The Journey of eBay – 1995-2018

Pierre Omidyar, a Computer Programmer, created eBay on Labor Day weekend back in 1995. He wrote down the code for the auction site and ran it from his home computer.

Now, Omidyar’s hobby is called eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace — where nearly anyone can sell practically anything at any moment. It is an idea that BusinessWeek formerly called “nothing less than a virtual, self-regulating international economy.”

Having a presence in 39 markets, such as the U.S., and about 84 million active users worldwide, eBay has changed the face of Internet commerce. In 2007, the complete value of sold items on eBay’s trading platforms was almost $60 billion.

The benefit to customers is clear: eBay offers an open trading platform in which the market determines the value of items which are sold. Through time, the site is now a cultural barometer of sorts, giving a view into what items consumers need most at any moment.

Since its initial public offering in 1998, the business has continued to innovate and connect people — and not only through its marketplaces. Two crucial acquisitions have made eBay Inc. a global leader in online communications and payments also.

Founded by eBay Inc. in October 2002, PayPal builds on the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards and utilises the world’s most advanced proprietary fraud prevention systems to create a secure payment alternative. Now, PayPal is a global leader in online payment options: It’s 149 million registered users and is accepted by millions of merchants worldwide — on and off eBay. PayPal’s Q1 2008 global total payment volume of $14.4 billion accounted for almost 9 per cent of global eCommerce.

Skype is available in 28 languages and is used in nearly every nation on Earth. This business unit generates revenue through its premium offerings for example calls (using its software) made to and from landline and mobile phones; voicemail; call forwarding; and personalisation, such as ringtones and avatars. Besides its presence on eBay, Skype has connections with a growing network of hardware and software suppliers.

Other important acquisitions have bolstered eBay Inc.’s portfolio of e-commerce businesses, such as shopping.com, a pioneer in online comparison shopping; StubHub, a leading online market for the resale of event tickets; rent.com, the most visited online apartment listing service in the U.S.; StumbleUpon, an internet solution that helps individuals discover and share content online; and market-leading online classifieds websites such as LoQUo.com, Intoko, and Netherlands-based Marktplaats.nl. The business has also developed its classifieds business through Kijiji, which started at the U.S. in 2007.

The company celebrated its 20th anniversary in September 2015 and started supplying new and used items for sale on their Website. Just after that in 2016, eBay acquired a company called The Expert Maker who had come up with the cutting-edge tech of the virtual shopping experience.