Infobox Dotcom company
company_name = eBay Inc.
company_type = Public (NASDAQ|EBAY)
company_slogan = "What ever it is, you can get it on eBay.", and "Shop victoriously!"
foundation = September 3, 1995
San Jose, California
John Donahoe, CEO
Rajiv Dutta, President of eBay Marketplaces
Meg Whitman, former CEO and board member
Pierre Omidyar, Founder and Chairman
num_employees = 15,500 (Q1 2008)
USD (2008)cite web |url=http://zenobank.com/index.php?symbol=EBAY&page=quotesearch |title=Company Profile for eBay Inc (EBAY) |accessdate=2008-10-02]
revenue = profit$7.67 billion USD (2007)
products = Online auction hosting,
Electronic commerce, Shopping mall PayPal, Skype, Gumtree, Kijiji
url = [http://www.ebay.com/ www.ebay.com]
List of domain names
caption = The
website_type = Online auction
language = Multilingual
registration = Required to buy and sell
eBay Inc. is an American
Internetcompany that manages eBay.com, an online auctionand shopping websitein which people and businesses buy and sell goods and services worldwide. In addition to its original U.S. Web site, eBay has established localized Web sites in thirty other countries. eBay Inc. also owns PayPal, Skype, [cite web | last = Suciu | first = Peter | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Skype and PayPal – A Different Set of Rules | work = | publisher = All Business | date = 2008-04-18 | url = http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/communications-law-telephone-rates/8583888-1.html | format = | doi = | accessdate = 2008-04-23] StubHub, and other businesses.
Origins and early history
The online auction Web site was founded in
San Jose, California, on September 3, 1995, by French-born Iranian computer programmer Pierre Omidyaras AuctionWeb, [ [http://groups.google.com/group/misc.forsale.non-computer/browse_frm/thread/f1c6253b150a7c4/400c831dc01877f2?lnk=st&q=auctionweb+omidyar&rnum=1&hl=en#400c831dc01877f2 misc.forsale.non-computer post about Auctionweb] ] part of a larger personal site that included, among other things, Omidyar's own tongue-in-cheek tribute to the Ebolavirus.cite book | title=The Perfect Store | first=Adam | last=Cohen | publishdate=2002 | id=ISBN 0-316-16493-3] In 1997, the company received approximately $5 million in funding from the venture capital firm Benchmark Capital. [cite book
last = Stross
first = Randall
title = eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work
publisher = Ballantine Books (May 29, 2001)
date = 2001-05-29
pages = 28-29
url = http://www.amazon.com/eBoys-Inside-Account-Venture-Capitalists/dp/0345428897/
isbn = 978-0345428899]
The very first item sold on eBay was a broken
laser pointerfor $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 of broken laser pointers." [http://ebay.about.com/od/ebaylifestyle/a/el_history.htm How did eBay start?] , About.com. Retrieved on 2007-01-26.] The frequently-repeated story that eBay was founded to help Omidyar's fiancée trade PEZCandy 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 Skollwas 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 [http://www.echobay.com/ echobay.com] (the domain has recently been put up for sale) but found it already taken by the Echo Bay Mines, a gold mining company, so he shortened it to his second choice, "eBay.com". [ [http://www.happynews.com/living/online/history-ebay.htm The history of ebay ] ]
eBay went public on September 21 [ [http://moneycentral.hoovers.com/global/msn/factsheet.xhtml?COID=56307 eBay Inc. - MSN Fact Sheet ] ] , 1998, and both Omidyar and Skoll became instant billionaires. The company purchased
PayPalon October 14, 2002.
In addition to its original U.S. Web site, eBay has established localized Web sites in many other countries:
Items and services
collectibles, 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. [cite web | url=http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/items-ov.html | title=Prohibited and Restricted Items - Overview | publisher=eBay | accessdate=2006-06-28] 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. [cite web | url=http://developer.ebay.com | title=eBay Developers Program | publisher=eBay | accessdate=2006-06-28] On June 2005, there were over 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 after hearing of the auction from an outsider; the company's policy is to not pre-approve transactions. eBay is also an easy place for unscrupulous sellers to market counterfeitmerchandise, which can be difficult for novice buyers to distinguish without careful study of the auction description.
