!, Ecommerce Journal, February 25, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink March 26, 2008, Since 2018, changes to tax law in the United States force eBay (and other large marketplaces) to collect sales tax on any eBay purchase shipped to certain states.WEB, eBay sales tax collection,weblink The company's business strategy includes increasing international trade. eBay has already expanded to over two dozen countries, including China and India. Strategic international expansion has failed in Taiwan and Japan, where Yahoo! had a head start, and New Zealand, where Trade Me is the dominant online auction website. eBay also notably failed in China due to competition from local rival Taobao.WEB,weblink How Taobao bested Ebay in China, Financial Times, November 3, 2013, eBay entered the Chinese market in 2002 and shut down its Chinese site in 2007.WEB,weblink Tom Online: eBay's Last China Card, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, November 3, 2013, In India, eBay's operations came to a haltWEB,weblink Flipkart raises $1.4 billion from eBay, Microsoft and Tencent at an $11.6 billion valuation, Russell, Jon, TechCrunch, April 10, 2017, after it sold off its India operationsNEWS,weblink Flipkart to buy eBay India as part of $1.4 billion fund-raising deal, Dalal, Mihir, April 10, 2017,, April 10, 2017, to country's largest ecommerce company Flipkart, in the latter's $1.4Bn fundraise,WEB,weblink At a $11.6Bn valuation, Flipkart scores a hefty $1.4Bn from Microsoft, Tencent & eBay, April 10, 2017, The Tech Portal, April 10, 2017, dead,weblink April 10, 2017, where eBay was a participant.In its Q1 2008 results, total payment volume via PayPal increased 17%, but off the eBay auction site it was up 61%.For most listing categories, eBay sellers are permitted to offer a variety of payment systems such as,WEB,weblink Using escrow services for eBay Motors vehicle purchases, eBay Inc., PayPal, Paymate, Propay, and Skrill. Propay and Skrill were banned effective September 27, 2015, citing low usage.WEB, eBay Bans Sellers from Offering PayPal Rivals,weblink eCommerce Bytes, August 31, 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink August 31, 2015, is eBay's approved escrow site. The transactions processed through largely are in relation to eBay Motors; however, they are not restricted to this type of listing.eBay runs an affiliate program under the name eBay Partner Network. eBay affiliate marketers were originally paid a percentage of the eBay seller's transaction fees, with commissions ranging from 50% to 75% of the fees paid for an item purchased. In October 2009, eBay changed to an affiliate payout system that it calls Quality Click Pricing, in which affiliates are paid an amount determined by an undisclosed algorithm. The total earnings amount is then divided by the number of clicks the affiliate sent to eBay and is reported as Earnings Per Click, or EPC. In October 2013, ePN launched a new pricing model. The new model is more transparent and is based on category-level base commission rates with bonuses available for referring new and reactivated buyers.WEB,weblink New Pricing to Launch on October 1st, eBay Inc., On April 18, 2012, eBay reported a 29% Q1 revenue increase to $3.3 billion compared to their Q1 in 2011. Net income was reported to be at $570 million for the quarter.WEB,weblink eBay Beats; Q1 Revenue Up 29 Percent To $3.3B; Net Income Up 20 Percent, Leena, Rao, TechCrunch, AOL, For the fiscal year 2017, eBay reported losses of US$1.016 billion, with an annual revenue of US$9.567 billion, an increase of 6.6% over the previous fiscal cycle. eBay's shares traded at over $35 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$27.2 billion in October 2018.{| class="wikitable float-left" style="text-align: right;"!Year!Revenuein mil. USD$!Net incomein mil. USD$!Total Assetsin mil. USD$!Price per Sharein USD$!EmployeesLAST=DATE=ACCESS-DATE=, |4,552|1,082|11,789|15.65|LAST=DATE=ACCESS-DATE=, |5,970|1,126|13,494|13.00|LAST=DATE=ACCESS-DATE=, |7,672|348|15,366|13.25|LAST=DATE=ACCESS-DATE=, |8,541|1,779|15,592|9.58|LAST=DATE=ACCESS-DATE=, |8,727| 2,389|18,408|7.29|LAST=DATE=ACCESS-DATE=, |9,156| 1,801|22,004|9.68|LAST=DATE=ACCESS-DATE=, |11,652|3,229|27,320|12.28|LAST=DATE=ACCESS-DATE=, |14,072|2,609|37,074|16.61|LAST=DATE=ACCESS-DATE=, |16,047|2,856|41,488|21.03|33,500LAST=DATE=ACCESS-DATE=, |8,790|46|45,132|21.01|34,600LAST=DATE=ACCESS-DATE=, |8,592| 1,725|17,755|25.00|11,600LAST=DATE=ACCESS-DATE=, |8,979|7,266|23,847|27.08|12,600WEBSITE=INVESTORS.EBAYINC.COMACCESS-DATE=NOVEMBER 18, 2018, |9,567|−1,016|25,981|35.06|14,100

