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eBay is a major marketplace facilitator from the United States. It has several dedicated websites in Europe, with the ones in the United Kingdom and Germany being the most noticeable ones. The company was launched by Pierre Omidyar in 1995 and offers products to both sellers and buyers through an online auction and a buy now option.

The history of eBay

eBay start as a personal project from Pierre Omidyar. In September 1995, the website initially launches as AuctionWeb, a site “dedicated to bringing together buyers and sellers in an honest and open marketplace.” Nine months later, the total value of merchandise sold on the website reaches about 6.2 million euros. In 1997, AuctionWeb introduces the Feedback Forum, where users can rate their transactions. In the same year, the millionth item gets sold through the platform. In September 1997, AuctionWeb changes its name to eBay.

In July 1999, eBay launches sites in Germany and the United Kingdom. One year later, the company introduces the fixed-price feature ‘Buy It Now’, which allows users to buy an item instantly at a set price. In 2002, it acquires PayPal, the payments company that spins off into an independent company in July 2015. In 2008, eBay is one of the first companies to launch a mobile app for iPhones. In 2011, it acquires ecommerce software platform Magento.

eBay in Europe

eBay has dozens of websites across the globe. In Europe, the company has dedicated ecommerce websites in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

eBay’s mission

On its corporate website, eBay says it is “where the world goes to shop, sell and give”. It states their mission is to be the world’s favorite destination for discovering great value and a unique selection. “Whether you are buying new or used, plain or luxurious, commonplace or rare, trendy or one-of-a-kind – if it exists in the world, it probably is for sale on eBay.”

Active in: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom

Branches: Beauty & Health, Electronics, Entertainment & Media, Fashion, Home, Pets & Garden, Office & School, Toys, Kids & Baby

Founder(s): Pierre Omidyar

Established: 1995

Company size: 1000

Revenue: $9.6 billion / €8.3 billion (2017)

eBay headquarters

2025 Hamilton Avenue
95125 San Jose
The United States

Telephone 1-866-540-3229

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