Beginning in August 2007, eBay required listing in "Video Games" and "Health & Beauty" to accept its payment system
PayPaland sellers could only accept PayPal for payments in the category "Video Games: Consoles". [ [http://www2.ebay.com/aw/uk/200708101038232.html August 10, 2007, 10:38AM BST post to eBay annoucement board by eBay's staff] ] Starting January 10, 2007, eBay says 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". [ [http://www2.ebay.com/aw/uk/200712.shtml 21 December, 2007 12:10PM GMT General announcement by eBay] ] 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 accountmay be used as an alternative. [ [http://web.ebay.co.uk/businesshub/index.php?page=safe_payments Announcement posted in a section on ebay called Changes in 2008] ] [ [http://www2.ebay.com/aw/uk/200802.shtml eBay February 2008 announcement board posted on 28 February, 2008 02:49PM GMT] ] This is in addition to the requirement that all sellers from the United Kingdomhave to offer PayPal. [ [http://www2.ebay.com/aw/uk/200803211515302.html eBay announcement 24 March, 2008 09:00AM GMT] ]
Further, and as noted below, it is a requirement to offer Paypal on all listings in Australia and the UK.
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 [http://www.express.ebay.com/ (eBay Express)] . Selected eBay items are 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 29 January 2008 eBay announced its intention to close the site [ [http://www2.ebay.com/aw/uk/200801.shtml#2008-01-28172536 January 2008 ] ] . The German version was also opened in 2006 and closed in 2008 [http://www.ebayexpress.de/ (eBay Express Germany)] . The Site is now ceased.
eBay Specialty Sites
In June 2006, eBay added an [http://www.ebaywiki.com/ eBay Community Wiki] and [http://blogs.ebay.com/ eBay Blogs] to its Community Content which also includes the Discussion Boards, Groups, Answer Center, Chat Rooms, and Reviews & Guides. eBay has a robust mobile offering, including SMS alerts, a WAP site, and J2ME clients, available in certain markets.
[http://bestof.ebay.com Best of eBay] is a new specialty site for finding the most-unusual items on the eBay site. Users can also vote on and nominate listings that they find.
[http://pulse.ebay.com eBay Pulse] provides information about popular search terms, trends, and most-watched items.
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.
* Dutch Auctions 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.
For auction-style listings, the first bid must be at least the amount of the minimum bid set by the seller. Regardless of the amount the first bidder actually bids, until a second bid is made, eBay will then display the auction's minimum bid as the current high bid. After the first bid is made, each subsequent bid must be equal to at least the current highest bid displayed plus one bidding increment. The bidding increment is established by eBay based on the size of the current highest displayed bid. For example, when the current highest bid is less than or equal to $0.99, the bidding increment is $0.05; when the current highest bid is at least $1.00 but less than or equal to $4.99, the bidding increment is $0.25. Regardless of the amount each subsequent bidder bids, eBay will display the lesser of the bidder's actual bid and the amount equal to the previous highest bidder's actual bid plus one bidding increment. For example, suppose the current second-highest bid is $2.05 and the highest bid is $2.40. eBay will display the highest bid as $2.30, which equals the second-highest bid ($2.05) plus the bidding increment ($0.25). In this case, eBay will require the next bid to be at least $2.55, which equals the highest displayed bid ($2.30) plus one bidding increment ($0.25). The next bid will display as the actual amount bid or $2.65, whichever is less. The figure of $2.65 in this case comes from the then-second-highest actual bid of $2.40 plus the bidding increment of $0.25. The winning bidder pays the bid that eBay displays, not the amount actually bid. Following this example, if the next bidder is the final bidder, and bids $2.55, the winner pays $2.55, even though it is less than the second-highest bid ($2.40) plus one bidding increment ($0.25). However, if the next bidder is the final bidder and bids an arbitrarily large amount, for example $10.00 or even more, the winner pays $2.65, which equals the second-highest bid plus one bidding increment.
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.
eBay has established detailed rules about bidding, retraction of bids, shill bidding (collusion to drive up the price), and other aspects of bidding. These rules can be viewed on the help pages.