Environmental record

On May 8, 2008, eBay announced the opening of its newest building on the company's North Campus in San Jose, which is the first structure in the city to be built from the ground up to LEED Gold standards. The building, the first the company had built in its 13-year existence, uses an array of 3,248 solar panels, spanning {{convert|60000|sqft|m2}}, and providing 650 kilowatts of power to eBay's campus. The array can supply 15–18% of the company's total energy requirements, reducing the amount of greenhouse gases that would be produced to create that energy by other means. SolarCity, the company responsible for designing the array, estimates that the solar panels installed on eBay's campus will prevent 37 million pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment as a result of replaced power production over the next three decades. Creating an equivalent impact to remove the same amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere would require planting {{convert|322|acre|km2}} of trees.The design of the building also incorporates other elements to reduce its impact on the environment. The building is equipped with a lighting system that detects natural ambient light sources and automatically dims artificial lighting to save 39% of the power usually required to light an office building. eBay's newest building also reduces demand on local water supplies by incorporating an eco-friendly irrigation system, and low-flow shower heads and faucets. Even during construction, more than 75% of the waste from construction was recycled. eBay also runs buses between San Francisco and the San Jose campus to reduce the number of commuting vehicles. In 2014, eBay and several other Oregon businesses signed the Oregon Business Climate Declaration to promote local job growth and slow carbon pollution.WEB, Giegerich, Andy, Intel, eBay in forefront as Oregon tech companies join fight against climate change,weblink September 24, 2014,



On October 3, 2002, PayPal became a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay.WEB
,weblink It's official: eBay weds PayPal, CNET, Troy, Wolverton, October 3, 2002, May 7, 2007, Its corporate headquarters were sited in San Jose, California,{{Citation
|first=Diana |last=Samuels |date=October 29, 2012 |title=PayPal lays off 325 in effort to speed innovation |periodical=San Jose Business Journal | |url= |accessdate=October 30, 2012 }} United States at eBay's North First Street satellite office campus. On September 30, 2014, eBay Inc. announced the divestiture of PayPal as an independent company, which was completed on July 20, 2015.WEB,weblink EBay And PayPal Formally Split On July 20,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink July 2, 2015, June 29, 2015,


In the summer of 2004, eBay acknowledged that it had acquired 25% of classified listings website Craigslist. Former Craigslist executive Phillip Knowlton was the seller, and he insisted that his former employer was aware of his plans to divest his holdings. Initially, eBay assured Craigslist that they would not ask the company to change the way it does business.In March 2005, eBay launched the classifieds service Kijiji. In April 2008, eBay sued Craigslist to "safeguard its four-year financial investment", claiming that in January 2008, Craigslist took actions that "unfairly diluted eBay's economic interest by more than 10%". Craigslist countersued in May 2008 "to remedy the substantial and ongoing harm to fair competition" that Craigslist claimed was constituted by eBay's actions as a Craigslist shareholder. In September 2010, Delaware Judge William Chandler ruled that the actions of Craigslist were unlawful and that the actions taken by Craigslist founders Jim Buckmaster and Craig Newmark had "breached their fiduciary duty of loyalty", and restored eBay's stake in the company to 28.4% from a diluted level of 24.85%. However, the judge dismissed eBay's objection to a staggered board provision, citing that Craigslist has the right to protect its own trade secrets. eBay spokesman Michael Jacobson stated "We are very pleased that the court gave eBay what it sought from the lawsuit."


