eBay - Wikipedia

eBay – Wikipedia

American multinational e-commerce company

Coordinates: 37°17′43″N 121°55′34″W / 37.2952°N 121.9260°W / 37.2952; -121.9260

eBay Inc.
Previously AuctionWeb (1995–1997)
Kind Public
NASDAQ-100 Element
S&P 500 Element
Business E-commerce
Based September 3, 1995; 25 years in the past (1995-09-03)
Founder Pierre Omidyar
Headquarters San Jose, California, U.S.

Space served


Key individuals

Companies On-line buying
Income IncreaseUS$10.Eight billion (2019)[1]
IncreaseUS$2.321 billion (2019)[1]
DecreaseUS$1.792 billion (2019)[1]
Whole property DecreaseUS$18.174 billion (2019)[1]
Whole fairness DecreaseUS$2.87 billion (2019)[1]

Variety of staff

~13,300 (December 2019)[1]
Subsidiaries Public sale Co., eBayClassifieds, Kijiji, iBazar, GittiGidiyor, Gumtree, G-Market, StubHub, Half.com, Marktplaats.nl, Qoo10.jp
Web site www.ebay.com

eBay Inc. ( EE-bay, stylized eBay) is an American multinational e-commerce company primarily based in San Jose, California, that facilitates consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer gross sales by way of its web site. eBay was based by Pierre Omidyar in 1995, and have become a notable success story of the dot-com bubble. eBay is a multibillion-dollar enterprise with operations in about 32 nations, as of 2019.[1][2] The corporate manages the eBay web site, a web-based public sale and buying web site during which individuals and companies purchase and promote all kinds of products and providers worldwide. The web site is free to make use of for patrons, however sellers are charged charges for itemizing gadgets after a restricted variety of free listings, and once more when these gadgets are offered.[3]

Along with eBay’s authentic auction-style gross sales, the web site has advanced and expanded to incorporate: on the spot “Purchase It Now” buying; buying by Common Product Code, ISBN, or different sort of SKU quantity (through Half.com, which was shut down in 2017); on-line categorized ads (through Kijiji, or eBay Classifieds); on-line occasion ticket buying and selling (through StubHub); and different providers. eBay beforehand supplied on-line cash transfers as a part of its providers (through PayPal,[4] which was an entirely owned subsidiary of eBay from 2002 to 2015).[5]

Historical past


The AuctionWeb was based in California on September 3, 1995, by French-born Iranian-American pc programmer Pierre Omidyar as half of a bigger private website.[6] One of many first gadgets offered on AuctionWeb was a damaged laser pointer for $14.83. Astonished, Omidyar contacted the profitable bidder to ask if he understood that the laser pointer was damaged; the client defined: “I am a collector of damaged laser pointers.”[7][8] It quickly grew to become the primary on-line public sale website permitting person-to-person transactions, and its recognition boomed.[9]

Reportedly, eBay was merely a interest for Omidyar till his Web service supplier knowledgeable him he would wish to improve to a enterprise account as a consequence of his excessive web site visitors. The month-to-month worth improve from $30 to $250 prompted him to begin charging eBay customers, who didn’t object.[citation needed] Chris Agarpao was eBay’s first further worker to course of mailed verify funds.[10]

Jeffrey Skoll was employed as the primary new president of the corporate in early 1996. In November 1996, the E-Commerce platform entered into its first third-party licensing deal, with an organization referred to as Digital Journey Public sale, to make use of SmartMarket Know-how to promote airplane tickets and different journey merchandise. Progress was phenomenal: from 250,000 auctions throughout all of 1996 to 200,000 in January 1997 alone.[11][6]

The corporate formally modified the title of its service from AuctionWeb to eBay in September 1997, after Echo Bay Know-how Group, Omidyar’s consulting agency. The area title echobay.com was already taken by a gold mining firm,[12] so Omidyar shortened it to eBay.com.[13] In 1997 the corporate acquired $6.7 million in funding from the enterprise capital agency Benchmark Capital.[14]

The steadily repeated story that eBay was based to assist Omidyar’s fiancée commerce Pez sweet dispensers was fabricated in 1997 by public relations supervisor Mary Lou Tune to offer the media a human-interest story extra interesting than Omidyar’s authentic imaginative and prescient of a “excellent market”.[15][6] The Pez dispenser fantasy generated huge publicity and led to explosive early progress amongst toy collectors.

