FACT # 243

19 Dec

99 Interesting Facts About eBay

1. eBay turned 12 years old this year.

2. eBay was created in September 1995, by a man called Pierre Omidyar, who was living in San Jose.

3. Pierre started eBay as AuctionWeb by an experiment, as a side hobby basically, while he had a day job.

4. What began as a side hobby has today become the world’s largest personal online trading community. The website hosts nearly four million auctions every day, with almost half a million new items being added for sale every 24 hours. Omidyar’s personal net worth is estimated to be roughly $10 billion.

5. The site was launched on Labor Day, Monday, 4 September 1995, under the more prosaic title of “Auction Web”

6. Auction Web was later renamed to “eBay”, after Echo Bay, Omidyar’s consulting firm, when “” was unavailable.

7. Pierre had a blog at which are not frequently updated.

8. You can also keep updated with what Pierre is up to on twitter at

9. The very first item sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer for $14.83.

10. eBay went public in 1998, and both Omidyar and Skoll became billionaires in just overnight.

11. The most expensive item ever sold on eBay was a 405-foot, steel mega-yacht (marketed as a Gigayacht) auctioned by the Fort. Lauderdale. The yacht was offered up for auction on eBay November 3rd, 2006 with a “buy now” price of $85 million. The price paid your 50% deposit of the full purchase price of $168,000,000.00 total.

12. Jim Griffith is first eBay Customer Support Rep, hired by Pierre and Jeff in November of 1996.

13. JayAndMarie is the first eBay member to reach 100,000 feedback, which happen in 2002.

14. A 50,000-year-old mammoth was put up for sale in 2004 with a minimum bid set at US $250,000 by his Dutch owner due to lack of space, and sold for £61,000.

15. eBay averages more than 1 billion page views per day.

16. eBay users worldwide trade more than $1,839 worth of goods on the site every second

17. eBay engineers have to add about 10 terabytes of new storage every week to cover new transactions.

18. Do you know the meaning of ebaY Logo? The eBay logo in primary ‘fun’ colors, suggests larger themes -that the site is – friendly, open and accessible.

19. eBay has such high margins partly because it has no factories or inventory, but also because its customers do the work.

20. If eBay employed the people who earn all or most of their income selling on its site, it would be the second-largest employer on the FORTUNE 500, after Wal-Mart.

21. More than 68,000 people earn their primary or secondary income from trading on (ACNielsen International Research, February 2006).

22. eBay has 233 million registered users worldwide.

Pierre Omidyar, Founder and Chairman of eBay, with his CEO, Margaret Whitman.
Pierre Omidyar, Founder and Chairman of eBay, with his CEO, Margaret Whitman. ( Image)

23. There were 588 million new listings added to eBay worldwide in Q1-07. At any given time, there are approximately 100 million listings worldwide, and approximately 6.4 million listings are added per day. eBay users trade in more than 50,000 categories.

24. As of September 2006, eBay members worldwide have left more than 6 billion feedback comments for one another regarding their eBay transactions.

25. In the aftermath of both the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, the Tonight Show auctioned off two Harley-Davidson motorcycles, which had been signed by various celebrities. The winning bid for the motorcycle auctioned after the Tsunami was $800,100.

26. The town of Bridgeville, California was sold for $1,777,877 on eBay. However the winning bidder backed out of the deal and Bruce Krall subsequently purchased it for $700,000. It was placed for sale on eBay once again on April 4, 2006, with a starting price of $1,750,000.

27. In June 2005, the wife of Tim Shaw, a British radio DJ on Kerrang! 105.2 sold Tim’s Lotus sports car with a Buy It Now price of 50p. This was after Tim’s wife heard him flirting with model Jodie Marsh on air. The car was sold within 5 minutes.

28. In September 2004, the owner of sold the contents of his trash can to a middle school language arts teacher, who had her students write essays about the trash.

29. In 2006 Jeremy from the internet show Pure Pwnage sold some of his hair for $4,200.

30. 41% of eBay’s users apparently quit in 2006.

ebay britney spears
Britney Spears’ gum up for sale on eBay. (Image)

31. 100 of eBay’s top 1,000 U.S. eBay sellers by feedback rating have either quit eBay or gone out of business – based on detailed analysis of The Sellathon 10,000 data for August 2006 by Steve Woda.