In October 2005, eBay Inc. acquired Skype Technologies,WEB,weblink EBay Buys Skype for $2.6 Billion, Blau, John, September 12, 2005, PC World, September 21, 2015, Online auction site EBay has agreed to acquire Internet telephony company Skype Technologies for $2.6 billion, the companies have announced., developer of the Skype VoIP and Instant messaging service, significantly expanding its customer base to more than 480 million registered users worldwide. eBay later sold a majority stake in Skype in November 2009, while retaining a minority investment in the company.WEB,weblink Breaking: eBay Completes Skype Sale At $2.75 Billion Valuation, Wauters, Robin, November 19, 2009, TechCrunch, September 21, 2015, eBay has just announced that it has completed the sale of Skype, valuing the company at $2.75 billion., This eventually led to the sale of the entire Skype business to Microsoft for $8.5 billion in May 2011.NEWS,weblink Microsoft Buy Skype for $8.5 Billion. Why, Exactly?, Peter, Bright, Wired (magazine), Wired, May 10, 2011, October 2, 2015,


StubHub's acquisition by eBay was announced in January 2007 for a reported $310 million.BOOK, Who needs Tickets?, Billboard,weblink April 30, 2013, February 3, 2007, Nielsen Business Media, Inc., 18, 0006-2510, BOOK, Shelly, Gary B., Vermaat, Misty E., Discovering Computers 2009: Introductory,weblink April 30, 2013, 2008, Cengage Learning, 978-1-4239-1197-5, 103, NEWS,weblink EBay Buying StubHub for $310M in Cash, Associated Press, 13 WTHR Indianapolis, January 11, 2007, September 10, 2019, According to CNN Money, 2007 was a very successful year for the company, handling five million individual transactions, more than in the previous six years combined of its history.BOOK, Fekete, Jeffrey, Making the Big Game: Tales of an Accidental Spectator,weblink April 30, 2013, 2010, Publish Green, 978-1-936401-07-9, 142, Staffing at StubHub had increased to 350 workers by the time of the sale. Eight months after the acquisition, StubHub reached an exclusive agreement with Major League Baseball (MLB). They get a piece of the 25% in commissions StubHub earns on either end of a sale. Ticketmaster filed a lawsuit against StubHub and eBay in 2007, alleging "intentional interference" with Ticketmaster's contractual rights.BOOK, Billboard,weblink April 30, 2013, May 5, 2007, Nielsen Business Media, Inc., 6, 0006-2510,


In October 2016, eBay acquired Corrigon, a visual search engine, for less than $30 million.WEB,weblink eBay acquires visual search engine Corrigon for less than $30M, Lunden, Ingrid, TechCrunch, October 7, 2016,

In April 2018, eBay acquired the Japanese division of Qoo10, a market place driven by Giosis and having the 4th GMV in Japan, for a reported $573 million.NEWS,weblink EBay paid $573M to buy Japanese e-commerce platform Qoo10, filing reveals, TechCrunch, November 15, 2018, en-US, With the close of the transaction, eBay also has relinquished its investment in Giosis’ non-Japanese businesses. This acquisition expands eBay's footprint in Japan, one of the largest e-commerce markets in the world. eBay made an initial investment in Giosis Pte. Ltd. in 2010. Since then, Giosis has established dynamic marketplace businesses across Asia. With today's acquisition, eBay will build on Giosis’ progress in Japan, enhancing the domestic customer experience and providing approximately two million Japanese buyers currently using the Qoo10 platform with a well-curated selection of merchandise sourced both locally and from across the globe. eBay's Japan business, including Giosis’ Japan business, will report into Jooman Park, senior vice president of eBay's Asia Pacific region.WEB,weblink eBay Completes Acquisition of Giosis' Japan Business, May 2, 2018,, en-US, November 15, 2018,