The chief within the toy class shortly grew to become Beanie Infants manufactured by Ty, Inc., essentially the most tough toys to seek out in retail shops. As collectors internationally have been making an attempt to finish their assortment of Beanie Infants, Ty arrange the primary business-to-consumer Website online, a secondary-market on-line buying and selling put up the place individuals might commerce their Beanie Infants. Nevertheless, it was overwhelmed with unsortable listings, creating an pressing demand for a extra environment friendly on-line buying and selling system.[16][17] Beanie Infants shortly grew to become the dominant product on eBay, accounting for 10% of all listings in 1997, as collectors thronged eBay’s user-friendly interface to seek for particular Beanie Infants.

Meg Whitman was employed by the board as eBay president and CEO in March 1998. On the time, the corporate had 30 staff,[18] half 1,000,000 customers and revenues of $4.7 million in the USA.[19]

On September 21, 1998, eBay went public.[20] Within the danger elements part of the annual report filed with the US Securities and Trade Fee in 1998, Omidyar notes eBay’s dependence on the continued energy of the Beanie Infants market.[16][21] After eBay went public, each Omidyar and Skoll grew to become on the spot billionaires: eBay’s goal of $18 per share was all however ignored as the value went to $53.50 on the primary day of buying and selling.[22]


As the corporate expanded product classes past collectibles into virtually any saleable merchandise, enterprise grew shortly.[7] In 2000, eBay had 12 million registered customers and a cyberinventory of greater than 4.5 million gadgets on sale on any given day.[23] In 2001, eBay had the biggest userbase of any e-commerce website.[9] In February 2002 the corporate bought iBazar, the same European public sale website online based in 1998,[24] after which purchased PayPal on October 3, 2002.[25]

By early 2008 the corporate had expanded worldwide, counting a whole lot of thousands and thousands of registered customers in addition to 15,000 staff and revenues of just about $7.7 billion. After almost ten years at eBay, Whitman determined to enter politics. On January 23, 2008, the corporate introduced that Whitman would step down on March 31, 2008, and John Donahoe was chosen to turn into president and CEO.[citation needed] Whitman remained on the board of administrators and continued to advise Donahoe by way of 2008. In late 2009 eBay accomplished the sale of Skype for $2.75 billion, however nonetheless owned 30% fairness within the firm.[26]


In 2012 eBay was charged by the USA Division of Justice with getting into into non-solicitation agreements with different know-how corporations involving their extremely expert staff.[27]

On September 30, 2014, eBay introduced it could spin off PayPal right into a separate publicly traded firm, a requirement made 9 months prior by activist hedge fund magnate Carl Icahn. The spinoff accomplished on July 18, 2015. eBay’s then chief government, John Donahoe, stepped down from that function.[28][29][30] Flipkart and eBay entered right into a strategic partnership in 2017 below which eBay Inc acquired a 5.44% stake in Flipkart in trade for its eBay India enterprise for $211 Mn and a $514 Mn money funding. As a part of the partnership, Flipkart determined to make use of the eBay’s platform for world outsourcing.[31]

On January 31, 2018, eBay introduced that they’d change PayPal as its main funds supplier with Netherlands-based start-up Adyen. The transition was set to be accomplished by 2021, however PayPal would stay a suitable fee possibility on the positioning till additional discover.[32]

On July 31, 2019, the corporate acquired a 5.59 % stake in Paytm Mall.[33]

On September 25, 2019, it was introduced that Devin Wenig can be stepping down as eBay’s CEO, and that Scott Schenkel, senior vice chairman and chief monetary officer since 2015, had been appointed because the interim CEO.[34] On April 13, 2020, it was introduced that Jamie Iannone would turn into the CEO on April 27.[35] On June 15, 2020, eBay clarified[36] that Wenig and 5 different staff have been terminated in September after a legislation enforcement notification in August due to a probably prison case of harassment of journalists perpetrated by a few of the terminated staff.[37][38][39] The six are charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking.[40]

Company affairs

Board of administrators

As of October 2019 the board of administrators was as follows:[41]

  • Thomas J. Tierney, co-founder of the Bridgespan Group, Chairman of eBay since March 2003
  • Fred D. Anderson, former managing director of Elevation Companions, director of eBay since July 2003
  • Anthony Bates, CEO of Genesys
  • Adriane M. Brown, advisor at Mental Ventures, LLC
  • Diana Farrell, CEO of JPMorgan Chase Institute
  • Logan Inexperienced, CEO of Lyft
  • Bonnie Hammer, Chairman, NBC Common
  • Kathleen Mitic, CEO of Sitch, Inc.
  • Matt Murphy, CEO of Marvell Know-how Group
  • Paul Pressler, Associate at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC
  • Bob Swan, CEO of Intel Company
  • Perry Traquina, CEO of Wellington Administration Firm
Former board members
  • Pierre Omidyar, director since 1996 and chairman of eBay from Could 1996 to Could 2015. In 2020, it was introduced that he shall be leaving the board, nonetheless, will nonetheless maintain the director emeritus title. Moreover, he might nonetheless doubtlessly attend board conferences if invited, however will not have the precise to vote.[42]
  • Jesse Cohn, Head of U.S. Fairness Activism at Elliott Administration Company. He joined the board in 2019 and left the following 12 months.[42]