32. eBay’s stock is down almost 48% from its high as of 9/27/06.

33. Tiffany & Co (TIF), Louis Vitton (LVMH), and Christian Dior (DIOR) have all filed lawsuits against eBay suggesting that 90+% of the goods sold on eBay claiming to be produced by these brands are in fact counterfeit.

34. I founded the company on the notion that people were basically good and that if you give them the benefit of the doubt you’re rarely disappointed, quoted Pierre Omidyar.

35. 95% of eBay’s sellers are individuals or small businesses.

36. 19 million number of items on the site at any given time, more than 300 times the number of stock-keeping units in a typical Wal-Mart.

37. eBay has a global presence in 33 markets, including Australia.

38. eBay commenced operations in Australia in October 1999.

39. Almost 2,500 Australians use eBay as their primary source of income.

40. The most expensive item sold on eBay in Australia was a Ferrari F355 1999 Berlinetta F1
which sold for AU$151,100.

41. A toy is sold every 24 seconds on eBay Australia.

42. Every minute a mobile phone sells on eBay UK.

43. eBay India (formerly, India ‘s leading online marketplace, is a 100% subsidiary of eBay Inc.

44. A piece of jewellery sells every 6 minutes on eBay India.

45. 83% of all listings on eBay India offer Paisa Pay – a secure online payment gateway enabling credit card and online bank transfers.

46. The eBay Wiki is a collection of fact-based articles written and maintained by eBay Community members. You can use eBay’s Wiki to read up on topics important to you or contribute by adding topics or making existing articles better.

47. eBay generates revenue from various fees. The eBay fee system is quite complex; there are fees to list a product and fees when the product sells, plus several optional fees, all based on various factors and scales.

48. In July, 2002 eBay acquired PayPal, for $1.5 billion in stock.

49. In May 2007, eBay acquired the website StumbleUpon for approximately $75 million.

50. Users and generators of feedback may have different ideas about what it means. eBay offers virtually no guidelines to this weaknesses of the feedback system .

eBay North First Street satellite office campus
eBay North First Street satellite office campus.

51. Boston Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez attempted to sell his neighbor’s JENN-AIR Gas Grill on eBay. The auction started at $3,000 and the price escalated to an astounding $99,999,999, the maximum amount allowed by eBay. The auction was later closed by eBay because of the promise of an autographed baseball going to the winner as well as the grill; it is a violation of eBay policy to include items other than those advertised.

52. You don’t need to know how to build a website and you don’t need to know how drive traffic to your site because eBayâ„¢ brings interested shoppers right to your door.

53. eBay first fees – final value fees- were introduced in February. (Pierre called them “listing fees”). Users were required to pay 5% up to $25 and then 2.5% thereafter.

54. Insertion fees were added in May. The first attempt was a flat $1.00 insertion fee, which due to “extreme member displeasure”, lasted about 10 days.

55. Over 30,000 NEW and USED clothing, footwear, & accessory items are sold every day on eBay.

56. A golf foursome with 2002 Master Champion Tiger Woods sold for $425,000.

57. In 2004, a Seattle man posted pictures of himself wearing his ex-wife’s wedding dress. In more than one way, the seller received much more than he expected. While he initially admitted he was selling the dress to earn some money for Mariners tickets, the bidding got into the thousands of dollars, and the seller actually had received a number of marriage proposals from users.

58. Water that was said to have been left in a cup Elvis Presley once drank from was sold for $455. The few tablespoons came from a plastic cup Presley sipped at a concert in North Carolina in 1977.

59. In September 2005, eBay bought Skype, a VoIP company, for $2.6 billion in stock and cash.

60. In June 2005, eBay acquired, an online comparison site for $635 million.

61. In April of 2006, eBay opened its new eBay Express site where selected eBay items are mirrored on eBay Express where buyers shop using a shopping cart to purchase from multiple sellers.

62. eBay slogan is What ever it is, you can get it on eBay.