Use for data analysis

eBay is a publicly visible market which has attracted an interest from economists, who have used it to analyze aspects of buying and selling behavior, auction formats, etc., comparing them with previous theoretical and empirical findings.Computer information systems researchers have also shown interest in eBay. Michael Goul, chairman of the Computer Information Systems department of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, published an academic case based on eBay's big data management and use in which he discusses how eBay is a data-driven company that processes 50 petabytes of data a day.WEB,weblink eBay Study: How to Build Trust and Improve the Shopping Experience,, May 8, 2012, June 24, 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink June 19, 2012, eBay uses a system that allows different departments in the company to check out data from their data mart into sandboxes for analysis. According to Goul, eBay has already experienced significant business successes through its data analytics. eBay employs 5,000 data analysts to enable data-driven decision making.

Third party

In 2006 the accounting software company Intuit launched a web-based donation tracking service called ItsDeductible. The service uses data from eBay to help users assign a market value to the items they donate.WEB, Elmblad, Shelley, ItsDeductible Online Tracks Charitable Contributions All Year,weblink, December 28, 2013,

Visual search

In July 2017 eBay released an image search capability allowing users to find listings on the site that match an item depicted in a photo, using artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.WEB,weblink Ebay to launch visual search tools for finding products using photos from your phone or web, TechCrunch, Perez, Sarah, July 28, 2017,


UK's GCHQ has a suite of tools for monitoring target use of eBay, named ELATE.WEB,weblink Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek to Control the Internet, The Intercept, July 14, 2014,