In September 2012, eBay launched a brand new brand set within the Univers typeface, however utilizing a thinner variation of it,[43] put in on the web site on October 10, 2012. It changed the emblem with a thicker variation of Univers which had been used since its institution in 1995. An all crimson, eBay brand with the identical sort set was additionally launched for use quickly for numerous holidays.

Revenue and transactions

eBay generates income by a fancy system of charges for providers, itemizing product options, and a ultimate worth charge for gross sales proceeds by sellers. As of 2019 the US-based eBay.com prices $0.35 as an insertion charge for a fundamental itemizing with none adornments. The ultimate worth charge is 10-12% of the entire quantity of the sale, which is the value of the merchandise plus transport prices.[44] Decreased ultimate worth charges can be found to enterprise registered prospects. Different eBay web sites observe the same charge construction, however with totally different price prices.

Below US legislation earlier than 2018, a state can’t require sellers positioned outdoors the state to gather a gross sales tax, which made making purchases on eBay extra enticing to American patrons. Sellers that function as a enterprise do observe state tax rules on eBay transactions.[45][46] Since 2018, modifications to tax legislation in the USA pressure eBay (and different massive marketplaces) to gather gross sales tax on any eBay buy shipped to sure states.[47]

The corporate’s enterprise technique consists of growing worldwide commerce.[48][49] eBay has already expanded to over two dozen nations, together with China and India. Strategic worldwide growth has failed in Taiwan and Japan, the place Yahoo! had a head begin, and New Zealand, the place Commerce Me is the dominant on-line public sale web site. eBay additionally notably failed in China as a consequence of competitors from native rival Taobao.[50] eBay entered the Chinese language market in 2002 and shut down its Chinese language website in 2007.[51] In India, eBay’s operations got here to a halt[52] after it offered off its India operations[53] to nation’s largest ecommerce firm Flipkart, within the latter’s $1.4Bn fundraise,[54] the place eBay was a participant.

In its Q1 2008 outcomes, whole fee quantity through PayPal elevated 17%, however of the eBay public sale website it was up 61%.[55]

For many itemizing classes, eBay sellers are permitted to supply quite a lot of fee techniques comparable to Escrow.com,[56]PayPal, Paymate, Propay, and Skrill.[57] Propay and Skrill have been banned efficient September 27, 2015, citing low utilization.[58]

Escrow.com is eBay’s authorised escrow website. The transactions processed by way of Escrow.com largely are in relation to eBay Motors; nonetheless, they aren’t restricted to one of these itemizing.[56]

eBay runs an associates program below the title eBay Associate Community.[59] eBay affiliate entrepreneurs have been initially paid a share of the eBay vendor’s transaction charges, with commissions starting from 50% to 75% of the charges paid for an merchandise bought. In October 2009, eBay modified to an affiliate payout system that it calls High quality Click on Pricing, during which associates are paid an quantity decided by an undisclosed algorithm. The full earnings quantity is then divided by the variety of clicks the affiliate despatched to eBay and is reported as Earnings Per Click on, or EPC. In October 2013, ePN launched a brand new pricing mannequin. The brand new mannequin is extra clear and relies on category-level base fee charges with bonuses out there for referring new and reactivated patrons.[60]

On April 18, 2012, eBay reported a 29% Q1 income improve to $3.Three billion in comparison with their Q1 in 2011. Internet earnings was reported to be at $570 million for the quarter.[61]

For the fiscal 12 months 2017, eBay reported losses of US$1.016 billion, with annual income of US$9.567 billion, a rise of 6.6% over the earlier 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.