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. [ [http://www2.ebay.com/aw/uk/200802.shtml February 2008 ] ] [ [http://www2.ebay.com/aw/uk/200801.shtml January 2008 ] ] [ [http://pages.ebay.com/services/forum/new.html Upcoming Changes to Feedback ] ] [ [http://pages.ebay.com/sell/update08/overview/index.html Fees 2008 Overview ] ] [ [http://www2.ebay.com/aw/core/200801.shtml January 2008 ] ]
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 and fees when the product sells, plus several optional fees, all based on various factors and scales. The U.S.-based eBay.com takes $0.20 to $80 per listing and 5.25% or less of the final price (as of 2007). The UK based ebay.co.uk [http://pages.ebay.co.uk/aboutebay/contact.html (ebay.co.uk offices)] takes from GBP £0.15 to a maximum rate of GBP £3 per £100 for an ordinary listing and from 0.75% to 5.25% of the final price. In addition, eBay now owns the
PayPalpayment 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.Fact|date=July 2007 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. [ [http://www2.ebay.com/aw/uk/200801.shtml eBay January 2008 announcement board. Posted on 30 January, 2008 06:20PM GMT] ]
The company's current business strategy includes increasing
internationaltrade.Fact|date=May 2008 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% but off the Ebay auction site it was up 61%. [ [http://seekingalpha.com/article/72603-ebay-q1-2008-earnings-call-transcript Q1 eBay earnings call April 16th 2008] ]
Controversy and criticism
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 eBay.com (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. Among the hundred or so banned or restricted categories:
Tobacco(tobacco-related items and collectibles are accepted.) [ [http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/tobacco.html http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/tobacco.html] ]
* Alcohol (alcohol-related collectibles, including sealed containers, as well as some wine sales by licensed sellers are allowed) [ [http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/alcohol.html http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/alcohol.html] ]
* Drugs and drug paraphernalia [ [http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/drugs-drug-paraphernalia.html http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/drugs-drug-paraphernalia.html] ]
* Nazi paraphernalia [ [http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/offensive.html http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/offensive.html] ]
Bootleg recordings [ [http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/bootlegs.html http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/bootlegs.html] ]
Firearms and ammunition, [ [http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/firearms-weapons-knives.html http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/firearms-weapons-knives.html] ] 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 [ [http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/used-clothing.html http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/used-clothing.html] ]
* Teachers' editions of
textbooks including home school teacher's editions. [ [http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/teachersedition.html http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/teachersedition.html] ] [ [http://worldnetdaily.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51702 http://worldnetdaily.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51702] ]
* Human parts and remains (with an exception for skeletons and skulls for scientific study, provided they are not Native American in origin) [ [http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/remains.html http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/remains.html] ]
* Live animals (with certain exceptions) [ [http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/wildlife.html http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/wildlife.html] ]
* Certain copyrighted works or trademarked items. [ [http://pages.ebay.com/help/tp/programs-vero-ov.html http://pages.ebay.com/help/tp/programs-vero-ov.html] ]
* Lock-picking tools, accessories, and practice locks fall into the category of burglar tools.Dubious|date=May 2008
* Lottery tickets, sweepstakes tickets, or any other gambling items.
* Military hardware such as working weapons or explosives.
* Virtual items from
massively multiplayer online games, restrictions which vary by country [ [http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/downloadable.html http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/downloadable.html] ] [ [http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070130-8731.html http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070130-8731.html] ]
* Many other items are either wholly prohibited or restricted in some manner. [ [http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/ia/prohibited_and_restricted_items.html http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/ia/prohibited_and_restricted_items.html] ]
* 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. [ [http://www2.ebay.com/aw/core/200803241300132.html eBay announcement March 24, 2008 01:00PM PST/PT] ]
Unusual sale items
* In May 2006 the remains of U.S. Fort Montgomery 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 re-listed on the site several times since. ["Fort Montgomery for sale on Ebay" Plattsburgh Press Republican, Plattsburgh, New York, June 2006] [http://www.privateislandsonline.com/fort-montgomery-newyork.htm]
* In February 2004, a scrapped
F/A-18 Hornetfighter 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. [ [http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-02/17/content_306823.htm U.S. navy jet fighter F18 is for sale on eBay ] ]
* In January 2006, a British man named Leigh Knight sold an unwanted Brussels sprout left over from his
Christmasdinner for £1550 in aid of cancerresearch. [ [http://archive.thenorthernecho.co.uk/2006/1/6/215526.html Charity sprout craze sweeps the nation as £1,550 bid on eBay ] ] [ [http://thenibs.blogspot.com/2006/01/unwanted-brussel-sprout-on-sale-for.html The NIBS: Unwanted brussel sprout on sale for charity ] ]
