eBay is a US based company that allows customers to interact with each other and carry out online transaction of products. This novel idea of the company allows the customers to
buy and sell their products on the portal and even auction them. With its headquarters in San Jose, it has over the years grown into a huge establishment and become a successful internet based company.
Founding Date: September 3rd, 1996
Company Name: eBay Inc.
Country: San Jose, USA
Company Website: www.ebay.com
The Initial Days of eBay
eBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar on September 3rd 1996. Initially, it was known as AuctionWeb and was an auction site where people could load details of the products they wanted to auction and then invite customers to bid on these. The customer placing the highest bid would get the product.
This project was just a hobby for Pierre and he offered the services for free. However, when he realized that the traffic to the website was growing and people were actually appreciating the idea, he went on to introduce a nominal price for the service. In spite of the fee, people continued to auction and bid for products on the site.
As the company grew and flourished, Pierre could no longer continue to handle it all by himself. This is when he decided to hire employees to help him with the operations. He went on to hire Jeffrey Skroll as the first President of eBay.
The company was growing at a phenomenal rate and within a year of its launch, it had hosted about 2,000,000 auctions. Its success and growth did not go unnoticed and in 1997, Benchmark Capital offered eBay $6.7 million to improve its operations.
In the year 1998, the company went public with its stocks and on the very first day that the shares were listed, their price shot up to $53.50, thus making eBay a billion dollar company.
In 1998, when Meg Whitman took over as the CEO and President of eBay, she upgraded the whole system to ensure better experience for the users. The company also decided to include other categories other than the auction category on its online portal. Thus, soon the company came up with options where customers could post a product for sale and others could buy them online without bidding.
eBay also acquired a few companies with a view to expand to other arenas. One of the major acquisitions made by it was, of PayPal in 2002. It also acquired Skype in 2005 but later sold it to Microsoft for a whopping profit.
In order to gain more customers across the world, eBay has launched individual websites in different companies that give more emphasis to the local preferences and demands.
eBay is extremely different from the other online shopping websites as here the customers can even sell or auction damaged goods like broken laser lights and old electronic appliances. However, the company follows some strict regulations and does not allow the sales of drugs, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and weapons.
eBay has close to 34,600 employees working for it and has an estimated annual revenue of $8.59 billion.