12 months Income
in mil. USD$
Internet earnings
in mil. USD$
Whole Belongings
in mil. USD$
Worth per Share
in USD$
2005[62] 4,552 1,082 11,789 15.65
2006[63] 5,970 1,126 13,494 13.00
2007[64] 7,672 348 15,366 13.25
2008[65] 8,541 1,779 15,592 9.58
2009[66] 8,727 2,389 18,408 7.29
2010[67] 9,156 1,801 22,004 9.68
2011[68] 11,652 3,229 27,320 12.28
2012[69] 14,072 2,609 37,074 16.61
2013[70] 16,047 2,856 41,488 21.03 33,500
2014[71] 8,790 46 45,132 21.01 34,600
2015[72] 8,592 1,725 17,755 25.00 11,600
2016[73] 8,979 7,266 23,847 27.08 12,600
2017[74] 9,567 −1,016 25,981 35.06 14,100
2018[75] 10,746 2,530 22,819 34.31 14,000
2019[76] 10,800 1,792 18,174 35.50 13,300

Environmental file

On Could 8, 2008, eBay introduced the opening of its latest constructing on the corporate’s North Campus in San Jose, which is the primary construction within the metropolis to be constructed from the bottom as much as LEED Gold requirements.[77] The constructing, the primary the corporate had in-built its 13-year existence, makes use of an array of three,248 photo voltaic panels, spanning 60,000 sq. ft (5,600 m2), and offering 650 kilowatts of energy to eBay’s campus.[78] The array can provide 15–18% of the corporate’s whole power necessities, decreasing the quantity of greenhouse gases that will be produced to create that power by different means.[78]SolarCity, the corporate accountable for designing the array, estimates that the photo voltaic panels put in on eBay’s campus will stop 37 million kilos of carbon dioxide from being launched into the surroundings because of changed energy manufacturing over the following three many years. Creating an equal affect to take away the identical quantity of carbon dioxide from the environment would require planting 322 acres (1.30 km2) of timber.

The design of the constructing additionally incorporates different parts to scale back its affect on the surroundings. The constructing is provided with a lighting system that detects pure ambient gentle sources and robotically dims synthetic lighting to save lots of 39% of the facility often required to gentle an workplace constructing. eBay’s latest constructing additionally reduces demand on native water provides by incorporating an eco-friendly irrigation system, and low-flow showerheads and taps. Even throughout building, greater than 75% of the waste from building was recycled. eBay additionally runs buses between San Francisco and the San Jose campus to scale back the variety of commuting automobiles.[77] In 2014, eBay and several other different Oregon companies signed the Oregon Enterprise Local weather Declaration to advertise native job progress and sluggish carbon air pollution.[79]



On October 3, 2002, PayPal grew to become an entirely owned subsidiary of eBay.[80] Its company headquarters have been sited in San Jose, California,[81] United States at eBay’s North First Road satellite tv for pc workplace campus. On September 30, 2014, eBay Inc. introduced the divestiture of PayPal as an unbiased firm, which was accomplished on July 20, 2015.[82]


In the summertime of 2004, eBay acknowledged that it had acquired 25% of categorized listings web site Craigslist. Former Craigslist government Phillip Knowlton was the vendor, and he insisted that his former employer was conscious of his plans to divest his holdings. Initially, eBay assured Craigslist that eBay wouldn’t ask Craigslist to alter the way in which it did enterprise.

In March 2005, eBay launched the classifieds service Kijiji. In April 2008, eBay sued Craigslist to “safeguard its four-year monetary funding”, claiming that in January 2008, Craigslist took actions that “unfairly diluted eBay’s financial curiosity by greater than 10%”.[83] Craigslist countersued in Could 2008 “to treatment the substantial and ongoing hurt to truthful competitors” that Craigslist claimed was constituted by eBay’s actions as a Craigslist shareholder.[84] In September 2010, Delaware Decide William Chandler dominated that the actions of Craigslist have been illegal and that the actions have been taken by Craigslist founders Jim Buckmaster and Craig Newmark had “breached their fiduciary obligation of loyalty”, and restored eBay’s stake within the firm to 28.4% from a diluted stage of 24.85%.[85] Nevertheless, the decide dismissed eBay’s objection to a staggered board provision, citing that Craigslist has the precise to guard its personal commerce secrets and techniques.[86][87] eBay spokesman Michael Jacobson said “We’re more than happy that the court docket gave eBay what it sought from the lawsuit.”[85]


In October 2005, eBay Inc. acquired Skype Applied sciences,[88] developer of the Skype VoIP and Instantaneous messaging service, considerably increasing its buyer base to greater than 480 million registered customers worldwide. eBay later offered a majority stake in Skype in November 2009, whereas retaining a minority funding.[89] This finally led to the sale of all the Skype enterprise to Microsoft for $8.5 billion in Could 2011.[90]


StubHub’s acquisition by eBay was introduced in January 2007 for a reported $310 million.[91][92][93] Based on CNN Cash, 2007 was a really profitable 12 months for the corporate, dealing with 5 million particular person transactions, greater than within the earlier six years mixed of its historical past.[94] Staffing at StubHub had elevated to 350 employees by the point of the sale.[93] Eight months after the acquisition, StubHub reached an unique settlement with Main League Baseball (MLB).[94] They get a chunk of the 25% in commissions StubHub earns on both finish of a sale. Ticketmaster filed a lawsuit towards StubHub and eBay in 2007, alleging “intentional interference” with Ticketmaster’s contractual rights.[95] In November 2019, eBay agreed to promote StubHub to Viagogo for $4.05 billion in money;[96] the sale was accomplished in February 2020.[97]


