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eBay Inc. is an Americanmarker Internet company that manages, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide.

The majority of the sales take place through a set-time auction format, but subsequent methods include a substantial segment of listings in the "Buy It Now" category.

In addition to its original U.S. website, eBay has established localized websites in thirty other countries. eBay Inc. also owns PayPal, StubHub, Kijiji, and other businesses.

Origins and history

The online auction website was founded as AuctionWeb in San Jose, Californiamarker, on September 3, 1995, by Frenchmarker-born Iranianmarker computer programmer Pierre Omidyar as part of a larger personal site that included, among other things, Omidyar's own tongue-in-cheek tribute to the Ebola virus. In 1997, the company received approximately $5 million in funding from the venture capital firm Benchmark Capital.
eBay headquarters in San Jose
The very first item sold on eBay 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." The frequently repeated story that eBay was founded to help Omidyar's fiancée trade Pez Candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager in 1997 to interest the media. This was revealed in Adam Cohen's 2002 book, The Perfect Store, and confirmed by eBay.

Chris Agarpao was hired as eBay's first employee and Jeffrey Skoll was hired as the first 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. The 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, ( is now owned by Echobay Partners, Ltd., a private equity firm based in Nevismarker.)

Meg Whitman was hired 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.eBay went public on September 21, 1998, and 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.

As the company expanded product categories beyond collectibles into almost any saleable item, business grew quickly.In February 2002, the company purchased IBazar, a similar European auction web site founded in 1995 and then bought PayPal on October 14, 2002.

In early 2008, the company had expanded worldwide, counted hundreds of millions of registered users, 15,000+ employees and revenues of almost $7.7 billion. After nearly ten years at eBay, Whitman made the decision 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. 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 will still own 30% equity in the company.


In addition to its original U.S. website, eBay has established localized websites in many other countries:

Country/region Website Language Launch date Spanish English German Dutch, French Portuguese English, French Spanish
(now defunct) (site now redirects to Simplified Chinese Spanish Spanish Czech Danish Spanish Spanish French German English, Traditional Chinese English Bahasa Indonesia, English English English Italian (Joint venture with Yahoo! Japan) Japanese Korean English Spanish Dutch English Spanish Spanish English Polish English English Spanish Swedish German (joint venture with PCHome) Traditional Chinese Thai Turkish English English Spanish Spanish Vietnamese, English

eBay also owns the following related companies / websites:
  • - Den Blå Avis, a Danishmarker classified ad website, mainly with fixed price on items as opposed to the auction model. was acquired by eBay in 2008, along with other Danish used-sale websites, for 2.1 billion DKK.


Millions of collectible, decor, appliances, computers, furnishings, equipment, vehicles, and other miscellaneous items are listed, bought, and sold daily. In 2005, eBay launched its Business & Industrial category, breaking into the industrial surplus business. Some items are rare and valuable, while many others are dusty gizmos that would have been discarded if not for the thousands of eager bidders worldwide. Anything may be offered for sale 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.

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. On other occasions, people and even entire towns have been listed, often as a joke or to garner free publicity. In general, the company removes auctions that violate its terms of service agreement.

PayPal-only categories

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. This is in addition to the requirement that all sellers from the United Kingdommarker have to offer PayPal.

Further, and as noted below, it is a requirement to offer Paypal on all listings in Australia and the UK.

eBay Express

In April 2006, eBay opened its new eBay Express site, which is designed to work like a standard Internet shopping site for consumers with United States addresses. It closed in 2008. Selected eBay items were mirrored on eBay Express, where buyers shop using a shopping cart to purchase from multiple sellers. 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.

