What is Ebay?

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Whether you live in Tokyo, Sydney or Rio de Janeiro, Ebay gives people the opportunity to look for a bargain and strike the best deal possible. From coins to antique accessories, computers to laptops, Ebay allows anyone to shop and to bargain for over one million items in more than one thousand categories. Ebay is currently the world’s largest online auction trading community, based on the number items of sale. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Ebay was started in September 1995 by Pierre Omidyar, who currently is one of the richest individuals in the world. It was all started from his apartment. He created a system which allowed his girlfriend to contact others who shared her interest in Pez dispensers. Later, Omidyar listed his trading site on the government’s website and the rest is history. Since then, the business started to pick up, and in March 1996 the business turned a profit. Revenues continue to grow ever since, making it the largest online auction company to date.

To enable bidders to bid on items or list items for sale, both bidders and sellers need to register first. All buyers and sellers must be at least eighteen years old to bid or to list items. Once registered, bidders can immediately search for specific items by category. Bidders can enter their queries on the search box. Ebay’s search engine will locate all relevant items for sale.

There is no charge for buyers to shop on Ebay and to bid on items. Buyers directly pay to sellers for the items they bought. Revenue is derived from fees charged for listing and selling items. Aside from that, Ebay offers sellers many ways to enhance listings to attract bidders, and it comes with an additional incremental fees. Finally, the seller pays Ebay a commission if the items are sold. Unlike any other internet firms, Ebay does not make money from advertisements.

Although Ebay only facilitates the platform for online transactions, the company realizes that it may face potential liability for certain users conduct on its site. Ebay has taken steps to prevent fraud and scam activity by implementing certain checks and balances during the registration process. The safe harbor program, customer service department, and feedback, sellers rating, buyers rating, have been put in place to prevent any misconduct.

Today, Ebay is the market leader in internet auction selling, based on the number of items for sale, and the number of registered users. Ebay however is facing substantial competition from the likes of Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


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