In April 2018, eBay acquired the Japanese division of Qoo10, a market place pushed by Giosis and having the 4th GMV in Japan, for a reported $573 million.[98] With the shut of the transaction, eBay additionally has relinquished its funding in Giosis’ non-Japanese companies. This acquisition expands eBay’s footprint in Japan, one of many largest e-commerce markets on the earth. eBay made an preliminary funding in Giosis Pte. Ltd. in 2010. Since then, Giosis has established dynamic market companies throughout Asia. eBay’s Japan enterprise, together with Giosis’ Japan enterprise, will report into Jooman Park, senior vice chairman of eBay’s Asia Pacific area.[99]

Use for knowledge evaluation

eBay is a publicly seen market which has attracted curiosity from economists, who’ve used it to research elements of shopping for and promoting conduct, public sale codecs, and so forth., evaluating them with earlier theoretical and empirical findings.

Pc data techniques researchers have additionally proven curiosity in eBay. Michael Goul, Chairman of the Pc Data Methods division of the W. P. Carey College of Enterprise at Arizona State College, revealed a tutorial case primarily based on eBay’s huge knowledge administration and use during which he discusses how eBay is a data-driven firm that processes 50 petabytes of information a day.[100]

eBay makes use of a system that enables totally different departments within the firm to take a look at knowledge from their knowledge mart into sandboxes for evaluation. Based on Goul, eBay has already skilled important enterprise successes by way of its knowledge analytics. eBay employs 5,000 knowledge analysts to allow data-driven choice making.[100]

Third get together

In 2006 the accounting software program firm Intuit launched a web-based donation monitoring service referred to as ItsDeductible. The service makes use of knowledge from eBay to assist customers assign a market worth to the gadgets they donate.[101]

Visible search

In July 2017 eBay launched a picture search functionality permitting customers to seek out listings on the positioning that match an merchandise depicted in a photograph, utilizing synthetic intelligence and machine studying applied sciences.[102]


UK’s GCHQ has a set of instruments for monitoring goal use of eBay, named ELATE.[103]


Thousands and thousands of collectibles, decor, home equipment, computer systems, furnishings, tools, domains,[104] automobiles, and different miscellaneous gadgets are listed, purchased, or offered day by day on eBay. In 2006, eBay launched its Enterprise & Industrial class, breaking into the economic surplus enterprise. Typically, something may be auctioned on the positioning so long as it’s not unlawful and doesn’t violate the eBay Prohibited and Restricted Objects coverage.[105] Companies and intangibles may be offered, too. Giant worldwide corporations, comparable to IBM, promote their latest merchandise and supply providers on eBay utilizing aggressive auctions and fixed-priced storefronts. Separate eBay websites comparable to eBay US and eBay UK permit the customers to commerce utilizing the native foreign money. Software program builders can create purposes that combine with eBay by way of the eBay API by becoming a member of the eBay Builders Program.[106] In June 2005, there have been greater than 15,000 members within the eBay Builders Program, comprising a broad vary of corporations creating software program purposes to help eBay patrons and sellers in addition to eBay Associates.

Quite a few authorities and police companies[107] around the globe now use eBay in addition to conventional auctions to eliminate seized and confiscated items.

Controversy has arisen over sure gadgets put up for bid. For example, in late 1999 a person supplied one among his kidneys for public sale on eBay, trying to revenue from the doubtless profitable (and, in the USA, unlawful) marketplace for transplantable human organs.[108]

eBay North First Road satellite tv for pc workplace campus (house to PayPal)

Starting in August 2007, eBay required listings in “Video Video games” and “Well being & Magnificence” to simply accept its fee system PayPal and sellers might solely settle for PayPal for funds within the class “Video Video games: Consoles”.[109] Beginning January 10, 2008, eBay stated sellers can solely settle for PayPal as fee for the classes “Computing > Software program”, “Client Electronics > MP3 Gamers”, “Wholesale & Job Tons > Cell & House Telephones”, and “Enterprise, Workplace & Industrial > Industrial Provide / MRO”.[110] eBay introduced that beginning in March 2008, eBay had added to this requirement that every one sellers with fewer than 100 feedbacks should supply PayPal and no service provider account could also be used in its place.[111][112] That is along with the requirement that every one sellers from the UK have to supply PayPal.[113]