Selling Manager Applications

At the 2008 eBay Developer's Conference, eBay announced the unveiling of their Selling Manager Applications programme (SM Apps). The program will allow approved developers to integrate their applications directly in the interface.
This application is available to those who enroll in the eBay Stores program.

eBay and Rich Media

eBay allows sellers to use a variety of rich media solutions within listings in order to aid and improve the format and presentation of the listing. This includes audio, video and picture galleries. The list of approved video providers that eBay sellers are permitted to use includes AuctionMercial, AuctionVideo, CarTHINK, CreativeVideosOnline, Dailymotion, eCommercePlayer, Google, i2iAuction, Microsoft, Motionbox, MySpace, Silverdock, vzaar and YouTube. Furthermore, in 2008 eBay acquired VUVOX an easy to use production and instant sharing service that allows you to mix, create and blend your personal media.

eBay Specialty Sites

eBay Pulse provides information about popular search terms, trends, and most-watched items.

eBay Blogs: eBay says it is a great way to let your personality shine and connect with friends, family and other buyers and sellers. eBay Blogs will be closed on October 31, 2009.

Other ebay Community Content includes the Discussion Boards, Groups, Answer Center, Chat Rooms, and Reviews & Guides. eBay has a robust mobile offering, including SMS alerts, a WAP site, J2ME clients, and an Apple iPhone application available in certain markets.

eBay Community Wiki was added in June 2006 (eBay Wiki is now closed ).

Best of eBay is a specialty site for finding the most-unusual items on the eBay site. Users can vote on and nominate listings that they found.

Auction types

eBay offers several types of auctions.
  • Auction-style listings allow the seller to offer one or more items for sale for a specified number of days. The seller can establish a reserve price.
  • Fixed Price format allows the seller to offer one or more items for sale at a Buy It Now price. Buyers who agree to pay that price win the auction immediately without submitting a bid.
  • Fixed Price format with Best Offer allows the seller to accept best offers. If a buyer submits a best offer, the seller either rejects or accepts the best offer. If the best offer is not satisfactory, a seller may submit a counter offer to the buyer. Best offer is not available for auction style listings. In addition, best offer is not available in every category. Sellers also meet specific requirements in order to sell with best offer.
  • Dutch Auction allow the seller to offer two or more identical items in the same auction. Bidders can bid for any number from one item up to the total number offered.


Auction-style Listings

Bidding on eBay's auction-style listings is called proxy bidding and is essentially equivalent to a Vickrey auction, with the following exceptions.
  • The winning bidder pays the second-highest bid plus one bid increment amount (i.e. some small predefined amount relative to the bid size), instead of simply the second-highest bid. However, since the bid increment amounts are relatively insignificant compared to the bid size, they are not considered from a strategic standpoint. ( eBay's explanation of bid increments)
  • The current winning bid is not sealed, but instead is always displayed. However, at any given moment, the highest bidder's bid is not necessarily displayed, since this amount may be higher than the amount required to win the auction.
eBay announced that on June 15th, 2009 they would change the page layout, and here is an example

Example of bidding on an auction-style listing

Suppose bidding for an item starts at $1.00 and that the bid increment amount in this price range is $.25. Emily bids $3.00 for the item, and since no one else has bid yet, eBay displays that the current winner is Emily, with a bid of $1.00, and that the minimum allowable bid is $1.25, which is equal to one bidding increment above the winning bid. Suppose then that Tom bids $2.00 for the item. Since Emily has already bid more than Tom, eBay will display that the current winner is Emily, with a bid of $2.25, which equals the second-highest bid ($2.00) plus the bid increment amount ($.25). Again, eBay will also display that the minimum allowable bid is $2.50, one bid increment above the winning bid. Suppose that Tom bids again, this time at $2.75. Again, since Emily's bid is higher than Tom's, eBay will display that the current winning bidder is Emily, with a bid of $3.00, which is equal to the second-highest bid ($2.75) plus the bid increment ($.25). eBay will also display that the minimum allowable bid is $3.25, one bidding increment above the current winning bid. Suppose Tom bids one more time, at $10.00. Since Tom's bid is now higher than Emily's, eBay will display that the current winning bidder is Tom, with a bid of $3.25, which is equal to the second-highest bid ($3.00) plus the bid increment ($.25). If Tom were to win the auction, he would have to pay the amount equal to the winning bid ($3.25), even though his previous bid was much larger than that.