Millions of collectibles, decor, appliances, computers, furnishings, equipment, domain names,WEB,weblink eBay domain name sellers: for sale £3,000,000?!, DoesWhat, April 8, 2011, November 1, 2011, vehicles, and other miscellaneous items are listed, bought, or sold daily on eBay. In 2006, eBay launched its Business & Industrial category, breaking into the industrial surplus business. Generally, anything can be auctioned on the site as long as it is not illegal and does not violate the eBay Prohibited and Restricted Items policy. Services and intangibles can be sold, too. Large international companies, such as IBM, sell their newest products and offer services on eBay using competitive auctions and fixed-priced storefronts. Separate eBay sites such as eBay US and eBay UK allow the users to trade using the local currency. Software developers can create applications that integrate with eBay through the eBay API by joining the eBay Developers Program. In June 2005, there were more than 15,000 members in the eBay Developers Program, comprising a broad range of companies creating software applications to support eBay buyers and sellers as well as eBay Affiliates.Numerous government and police agenciesWEB, government Auctions,weblink Police and Government Auctions, April 7, 2015, around the world now use eBay as well as traditional auctions to dispose of seized and confiscated goods.Controversy has arisen over certain items put up for bid. For instance, in late 1999 a man offered one of his kidneys for auction on eBay, attempting to profit from the potentially lucrative (and, in the United States, illegal) market for transplantable human organs.NEWS, Harmon, Amy, September 3, 1999, Auction for a kidney pops up on Ebay's site, The New York Times,,weblink October 7, 2014, (File:PayPal San Jose Headquarters.jpg|thumb|upright=0.9|eBay North First Street satellite office campus (home to PayPal))Beginning in August 2007, eBay required listings in "Video Games" and "Health & Beauty" to accept its payment system PayPal and sellers could only accept PayPal for payments in the category "Video Games: Consoles". Starting January 10, 2008, eBay said sellers can only accept PayPal as payment for the categories "Computing > Software", "Consumer Electronics > MP3 Players", "Wholesale & Job Lots > Mobile & Home Phones", and "Business, Office & Industrial > Industrial Supply / MRO". eBay announced that starting in March 2008, eBay had added to this requirement that all sellers with fewer than 100 feedbacks must offer PayPal and no merchant account may be used as an alternative.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink February 15, 2008, Announcement posted in a section on eBay called Changes in 2008, February 15, 2008, November 1, 2011, This is in addition to the requirement that all sellers from the United Kingdom have to offer PayPal.Further, and as noted below, it was a requirement to offer PayPal on all listings in Australia and the UK. In response to concerns expressed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, however, eBay has since removed the policy on the website requiring sellers to offer PayPal as a payment option.(File:Ebay express.png|thumb|eBay Express logo)(File:EBayTorontoOffice.JPG|thumb|eBay Office in Toronto, Canada)On April 24, 2006, eBay opened its new eBay Express site, which was designed to work like a standard Internet shopping site for consumers with United States addresses.NEWS,weblink eBay Previews New eBay Express, Juan Carlos, Perez, PC World, April 24, 2006, October 4, 2015, Before it closed in 2008, selected eBay items were mirrored on eBay Express, where buyers used a traditional digital shopping cart to purchase from multiple sellers.NEWS,weblink Amid the Gloom, an E-Commerce War, Stone, Brad, October 11, 2008, The New York Times, August 22, 2018, en, The UK version was launched to eBay members in mid-October 2006, but on January 29, 2008, eBay announced its intention to close the site. The German version, eBay Express Germany, was also opened in 2006 and closed in 2008.At the 2008 eBay Developer's Conference, eBay announced the Selling Manager Applications program (SM Apps). The program allows approved developers to integrate their applications directly into the interface. The applications created by developers are available for subscription by eBay members who also subscribe to Selling Manager.eBay maintains a number of specialty sites including the discussion boards, groups, answer center, chat rooms, and reviews and guides. eBay's mobile offerings include SMS alerts, a WAP site, Java ME clients, and mobile applications for Windows Phone, Android OS, and Apple iPhone.The initiative Choice in eCommerce was founded on May 8, 2013, by several online retailers in Berlin, Germany.WEB,weblink Petition for Choice in Ecommerce,, July 16, 2013, WEB,weblink Choice in eCommerce, The newroomsonline blog, July 23, 2013, WEB, Jean-Marc, Noel, August 9, 2013,weblink Online retailers prepare to fight the sales ban - Ecommerce News Blog,, May 21, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 29, 2015, WEB,weblink eBay lobbies to ban sales restrictions, Toy World Magazine, May 21, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 21, 2014, WEB,weblink Choice in eCommerce Campaigns for Resale Rights, Web Retailer, September 6, 2013, May 21, 2014, WEB,weblink Choice in eCommerce Interview, Web Retailer, September 21, 2013, May 21, 2014, BILD, Online-Händler kämpfen gegen Hersteller-Boykott, July 16, 2013eCommerce Magazin 7-2013, Online-Handel gründet Initiative gegen Verkauftsverbot, July 17, 2013WEB,weblink Aufstand gegen Adidas und Co.: Online-Händler stemmen sich gegen Verkaufsverbote, July 16, 2013, FOCUS Online, The cause was, in the view of the initiative, sales bans and online restrictions by individual manufacturers. The dealers felt cut off from their main sales channel and thus deprived them the opportunity to use online platforms like Amazon, eBay, or Rakuten in a competitive market for the benefit of their customers.

Unusual items

Many unusual items have been placed for sale on eBay, including at least two previously undiscovered species, including the Coelopleurus exquisitus sea urchin.WEB,weblink BBC - Outriders: An Exquisite New Species found on Ebay, BBC, WEB,weblink Insect expert discovers new species on eBay, August 19, 2008, August 19, 2008, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 28, 2012,