Additional, and as famous beneath, it was a requirement to supply PayPal on all listings in Australia and the UK. In response to considerations expressed by the Australian Competitors and Client Fee, nonetheless, eBay has since eliminated the coverage on the eBay.com.au web site requiring sellers to supply PayPal as a fee possibility.

eBay Workplace in Toronto, Canada

On April 24, 2006, eBay opened its new eBay Categorical website, which was designed to work like a typical Web buying website for customers with United States addresses.[114] Earlier than it closed in 2008, chosen eBay gadgets have been mirrored on eBay Categorical, the place patrons used a conventional digital buying cart to buy from a number of sellers.[115] The UK model was launched to eBay members in mid-October 2006, however on January 29, 2008, eBay introduced its intention to shut the positioning.[116] The German model, eBay Categorical Germany,[117] was additionally opened in 2006 and closed in 2008.

On the 2008 eBay Developer’s Convention, eBay introduced the Promoting Supervisor Functions program (SM Apps).[118] This system permits authorised builders to combine their purposes instantly into the eBay.com interface.[119] The purposes created by builders can be found for subscription by eBay members who additionally subscribe to Promoting Supervisor.

eBay maintains a lot of specialty websites together with the dialogue boards, teams, reply middle, chat rooms, and evaluations and guides. eBay’s cell choices embody SMS alerts, a WAP website, Java ME purchasers, and cell purposes for Home windows Cellphone, Android OS, and Apple iPhone.

The initiative Alternative in eCommerce was based on Could 8, 2013, by a number of on-line retailers in Berlin, Germany.[120][121][122][123][124][125][126][127][128] The trigger was, within the view of the initiative, gross sales bans and on-line restrictions by particular person producers. The sellers felt reduce off from their major gross sales channel and thus disadvantaged them the chance to make use of on-line platforms like Amazon, eBay, or Rakuten in a aggressive marketplace for the good thing about their prospects.

Uncommon gadgets

Many uncommon gadgets have been positioned on the market on eBay, together with at the least two beforehand undiscovered species, together with the Coelopleurus exquisitus sea urchin.[129][130]

Prohibited or restricted gadgets

In its earliest days, eBay was almost unregulated. Nevertheless, as the positioning grew, it grew to become obligatory to limit or prohibit auctions for numerous gadgets. Word that a few of the restrictions relate to eBay.com (the US website), whereas different restrictions apply to particular European websites (comparable to Nazi paraphernalia). Regional legal guidelines and rules could apply to the vendor or the client. Typically, if the sale or possession of an merchandise is regulated or prohibited by a number of states, eBay won’t allow its itemizing. Among the many hundred or so banned or restricted classes:

  • Tobacco (tobacco-related gadgets and collectibles are accepted.)[131]
  • Alcohol (alcohol-related collectibles, together with sealed containers, in addition to some wine gross sales by licensed sellers are allowed, some websites comparable to ebay.com.au permit licensed liquor gross sales)[132] (eBay introduced September 21, 2012, it’s going to start eradicating listings for beer and liquor from its website after a narrative was aired on ABC sequence 20/20.)[133]
  • Medicine and drug paraphernalia[134]
  • Objects that “promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual, or spiritual intolerance, or promote organizations with such views”. This consists of Nazi paraphernalia, though there are exceptions to this rule for Nazi gadgets comparable to stamps, letters, and envelopes displaying Nazi postmarks (should adjust to the foreign money and stamp coverage)
  • Objects depicting the Accomplice battle flag.[135]
  • Bootleg recordings[136]
  • Firearms and ammunition (as of January 1, 1999),[137] together with any elements that could possibly be used to assemble a firearm in addition to (as of July 30, 2007) any firearm half that’s required for the firing of a gun, together with bullet slugs, brass casings and shells, slides, cylinders, magazines, firing pins, set off assemblies, and so forth. Varied kinds of knives are additionally forbidden.
  • Police and emergency service vehicular warning tools comparable to crimson or blue lights and sirens (vintage or collectible gadgets are exempt)
  • Deliberately dirty underwear (see Panty fetishism) and soiled used clothes[138]
  • Cast, unlawful, stolen, or confidential paperwork, which embody passports, Social Safety playing cards, drivers licenses, voter registration playing cards, start certificates, faculty paperwork, medical information, monetary data, authorities license plates, or authorities categorized data paperwork. Any merchandise that’s used to change paperwork can also be restricted.[139]
  • Human physique elements, organs, and stays (with an exception for skeletons and skulls for scientific examine, offered they aren’t Native American in origin)[140]
  • Reside animals (with sure exceptions)[141]
  • Sure copyrighted works or trademarked gadgets[142]
  • Lottery tickets, sweepstakes tickets, or some other playing gadgets.[143]
  • Army {hardware} comparable to working weapons or explosives aside from demilitarized automobiles.
  • Any object of Iranian, Cuban, Syrian or North Korean origin.[144]
  • Enriched uranium, plutonium, and different fissile materials.
  • Sure classes of sexually oriented materials, which have to be listed within the “Grownup Solely” class,[145] however sure gadgets prohibited:[145]
  • Digital gadgets from massively multiplayer on-line video games, restrictions that change by nation[146][147]
  • Ivory merchandise[141]
  • Knives, apart from some cutlery, are prohibited within the UK following the prison importation into the UK (by BBC Watchdog researchers) of a number of knives that have been already unlawful to personal or import below present UK laws. The ban additionally consists of empty leather-based knife scabbards if they’re listed below the class of “knives” on one of many eBay websites[148]
  • Fortune-telling and witchcraft-related providers[149]
  • Souls, ghosts, and different “gadgets whose existence can’t be verified” are prohibited.[150][151][152]
  • Surgical masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and different merchandise related to COVID-19 pandemic with a view to cease worth gouging [153][154]
  • Many different gadgets are both wholly prohibited or restricted in some method.[155]