Dutch Auctions

For Dutch Auctions, which are auctions of two or more identical items sold in one auction, each bidder enters both a bid and the number of items desired. Until the total number of items desired by all bidders equals the total number of items offered, bidders can bid any amount greater than or equal to the minimum bid. Once the total numbers of items desired by all bidders is greater than or equal to the total number offered, each bidder is required to bid one full bidding increment above the currently displayed winning bid. All winning bidders pay the same lowest winning bid.

The Dutch Auction format is scheduled to be discontinued in May 2009; statistically, it is not widely used, having been supplanted by other formats such as Fixed Price auctions./> Dutch Auction format to be discontinued. Retrieved on 2008-3-27

Seller Ratings

In 2007, eBay began using detailed seller ratings with four different categories. When leaving feedback, buyers are asked to rate the seller in each of these categories with a score of one to five stars, with five being the highest rating and one the lowest. 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.

Profit and transactions

eBay generates revenue from a number of fees. The eBay fee system is quite complex; there are fees to list a product (Insertion Fee) and fees when the product sells (Final Value Fee), plus several optional adornment fees, all based on various factors and scales. The U.S.-based takes $0.10 to $4 (based on the opening price) for a basic listing without any adornments and 8.75% or less of the final price (as of May 2009). The UKmarker based ( offices) takes from GBP £0.15 to a maximum rate of GBP £3 per £100 for an ordinary listing and from 0.75 percent to 10% (writing as of June 2009) percent of the final price. Reduced FVF's are available to business registered customers.In addition, eBay now owns the PayPal payment system which has fees of its own.

Under current U.S. law, a state cannot require sellers located outside the state to collect a sales tax, making deals more attractive to buyers. Although some state laws require purchasers to pay sales tax to their own states on out-of-state purchases, it is not a common practice. However, most sellers that operate as a full time business do follow state tax regulations on their eBay transactions. However for the tax called Value added tax (VAT), eBay requires sellers to include the VAT fees in their listing price and not as an add-on and thus eBay profits by collecting fees based on what governments tax for VAT.

The company's current business strategy includes increasing international trade. eBay has already expanded to over two dozen countries including China and India. The only places where expansion failed were Taiwan and Japan, where Yahoo! had a head start, and New Zealand where TradeMe, owned by the Fairfax media group is the dominant online auction website.

A more recent strategy involves the company increasingly leveraging the relationship between the eBay auction site and PayPal: The impact of driving buyers and sellers to use PayPal means not only does eBay turn buyers into clients (as a pure auction venue its clients used to be predominantly sellers) but for each new PayPal registration it achieves via the eBay auction site it also earns offsite revenue when the resulting PayPal account is used in non-eBay transactions. In its Q1 2008 results, total payment volume via PayPal increased 17 percent, but off the eBay auction site it was up 61 percent.

For most listing categories, eBay sellers are permitted to offer a variety of payment systems such as Paypal, Paymate, ProPay, and Moneybookers.

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.



As eBay is a huge publicly visible market, it has created a great deal of interest from economists, who have used it to analyse many aspects of buying and selling behaviour, auction formats, etc., and compare these with previous theoretical and empirical findings.

Controversy and criticism

eBay has its share of controversy, including cases of fraud, its policy of requiring sellers to use PayPal, and concerns over forgeries and intellectual property violations in auction items.