Prohibited or restricted items

In its earliest days, eBay was nearly unregulated. However, as the site grew, it became necessary to restrict or prohibit auctions for various items. Note that some of the restrictions relate to (the US site), while other restrictions apply to specific European sites (such as Nazi paraphernalia). Regional laws and regulations may apply to the seller or the buyer. Generally, if the sale or ownership of an item is regulated or prohibited by one or more states, eBay will not permit its listing. Among the hundred or so banned or restricted categories:{{columns-list|colwidth=30em|
  • Tobacco (tobacco-related items and collectibles are accepted.)
  • Alcohol (alcohol-related collectibles, including sealed containers, as well as some wine sales by licensed sellers are allowed, some sites such as allow licensed liquor sales) (eBay announced September 21, 2012, it will begin removing listings for beer and liquor from its site after a story was aired on ABC series 20/20.)WEB, McNIFF and GOMSTYN, EAMON and ALICE, eBay Begins Removing Alcohol Listings After '20/20' Report on Teen Buyer,weblink ABC News, September 22, 2012, September 22, 2012,
  • Drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Items that "promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual, or religious intolerance, or promote organizations with such views". This includes Nazi paraphernalia, although there are exceptions to this rule for Nazi items such as stamps, letters, and envelopes displaying Nazi postmarks (must comply with the currency and stamp policy)
  • Historically accurate WWII military model kits that have Nazi symbols and items depicting the Confederate battle flag.WEB, eBay bans Confederate battle flag, other items bearing racist icon,weblink Ars Technica, June 23, 2015, June 23, 2015,
  • Bootleg recordings
  • Firearms and ammunition (as of January 1, 1999), including any parts that could be used to assemble a firearm as well as (as of July 30, 2007) any firearm part that is required for the firing of a gun, including bullet slugs, brass casings and shells, slides, cylinders, magazines, firing pins, trigger assemblies, etc. Various types of knives are also forbidden.
  • Police and emergency service vehicular warning equipment such as red or blue lights and sirens (antique or collectible items are exempt)
  • Intentionally soiled underwear (see Panty fetishism) and dirty used clothing
  • Forged, illegal, stolen, or confidential documents, which include passports, Social Security cards, drivers licenses, voter registration cards, birth certificates, school documents, medical records, financial information, government license plates, or government classified information documents. Any item that is used to modify documents is also restricted.
  • Human body parts, organs, and remains (with an exception for skeletons and skulls for scientific study, provided they are not Native American in origin)
  • Live animals (with certain exceptions)
  • Certain copyrighted works or trademarked items
  • Lottery tickets, sweepstakes tickets, or any other gambling items.
  • Military hardware such as working weapons or explosives with the exception of demilitarized vehicles.
  • Any object of Iranian, Cuban, or North Korean origin.
  • Enriched uranium, plutonium, and other fissile material.
  • Certain categories of sexually oriented material, which must be listed in the "Adult Only" category, notwithstanding certain items prohibited:
  • Virtual items from massively multiplayer online games, restrictions that vary by country
  • Ivory products
  • Knives, other than some cutlery, are prohibited in the UK following the criminal importation into the UK (by BBC Watchdog researchers) of several knives that were already illegal to own or import under existing UK legislation. The ban also includes empty leather knife scabbards if they are listed under the category of "knives" on one of the eBay sites
  • Fortune-telling and witchcraft-related services
  • Souls, ghosts, and other "items whose existence cannot be verified" are prohibited.WEB,weblink No item listings and inappropriate comments policy, January 24, 2013, WEB,weblink Norton DJ's charity ghost sale spirited off eBay, Hole, Chris, Evening Gazette (Teesside), Evening Gazette, September 18, 2010, January 24, 2013, WEB,weblink Turns Out You're Not Allowed To Sell Your Soul On eBay, Thomas, Owen, Business Insider, July 6, 2012, January 24, 2013,
  • Many other items are either wholly prohibited or restricted in some manner.