Public sale-style listings

Bidding on eBay (previous or new)’s auction-style itemizing is named proxy bidding and is basically equal to a Vickrey public sale (sealed-bid), with the next exceptions.

  • The profitable bidder pays the second-highest bid plus one bid increment quantity (that’s, some small predefined quantity relative to the bid dimension), as an alternative of merely the best bid. Nevertheless, for the reason that bid increment quantities are comparatively insignificant in comparison with the bid dimension, they aren’t thought-about from a strategic standpoint.[156]
  • The very best bidder’s bid is sealed, as in a Vickrey public sale, however the present profitable bid (second highest plus one increment) is displayed all through the public sale to permit worth discovery.[157]
  • As a result of eBay’s auction-style listings are sealed-bid, it’s often to all bidders’ benefit that bids are made solely on the very finish of the public sale (aside from an preliminary minimal bid, that cancels out a “Purchase It Now” possibility, or prevents the vendor from ending the itemizing early). Early bids will often not improve the bidder’s likelihood of profitable the public sale, and can usually increase the merchandise’s ultimate worth (profitable bid) for the eventual winner.
  • eBay additionally permits sellers to supply a “Purchase it Now” worth that can finish the public sale instantly. The Purchase It Now worth is accessible till somebody bids on the merchandise, or till the reserve worth is met. When the Purchase It Now possibility disappears, the auction-style itemizing proceeds usually.[158]

Vendor rankings

In 2008, eBay carried out a system of vendor rankings with 4 classes. Consumers are requested to price the vendor in every of those classes with a rating of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Not like the general suggestions score, these rankings are nameless; neither sellers nor different customers learn the way particular person patrons rated the vendor. The listings of sellers with a score of 4.Three or beneath in any of the 4 score classes seem decrease in search outcomes. Energy Sellers are required to have scores in every class above 4.5.[159][160][161][162][163]

In a reversal of roles, on January 24, 2010, Auctionbytes.com held an open survey during which sellers might price eBay, in addition to competing public sale and market websites.[164] Within the survey, customers have been requested to rank 15 websites primarily based on 5 standards: profitability, customer support, communication, ease of use, and suggestion.

eBay was ranked 13th,[165] after different massive websites comparable to Amazon and Craigslist, in addition to lesser-known promoting websites comparable to Atomic Mall, eCRATER, and Ruby Lane. In particular person class rankings, eBay was rated the worst of all of the 15 websites on customer support and communication, and common on ease of use. Some respondents said they’d have given eBay a score of 10, three to 5 years in the past. eBay was rated twelfth out of fifteen within the Really useful Promoting Venue class.

Charity auctions

Utilizing MissionFish as an arbiter, eBay permits sellers to donate a portion of their public sale proceeds to a charity of the vendor’s alternative.[166] This system is named eBay Giving Works within the US, and eBay for Charity[167] within the UK. eBay offers a partial refund of vendor charges for gadgets offered by way of charity auctions.[168] As of March 4, 2010, $154 million has been raised for US nonprofits by the eBay Neighborhood since eBay Giving Works started in 2003.[169]