* In May 2006, a Chinese businessman named Zhang Cheng bought a former Czech Air Force
MIG-21fighter jet from a seller in the United States for $24,730. It is not known whether the Chinese government will allow the plane to be delivered. [ [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2006/04/30/1146335603625.html Chinese man buys fighter jet on eBay - Breaking - Technology - theage.com.au ] ]
* In June 2005, the wife of Tim Shaw, a British radio DJ on
Kerrang! 105.2, sold Tim's Lotus Espritsports car with a Buy It Now price of 50 pence after she heard him flirting with model Jodie Marshon air. The car was sold within 5 minutes, and it was requested that the buyer pick it up the same day. [cite news | url=http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/showbiz/articles/19429823?source=Metro | title=£25,000 revenge of DJ's wife | publisher=This Is London | date=2005-06-21]
* In May 2005, a
Volkswagen Golfthat had previously been registered to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who had been made Pope Benedict XVI) was sold on eBay's German site for €188,938.88 ($277,171.12 USD). The winning bid was made by the GoldenPalace.comonline casino, known for their outrageous eBay purchases. [cite web | url=http://www.goldenpalaceevents.com/ebay_archives/popemobile02.html | title=Golf IV von Josef Kardinal Ratzinger | publisher=Golden Palace | accessdate=2006-06-28]
* 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. [cite web | last-Tweedie | first=Neil | date=2004-01-10| url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1451338/For-internet-sale-aircraft-carrier%2C-only-three-owners.html | title= For internet sale: aircraft carrier, only three owners | publisher=Telegraph.co.uk | accessdate=2008-07-09]
* Water that was said to have been left in a cup
Elvis Presleyonce drank from was sold for $455. The few tablespoons came from a plastic cup Presley sipped at a concert in North Carolinain 1977. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/4134407.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/4134407.stm] ]
* A Coventry University student got £1.20 for a single cornflake. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk./1/hi/england/coventry_warwickshire/4137877.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk./1/hi/england/coventry_warwickshire/4137877.stm] ]
* A man from
Brisbane, Australia, attempted to sell New Zealandat a starting price of $.01AUD. The price had risen to $3,000 before eBay closed the auction. [ [http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411365/712869 http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411365/712869] ]
* 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 Spielbergmovie. 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. [cite web
url = http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22881260-5001021,00.html
title = Nutri-Grain that looks like ET]
* One of the
tunnel boring machines involved in the construction of the Channel Tunnelwas auctioned on eBay in 2004. [cite news | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3599191.stm | title=Eurotunnel drill bids reach £5m | publisher=BBC |date=2004-04-05]
* 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 [cite web
url = http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/blokey-weekend-bids-reach-2450/2006/01/27/1138319426355.html
title = Blokes pull in the bids on eBay
author = Hearn, Louisa
date = 2006-01-17]
* Disney sold a retired
MonorailRed (Mark IV Monorail) for $20,000 [ [http://www.monorails.org/tMspages/CPMarkIV.html http://www.monorails.org/tMspages/CPMarkIV.html] ]
German LanguageAssociation sold the German language to call attention to the growing influence of Pidgin Englishin modern German. [Cite web
url = http://www.wdr.de/themen/kultur/1/versteigerung_deutsche_sprache/index.jhtml
title = 10 Millionen Euro für die deutsche Sprache De icon]
* In late November 2005, the original
Hollywood Signwas sold on eBay for $450,400. [cite web
url = http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/12/07/entertainment/main1103557.shtml
title = Hollywood Sign Sold For $450K] [cite web
url = http://money.cnn.com/2005/11/17/news/newsmakers/hollywood_sign/
title = Buy a piece of HOLLYWOOD]
* In January 2007, a cooked but uneaten
Brussel Sproutwas sold on eBay, finishing at over £15,000 ($29,000) [Cite web
url = http://www.finextra.com/community/fullblog.aspx?id=167 |title = eBay offers Nick Leeson's trading jacket] .
* In February 2007, after
Britney Spearsshaved all of her hair off in a Los Angelessalon, it was listed on eBay for $1million USD before it was taken down. [Cite web
url = http://hollywood.outsidethebeltway.com/2007/02/britney-spears-shaved-hair-on-sale-on-ebay/ |title = Britney Spears' Shaved Hair on Sale on Ebay!]
* In September 2004, the
Indiana Firebirds arena footballteam was auctioned off, first in a regular auction that failed to reach the reserve price, [http://www.operationsports.com/forums/football-other/95623-afls-indiana-firebirds-sale-ebay.html] and again as a "Buy it Now" item for $3.9 million. [http://www.oursportscentral.com/boards/archive/index.php/t-897.html]
Bridgeville, California(pop. 25) was the first town to be sold on eBay in 2002, and has been up for sale 3 times since. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4875206.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4875206.stm] ]
* 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
Utahcourts refused to allow the name change. He currently still has his original middle name "Jean". [cite web |url = http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/04/05/national/main685791.shtml | title = Matthew Sells The Middle]
* In 2004, a partially-eaten, 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich said to bear the image of the
Virgin Marysold on eBay for $28,000. [cite web
url = http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/WolfFiles/story?id=307227&page=1 | title = ABC News: Hungry for Miracles?]