Auction-style listings

Bidding on eBay (old or new)'s auction-style listing is called proxy bidding and is essentially equivalent to a Vickrey auction (sealed-bid), with the following exceptions.
  • The winning bidder pays the second-highest bid plus one bid increment amount (that is, some small predefined amount relative to the bid size), instead of simply the highest bid. However, since the bid increment amounts are relatively insignificant compared to the bid size, they are not considered from a strategic standpoint.
  • The highest bidder's bid is sealed, as in a Vickrey auction, but the current winning bid (second highest plus one increment) is displayed throughout the auction to allow price discovery.WEB,weblink Domain Name Auctions,,
  • Because eBay's auction-style listings are sealed-bid, it is usually to all bidders' advantage that bids are made only at the very end of the auction (except for an initial minimum bid, that cancels out a "Buy It Now" option, or prevents the seller from ending the listing early). Early bids will usually not increase the bidder's chance of winning the auction, and will often raise the item's final price (winning bid) for the eventual winner.
  • eBay also allows sellers to offer a "Buy it Now" price that will end the auction immediately. The Buy It Now price is available until someone bids on the item, or until the reserve price is met. When the Buy It Now option disappears, the auction-style listing proceeds normally.WEB,weblink Selling using a fixed price,,

Seller ratings

In 2008, eBay implemented a system of seller ratings with four categories. Buyers are asked to rate the seller in each of these categories with a score of one to five, with five being the highest rating. Unlike the overall feedback rating, these ratings are anonymous; neither sellers nor other users learn how individual buyers rated the seller. The listings of sellers with a rating of 4.3 or below in any of the four rating categories appear lower in search results. Power Sellers are required to have scores in each category above 4.5.In a reversal of roles, on January 24, 2010, held an open survey in which sellers could rate eBay, as well as competing auction and marketplace sites. In the survey, users were asked to rank 15 sites based on five criteria: profitability, customer service, communication, ease of use, and recommendation.eBay was ranked 13th, after other large sites such as Amazon and Craigslist, as well as lesser-known selling sites such as Atomic Mall, eCRATER, and Ruby Lane. In individual category rankings, eBay was rated the worst of all the 15 sites on customer service and communication, and average on ease of use. Some respondents stated they would have given eBay a rating of 10, three to five years ago. eBay was rated twelfth out of fifteen in the Recommended Selling Venue category.

Charity auctions

Using MissionFish as an arbiter, eBay allows sellers to donate a portion of their auction proceeds to a charity of the seller's choice."eBay update adds a Sell for Charity option for US and UK markets". The Next Web, by Jackie Dove — June 9, 2015 The program is called eBay Giving Works in the US, and eBay for Charity"eBay Rebrands Missionfish the PayPal Giving Fund". Ina Steiner, EcommerceBytes, January 15, 2013 in the UK. eBay provides a partial refund of seller fees for items sold through charity auctions. As of March 4, 2010, $154 million has been raised for US nonprofits by the eBay Community since eBay Giving Works began in 2003.WEB,weblink Welcome to eBay Giving Works,, November 1, 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink October 30, 2011, Some high-profile charity auctions have been advertised on the eBay home page.2008 Jeffrey Carpenter, Jessica Holmes and Peter Hans Matthews Charity Auctions: A field of Experiment, The Economic Journal, Vol118 p92-93, Royal Economic Society, London- Blackwell Publishing January 2008. As of June 2010, the highest successful bid on a single item for charity was for the annual "Power Lunch"NEWS,weblink UPDATE 1-Warren Buffett lunch sells for $2.63 mln on eBay, Reuters, June 11, 2010, June 17, 2010, with investor Warren Buffett at the famous Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse in New York. The winning bid was $2.63 million with all of the proceeds going to the Glide Foundation. The winning bidder was not made public, but was able to bring up to seven friends to the lunch. In 2012, a higher bid, of $3.46 million, also going to the Glide Foundation, won a lunch with Buffet.NEWS,weblink Cost to lunch with Warren Buffett: $3.5 million, Associated Press, June 9, 2012, July 29, 2014, In 2016 an anonymous bidder won a $3.45 million lunch with Warren Buffett and the money raised from the auction was given to Glide Foundation.NEWS,weblink Warren Buffett Lunch Auction Won by Mystery Bidder for $3,456,789, Das, Anupreeta, June 11, 2016, The Wall Street Journal, 0099-9660, December 28, 2016, The previous highest successful bid on a single item for charity was for a letter sent to Mark P. Mays, CEO of Clear Channel (parent company of Premiere Radio Networks the production company that produces The Rush Limbaugh Show and Glenn Beck Program) by Senator Harry Reid and forty other Democratic senators, complaining about comments made by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh. The winning bid was $2,100,100, with all of the proceeds going to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, benefiting the education of children of men and women who have died serving in the armed forces. The winning bid was matched by Limbaugh in his largest charity donation to date.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, Critical Letter to Limbaugh Fetches $2 Million, Stephanie, Strom, October 20, 2007, May 1, 2010, In 2007; eBay Canada partnered with Montreal-based digital branding agency CloudRaker to develop a campaign to raise money for Sainte-Justine children's hospital in Montreal. They aligned themselves with Internet phenomenon Têtes à claques to create an eBay auction based on popular T-A-C character Uncle Tom, an infomercial host who pitches absurd products. eBay and CloudRaker reproduced Uncle Tom's imaginary products, The Body Toner Fly Swatter, The Willi Waller Potato Peeler, and the LCD Shovel and sold them online. In six weeks, they raised $15,000 for Hôpital St-Justine with one fly swatter, one potato peeler, and one shovel, a world record. The Body Toner Fly Swatter sold for $8,600, the Willi Waller Potato Peeler sold for $3,550, and the LCD Shovel sold for $2,146.21.