Some high-profile charity auctions have been marketed on the eBay house web page.[170] As of June 2010, the best profitable bid on a single merchandise for charity was for the annual “Energy Lunch”[171] with investor Warren Buffett on the well-known Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse in New York. The profitable bid was $2.63 million with all the proceeds going to the Glide Basis. The profitable bidder was not made public, however was in a position to convey as much as seven buddies to the lunch. In 2012, a better bid, of $3.46 million, additionally going to the Glide Basis, gained a lunch with Buffet.[172] In 2016 an nameless bidder gained a $3.45 million lunch with Warren Buffett and the cash raised from the public sale was given to Glide Basis.[173]

The earlier highest profitable bid on a single merchandise for charity was for a letter[174] despatched to Mark P. Mays, CEO of Clear Channel (dad or mum firm of Premiere Radio Networks the manufacturing firm that produces The Rush Limbaugh Present and Glenn Beck Program) by Senator Harry Reid and forty different Democratic senators, complaining about feedback made by conservative speak present host Rush Limbaugh. The profitable bid was $2,100,100, with all the proceeds going to the Marine Corps-Regulation Enforcement Basis, benefiting the schooling of youngsters of women and men who’ve died serving within the armed forces. The profitable bid was matched by Limbaugh in his largest charity donation to this point.[175]

In 2007; eBay Canada partnered with Montreal-based digital branding company CloudRaker to develop a marketing campaign to lift cash for Sainte-Justine kids’s hospital in Montreal. They aligned themselves with Web phenomenon Têtes à claques to create an eBay public sale primarily based on well-liked T-A-C character Uncle Tom, an infomercial host who pitches absurd merchandise. eBay and CloudRaker reproduced Uncle Tom’s imaginary merchandise, The Physique Toner Fly Swatter, The Willi Waller Potato Peeler, and the LCD Shovel and offered them on-line. In six weeks, they raised $15,000 for Hôpital St-Justine with one fly swatter, one potato peeler, and one shovel, a world file. The Physique Toner Fly Swatter offered for $8,600, the Willi Waller Potato Peeler offered for $3,550, and the LCD Shovel offered for $2,146.21.


Throughout public sale setup, eBay offers shipping-method selections to sellers: peculiar mail, specific mail, and/or courier service. The vendor could select to supply just one transport methodology to patrons, or the vendor could supply patrons a alternative of choices.

Very-low-value gadgets shipped instantly from China are typically shipped by floor mail (seamail), which is cheap however takes one to 2 months.[176] If the client is in a rush, she or he would possibly be capable to pay an additional charge to improve to second-class Floor Air Lifted transport or to first-class airmail transport.

Since 2012, eBay has been enlisting sellers into its “World Delivery Program”. If a vendor makes use of this system, non-domestic patrons pay a charge to Pitney Bowes. The vendor sends the merchandise to a Pitney Bowes facility within the US (or the UK), which then forwards it to the client, taking good care of all worldwide transport necessities. This system is claimed to reinforce the product choice out there to worldwide patrons.[177]

Controversies and criticism

Widespread eBay criticisms contain the coverage of requiring the usage of PayPal for funds and considerations over fraud, forgeries and mental property violations in public sale gadgets.[citation needed] There are additionally problems with how damaging suggestions after an public sale can offset the advantages of utilizing eBay as a buying and selling platform.[citation needed] eBay has been criticized for not paying UK taxes: the Sunday Instances reported in October 2012 that eBay paid solely £1.2m in tax on gross sales of over £800m.[178]

2014 safety breach

On Could 21, 2014, the corporate revealed that the buyer database of usernames, passwords, cellphone numbers, and bodily addresses had been breached between late February and early March. Customers have been suggested to alter their passwords; to expedite this, a “change password” function was added to profiles of customers who had not but performed so. The Syrian Digital Military took accountability for the assault. The SEA stated that although the hack revealed thousands and thousands of customers’ banking particulars to them, they’d not misuse the info. That they had changed the entrance pages of the web sites with their very own brand, referred to as “Defacing” in technical phrases. The hack induced eBay’s share worth to crash in intra-day commerce because of the breach of safety.[179][180][181][182]

Stalking scandal

A cyberstalking and harassment marketing campaign carried out in 2019 towards a web-based e-newsletter led to prices made public in 2020 towards seven members of eBay’s world safety crew, in addition to arrests of two of these charged. Following the publication of an article in on-line e-newsletter EcommerceBytes about eBay’s litigation towards Amazon, CEO Devin Wenig texted an EBay communications government, saying, “If you’re ever going to take [an ECommerceBytes writer] down… now could be the time.” Thereafter, a crew of EBay staff launched a cyberstalking and harassment marketing campaign towards the e-newsletter’s authors. Wenig, the corporate’s CEO on the time of the harassment marketing campaign, has not been not charged.[183][184][185][186]

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