Prohibited or restricted Items

In its earliest days, eBay was essentially unregulated. However, as the site grew, it became necessary to restrict or forbid 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:
  • 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)
  • Drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Nazi paraphernalia
  • Bootleg recordings
  • Firearms and ammunition, 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 tips, brass casings and shells, barrels, slides, cylinders, magazines, firing pins, trigger assemblies, etc. Crossbows and various types of knives are also forbidden.
  • Used underwear (see Panty fetishism) and dirty used clothing
  • Forged, Illegal, Stolen, or Confidential Documents which include Passports, Social Security Cards, Drivers Licences, Voter Registration Cards, Birth Certificates, School Documents, Medical Records, Financial Information, Government License Plates, Government Classified Information, or CarFax documents. Any Item which is used to modify documents are restricted as well.
  • Human parts 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.
  • Lock-picking tools, accessories, and practice locks fall into the category of burglar tools.
  • Lottery tickets, sweepstakes tickets, or any other gambling items.
  • Military hardware such as working weapons or explosives.

  • Any items of a sexual nature must be listed in the Adult Only category, which prohibits:
    • Child Pornography
    • Obscene Materials including bestiality, necrophilia, rape, scat, and incest
    • Pre-owned sex toys
    • Services including any sexual activity
    • Links to sites that contain prohibited items
    • Adult products that are delivered digitally
  • Virtual items from massively multiplayer online games, restrictions which vary by country
  • Non-physical items no longer can be sold through eBay. They can only be advertised through classified ads on eBay and do not get feedback.
  • Ivory products.
  • Knives, other than cutlery, are prohibited in the UK following media pressure about the sale of items assessed by police to be 'illegal'
  • Many other items are either wholly prohibited or restricted in some manner.