During auction setup, eBay provides shipping-method choices to sellers: ordinary mail, express mail, and/or courier service. The seller may choose to offer only one shipping method to buyers; or the seller may offer buyers a choice of options.Very-low-value items shipped directly from China are sometimes shipped by surface mail (sea mail), which is inexpensive but takes one to two months.WEB, China Travel Tips » Postal Service,weblink Travel China Guide website, Xian Marco Polo International Travel Service Co., Ltd, February 19, 2017, Surface mail takes one to two months. ... The postage for an air mail is almost twice as much as surface mail., If the buyer is in a hurry, he or she might be able to pay an extra fee to upgrade to second-class Surface Air Lifted shipping or to first-class airmail shipping.Since 2012, eBay has been enlisting sellers into its "Global Shipping Program". If a seller uses the program, non-domestic buyers pay a fee to Pitney Bowes. The seller sends the item to a Pitney Bowes facility in the US (or UK), which then forwards it to the buyer, taking care of all international shipping requirements. The program is claimed to enhance the product selection available to international buyers.WEB, Re: eBay Global shipping program,weblink eBay Seller Central forum, May 1, 2013, pjcdn2005, February 8, 2013, Post 13,

Controversy and criticism

Common eBay criticisms involve the policy of requiring the use of PayPal for payments and concerns over fraud, forgeries and intellectual property violations in auction items.{{citation needed|date=August 2016}} There are also issues of how negative feedback after an auction can offset the benefits of using eBay as a trading platform.{{citation needed|date=August 2016}} eBay has been criticized for not paying UK taxes: the Sunday Times reported in October 2012 that eBay paid only £1.2m in tax on sales of over £800m.NEWS,weblink EBay 'pays £1.2m in UK tax' on sales of £800m, October 21, 2012, January 4, 2014, BBC News,

2014 security breach

On May 21, 2014, the company revealed that the consumer database of usernames, passwords, phone numbers, and physical addresses had been breached between late February and early March. Users were advised to change their passwords; to expedite this, a "change password" feature was added to profiles of users who had not yet done so. The Syrian Electronic Army took responsibility for the attack. The SEA said that even though the hack revealed millions of users' banking details to them, they would not misuse the data. They had replaced the front pages of the websites with their own logo, called "Defacing" in technical terms. The hack caused eBay's share price to crash in intra-day trade as a result of the breach of security.WEB,weblink EBay customers must reset passwords after major hack, CNN, May 21, 2014, May 21, 2014, NEWS,weblink EBay urging users to change passwords after breach, May 21, 2014, USA Today, May 21, 2014, NEWS,weblink EBay asks 145 million users to change passwords after cyber attack, Reuters, May 21, 2014, May 21, 2014, NEWS,weblink eBay Suffers Massive Security Breach, All Users Must Change Their Passwords, Forbes, May 21, 2014, May 21, 2014,

See also


External links

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