63. Disney sold a retired Monorail Red (Mark IV Monorail) for $20,000.

64. A group of four men from Australia auctioned themselves to spend the weekend with the promise of “beers, snags, good conversation and a hell of a lot of laughs” for AU$1,300.

65. eBay’s year-end is December 31st. Reporting quarters correspond with calendar quarters.

66. eBay is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol EBAY.

67. Aug. 26, 1999: A human kidney is offered on eBay. Before the auction is taken down, bids reach $5.7 million.

68. The Feedback Forum began in February, 1996. Originally, Omidyar handled disputes between buyers and sellers via email.

69. Pierre Omidyar — Age: 40 years (born 21 June 1967)

70. In the UK we spend more money on eBay than they spend on going to the movies.

71. 147.1 million of registered eBay users in first quarter 2005, greater than the population of Russia.

72. $34.2 billion value of merchandise sold on eBay in 2004, equivalent to the GDP of Cuba.

ebay jewellery
A piece of jewellery sells every 6 minutes on eBay India.

73. Chris Agarpao was hired as eBay’s first employee and Jeff Skoll was hired as the first president of the company in 1996.

74. eBay’s rivals include Marketplace.

75. In June of 2006, eBay added the eBay Blog feature for members.

76. eBay has already expanded to almost two dozen countries including China and India. The only places where expansion failed were Taiwan and Japan, where Yahoo! had a head start.

77. On August 13, 2004, eBay took a 25% stake in Craigslist by buying out an existing shareholder who was once a Craigslist employee.

78. eBay’s failed in Japan early 2002. When eBay finally closed its doors, and its auction website, it left 17 employees out of work and 25,000 listings unsold.

79. After becoming one of the richest 31-year-olds in history, eBay Inc. (EBAY ) founder Pierre Omidyar cleared out his cubicle, sold his modest home, and set off for his native Paris with his wife, Pam in 1998.

80. eBay has a presence in Latin America through its investment in MercadoLibre.

81. eBay offers localized sites in 23 countries, divided into Asia Pacific, Europe and North America region.

82. eBay’s classifieds sites include Kijiji,,, Intoko, Netherlands-based, and German automotive classifieds site

83. ebay has a blog about the company and the community at ebaychatter.

84. 1902 books sold in the first ever eBay Live! Bookstore in 2007.

85. 1,171 pounds of food served during events at eBay Live! 2007(that excludes the 15,000 sodas given out during the Thirst Quencher Breaks in PowerSeller Central.)

86. eBay member Kimbley (jayhawkks) has over 100,000 Feedback (and it’s 100% positive!)

87. Paypal official blog is at ThePayPalBlog started at August 2007.

ebay collectibles
The collectibles is one of the most searched category on eBay. (Image)

89. Feedback and responses to feedback are allotted only 80 characters each. This can prevent users from being able to fully list valid complaints.

90. On 17 December 2004, Avnish Bajaj, CEO of eBay’s Indian subsidiary, was arrested after a video clip showing oral sex between two Indian students was sold online.

91. In February 2007, after Britney Spears shaved all of her hair off in a Los Angeles salon, it was listed on eBay for $1million USD before it was taken down after some considerable controversy.

92. On an average, runs into issues for about 50 seconds per day.

93. As of 2006, eBay has 600 million listings and about 204 million registered users.

94. There was at one point an auction for the first ride on Kingda Ka, the tallest roller coaster on Earth. The winning bid was $1691.66, and the winner rode in the front seat.

95. In the aftermath of both the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, the Tonight Show auctioned off two Harley-Davidson motorcycles, which had been signed by various celebrities. The winning bid for the motorcycle auctioned after the Tsunami was $800,100.

96. A Ferrari Enzo sports car – one of only 399 built – sold for £544,000 in 2003.

97. One of the weirdest item sold is a chewing gum spat out by Britney Spears which went for £270.

98. A CD sells every 11 seconds on eBay.

99. A remarkable quote from Pierre Omidyar: “Don’t let people who you may respect and who you believe know what they’re talking about, don’t let them tell you it can’t be done,” says Omidyar, “because often they will tell you it can’t be done, and it’s just because they don’t have the courage to try.

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Posted by on December 19, 2012 in General Facts


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