Unusual sale items

  • In May 2006, the remains of U.S.marker Fort Montgomerymarker, a stone fortification in upstate New York built in 1844, were put up for auction on eBay. The first auction ended on June 5, 2006, with a winning bid of $5,000,310. However, the sale was not completed, and the fort and lands surrounding it remain for sale and have been relisted on the site several times since. [19635]
  • In February 2004, a scrapped F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet was listed on eBay by Mike Landa, of Landa and Associates, with a starting bid of $1,000,000. He was the legal owner of the plane after purchasing it from a scrap yard and also offered to have the plane restored for flying condition for a Buy It Now price of $9,000,000. Landa also told potential buyers that maintenance of the plane would cost roughly $40,000 a month for just 2 to 3 hours of flying time. The FBI told Landa that he could only sell the plane to an American citizen residing in the United States, and that the plane must not leave US airspace. The auction ended without a sale.
  • In December 2005, a brussels sprout cooked on Christmas Day was listed by "crazypavingpreacher" (Andrew Henderson of Darlington, England). It sold for £99.50 on 4 January 2006. The sprout had been frozen and was sent by first class post in insulated packaging to the buyer, "5077phil". The listing was reported in the Daily Star, making the front page (and was followed by a series of "copycat" listings of various vegetables). The proceeds of the sale were donated to Tearfund, a major Christian relief and development agency working in the third world. This sprout was the first cooked brussels sprout to be sold on eBay.
  • In January 2006, a British man named Leigh Knight sold an unwanted brussels sprout left over from his Christmas dinner for £1550 in aid of cancer research.
  • In May 2006, a Chinese businessman named Zhang Cheng bought a former Czech Air Force MIG-21 fighter jet from a seller in the United States for $24,730. The seller, "inkgirle", refused to ship it. It is not known whether he was refunded.
  • In June 2005, the wife of Tim Shaw, a British radio DJ on Kerrang! 105.2, sold Tim's Lotus Esprit sports car with a Buy It Now price of 50 pence after she heard him flirting with model Jodie Marsh on air. The car was sold within 5 minutes, and it was requested that the buyer pick it up the same day.
  • In May 2005, a Volkswagen Golf that had previously been registered to Joseph Ratzinger (then a cardinal, who had since been elected pope and chose the regnal name Benedict XVI on April 19, 2005) was sold on eBay's German site for €188,938.88 ($277,171.12 USD). The winning bid was made by the online casino, known for their outrageous eBay purchases.
  • A seaworthy 16,000-ton aircraft carrier, formerly the British HMS Vengeance, was listed early in 2004. The auction was removed when eBay determined that the vessel qualified as ordnance, even though all weapons systems had been removed.
  • 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 Carolinamarker in 1977.
  • A Coventry University student got £1.20 for a single cornflake.
  • A man from Brisbanemarker, Australia, attempted to sell New Zealandmarker at a starting price of $0.01AUD. The price had risen to $3,000 before eBay closed the auction.
  • An Australian newspaper reported in December 2004 that a single piece of the Kellogg's breakfast cereal Nutri-Grain sold on eBay for AUD$1,035 because it happened to bear a slight resemblance to the character E.T. from the Steven Spielberg movie. Apparently the seller went on to make even more money in relation to the sale for his appearance on a nationally televised current affairs program.
  • One of the tunnel boring machines involved in the construction of the Channel Tunnelmarker was auctioned on eBay in 2004.
  • A group of four men from Australia auctioned themselves to spend the weekend with the promise of "beers, snacks, good conversation and a hell of a lot of laughs" for AU$1,300
  • Disney sold a retired Monorail Red (Mark IV Monorail) for $20,000
  • The German Language Association sold the German language to call attention to the growing influence of English in modern German.
  • In late November 2005, the original Hollywood Signmarker was sold on eBay for $450,400.
  • In February 2007, after Britney Spears shaved all of her hair off in a Los Angelesmarker salon, it was listed on eBay for $1million USD before it was taken down.
  • In September 2004, the Indiana Firebirds arena football team was auctioned off, first in a regular auction that failed to reach the reserve price, and again as a "Buy it Now" item for $3.9 million.
  • Bridgeville, Californiamarker (pop. 25) was the first town to be sold on eBay in 2002, and has been up for sale 3 times since.
  • In April 2005, American entrepreneur Matt Rouse sold the right to choose a new middle name for him. After receiving an $8,000 "Buy It Now" bid, the Utahmarker courts refused to allow the name change. He currently still has his original middle name "Jean".
  • In 2004, a partially eaten, 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich said to bear the image of the Virgin Mary sold on eBay for $28,000.
  • In January 2008, four golf balls were auctioned on eBay after being surgically removed from the carpet python which had inadvertently swallowed them whilst raiding eggs in a chicken enclosure. The story attracted considerable international attention and the balls eventually sold for more AUD$1,400. The python recovered and was released.
  • In May 2008, Paul Osborn of the UK listed his wife Sharon for sale on eBay, alleging that she had an affair with a coworker.
  • In June 2008, Ian Usher put up his "entire life" on auction. The auction included his house in Perthmarker, belongings, introduction to his friends, and a trial at his job. When bidding closed, his "life" sold for $384,000.
  • In August 2008, Dr Richard Harrington, Vice President of the UK Royal Entomological Society, announced that a fossilized aphid he bought for £20 from a seller in Lithuaniamarker, was a previously unknown species. It has been named Mindarus harringtoni after Dr Harrington. He had wanted to name it Mindarus ebayi, but this name was disallowed as being too flippant. The 45-million-year-old aphid, preserved in a piece of Baltic amber, is now housed in the Natural History Museummarker in London.
  • In October 2008, amidst the 2008–2009 Icelandic financial crisis one seller had put up Icelandmarker for sale. Auction started with 99 pence but had reached 10 million pounds (US $17.28 million). However, singer Björk was "not included" in the sale. The notice read Located in the mid-Atlantic ridge in the North Atlantic Ocean, Iceland will provide the winning bidder with — a habitable environment, Icelandic Horses and admittedly a somewhat sketchy financial situation. Bidders' questions included: "Do you offer volcano/earthquake insurance?"
  • In November 2008, a Swedishmarker man put a digitally hand-drawn picture of a 7-legged spider onto eBay. The picture stemmed from an article on the site wherein David Thorne claims to have attempted to pay a Chiropractor's bill with a picture of a 7-legged spider, which he valued at $233.95. On eBay, the bidding price started at $233.95, with bidding ended at a sale price of US$10,000. Both the e-mail exchange and the picture have become internet hits.
  • In July 2009 Dornoch Capital Advisors placed England's Coca Cola League One Side Tranmere Rovers F.C. on eBay without permission for them to do so from Owner/Chairman Mr Johnson, This led Mr. Johnson to issuing a Statement On Tranmere Rovers F.C Official Website saying " I was very disappointed to discover that Dornoch Capital had chosen as a route to find a potential buyer and would not have given permission for them to do so had he been asked. Mr Johnson has instructed Dornoch to remove the eBay listing immediately".