* In January 2008, four
golfballs 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. [cite web
url = http://www.smh.com.au/news/unusual-tales/snakes-golf-balls-fetch-1400/2008/01/11/1199988566831.html
title = Snake's golf balls fetch $1400]
* 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. [cite web
url = http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23702440-13762,00.html
title = Jealous husband puts wife on eBay]
* In June 2008, Ian Usher put up his "entire life" on auction. The auction included his house in Perth, belongings, introduction to his friends and a trial at his job. [cite web
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7467857.stm
title = Bidding begins on 'entire life' ] When bidding closed, his "life" sold for $384,000. [cite web | url=http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-odd-australia-life-for-sale,0,7890092.story | title="Man auctions life, but disappointed at bid price" | publisher=Associated Press | date=2008-06-30 | accessdate=2008-06-30]
* In August 2008, Dr Richard Harrington, Vice President of the UK
Royal Entomological Society, announced that a fossilized aphidhe bought for £20 from a seller in Lithuania, 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 Museumin London. [cite web | url=http://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/corporate/PressReleases/PressReleases.php?PRID=48 | title="Insect expert discovers new species on eBay" | date=2008-08-19 | accessdate=2008-08-19]
October 2008, amidst 2008 Icelandic financial crisisone seller had put up Icelandfor sale. Auction started with 99 pence but had reached 10 million pounds ( US $17.28 million). However, singer Bjorkwas "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?"cite news|url=http://www.ibnlive.com/news/iceland-for-sale-on-ebay-winner-may-collect-in-person/75531-13.html?from=rssfeed|title=Iceland for sale on eBay, winner may collect in person|date=Oct 10, 2008 |work=Reuters|publisher=CNN-IBN|accessdate=2008-10-10]
MissionFishas 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 [http://www.ebaygivingworks.com/] in the US, and eBay for Charity [http://pages.ebay.co.uk/community/charity/index.html] 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.Fact|date=July 2007
To date the highest successful bid on a single item for charity was for a letter [http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_101607/content/01125108.guest.html] sent to Mark P. Mays, CEO of Clear Channel (parent company of
Premiere Radio Networksthe production company that produces The Rush Limbaugh Showand The Glenn Beck Program) by United StatesSenator Harry Reidand forty other Democratic senators, complaining about comments made by conservativetalk show host Rush Limbaugh. The winning bid was $2,100,100, with 100% 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. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/20/washington/20letter.html?em&ex=1193025600&en=044964c8f9169d02&ei=5087%0A Critical Letter to Limbaugh Fetches $2 Million - New York Times ] ]
eBay offers various online help features, including a library of self-help resources, e-mail contact forms and "Live Help," which lets users chat with customer service representatives via
instant messaging. Although this is not available to users on international sites such as eBay.co.uk, members of international eBay Web sites are welcome to utilize eBay.com's Live Help service. eBay does offer some phone support to its customers although this is limited to sellers of the rank "Bronze PowerSeller" and above, the company's term for members who sell at least an average of $1,000 worth of goods per month on the site, as well as to eBay Store owners.
On May 8th, 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. [http://www.csrwire.com/News/11984.html eBay Inc. Opens New "Green" Building and Unveils Largest Commercial Solar Installation in San Jose ] ] The building, the first the company has built new in its 13-year existence, uses an array of 3,248 solar panels, spanning convert|60000|sqft|m2, and providing 650 kilowatts of power to eBay's campus.http://origin.mercurynews.com/healthandscience/ci_9191170?nclick_check=1] [http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/05-08-2008/0004809169&EDATE= SolarCity Helps eBay Campus, Employees Switch to Clean Power With Largest Commercial Solar Installation in San Jose ] ] All told the array can supply the company with 15-18 percent of its total energy requirements, reducing the amount of
greenhouse gasesthat 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 dioxidefrom 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 convert|322|acre|km2 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.
Notes and references
* [http://www.ebay.com/ eBay.com]
* [http://www.ebaymotors.com eBay Motors]
* [http://pages.ebay.com/help/?ssPageName=home:f:f:US eBay Support]
* [http://www.cogmap.com/chart/ebay eBay Organization Chart]
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