Business & Internet Forums

Ebay: from strength to strength

October 22, 2004

Categories: Business

The BBC carries an interesting analysis of EBay, looking at the company growth, marketing strengths, and past weaknesses, and reveals a company that moves from strengthn to strength and posting profits that prove it.

A short history is covered:

1995 Set up in by Pierre Omidyar, although it is a myth that he did so because his wife, an avid Pez sweet dispenser collector, wanted to trade with other collectors over the net

1995 Mr Omidyar sells his first item - his own broken laser pointer - for $14

1997 Meg Whitman joins eBay

1999 Sets up in the UK, Germany

1999 Site crashes for 22 hours

2000 Sets up in Japan (pulls out 5 months later)

2001 Overtakes Amazon as the most visited e-commerce site

2001 Moves into China

2002 Buys online payment service PayPal

2002 Pulls out of Japan

2004 moves into South Korea and India, giving it a foothold in 29 international markets

The article lists some of the more eclectic items sold online via Ebay:

  • Koopa the turtle makes art for his US owner to sell on eBay, his paintings now hang in 36 US states and as far afield as Australia
  • Eurotunnel drill - 39,999
  • Gulf Stream jet - $4.9m (2.57m)- the most expensive item sold so far
  • Prehistoric skeleton of Max the mammoth - 61,000
  • Lady Thatcher’s handbag - 103,000
  • Tesco carrier bag - 4.50
  • Link: Ebay: from strength to strength