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. The program is called eBay Giving Works [19636]in the US, and eBay for Charity in the UK.

Some high-profile charity auctions have been advertised on the eBay home page, and have raised large amounts of money in a short time. For example, a furniture manufacturer raised over $35,000 for Ronald McDonald House by auctioning off beds that had been signed by celebrities.

To date the 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 United Statesmarker 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 100 percent 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.

In 2007, eBay Canada partnered with Montreal-based digital branding agency CloudRaker to develop a campaign to raise money for Quebec’s national children’s hospital, Sainte-Justine. 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 6 weeks, they raised $15,000 for Hopital 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.

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 has built new in its 13-year existence, uses an array of 3,248 solar panels, spanning , and providing 650 kilowatts of power to eBay's campus. All told the array can supply the company with 15-18 percent of its 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 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 percent 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, low-flow shower heads, and low-flow faucets. Even during construction, more than 75 percent 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 employees.


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. eBay spokesman Hani Durzy stated that the “investment was really for learning purposes; it gives us access to learn how the classified market online works.”

The classifieds service Kijiji was launched by eBay in March 2005.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 claims is constituted by eBay's actions as a Craigslist shareholder. The case will be tried in Delaware and is scheduled for late June, 2009.

See also


  1. post about Auctionweb
  2. How did eBay start?, Retrieved on 2007-01-26.
  3. [1] Ebay, January 23, 2008-Meg Whitman to Step Down as President and CEO of eBay
  4. Kawamoto, Dawn & Grice, Corey: [2] C-Net News, September 24, 1998-eBay roars into public trading
  5. [3] Crunchbase, People, John Donahoe
  6. [4] Skype Sale, Washington Post
  8. eBay France, lancement officiel du site d'enchères
  9. According to's website is a joint venture between PCHome and eBay
  11. August 10, 2007, 10:38AM BST post to eBay annoucement board by eBay's staff
  12. 21 December, 2007 12:10PM GMT General announcement by eBay
  13. Announcement posted in a section on ebay called Changes in 2008
  14. eBay February 2008 announcement board posted on 28 February, 2008 02:49PM GMT
  15. eBay announcement 24 March, 2008 09:00AM GMT
  16. [5]
  19. eBay January 2008 announcement board. Posted on 30 January, 2008 06:20PM GMT
  22. Q1 eBay earnings call April 16th 2008
  23. eBay Partner Network
  24. [6] eBay, Policies
  32. [7]
  36. [8] eBay, Adult Only category policy
  39. eBay announcement March 24, 2008 01:00PM PST/PT
  40. Animals and wildlife products policy
  42. Fort Montgomery for sale on eBay Plattsburgh Press Republican, Plattsburgh, New York, June 2006
  43. Northern Echo archive 5th January 2006
  50. Critical Letter to Limbaugh Fetches $2 Million - New York Times
  52. Wingfield, Nick: [9] Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2004-EBay Buys Stake in Craigslist
  53. Kharif, Olga: [10] BusinessWeek, May 8, 2009-Will Craigslist Have to Crack Down?

Further reading

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