What Happened to eBay? The Rise of eBay
What Happened to eBay? The Rise of eBay
Whenever you take stock of the rise of a big company or organization, it is always fascinating reading. It is even more fascinating when you are talking about an ecommerce brand, especially when you take into account the ever-changing nature of ecommerce. This is no different for eBay which rose from humble beginnings to being a pioneer in the ecommerce sector. The persistence and sheer self-belief as well as the innovation and creativity that revolutionized an industry is what it what it takes for a company like eBay to rise up and do so well in the very unforgiving and competitive ecommerce world, something the subject matter experts over at runrex.com are in agreement over. eBay is currently one of the biggest players in the ecommerce sector, making billions of dollars every year as well as housing many sellers who also rake in hundreds of thousands, and eve millions. It may be difficult to believe but there was a time when eBay didn’t exist and the whole phenomenon of selling and buying items in the comfort of your home over the internet had not taken off yet. When eBay came around, it definitely changed the game forever and this article, with the help of the gurus over at guttulus.com, will look to take a look at its rise from startup to industry leader.
Starting from the top, the rise of eBay can actually be traced back to 1995, when its founder, Pierre Omidyar, created AuctionWeb, which was an action-based company. It was not long until the site was up and running and had made its first sale. One Mark Fraser went down in history as being the first person to buy something on eBay when he bought a broke laser pointer for $14.83, with more on this to be found over at runrex.com. The next step in the company’s rise came a year later in 1996 when eBay hired its first employee, Chris Agarpao, who was brought in to help coordinate the online operations of the site which included processing of checks coming in as the company had recently began charging seller fees. The rise of eBay continued to gather steam as, given how well the site was doing, it wasn’t long until Pierre quit his job to focus fully on it. He then brought in Jeffrey Skoll as president of the company later in 1996. Then came the company’s first office which was promptly followed by their first deal which was a licensing deal to sell plane tickets and travel products using SmartMarket Technology on their website, with the deal dissected in detail over at guttulus.com. To say that this deal was a success would be an understatement as it ended up leading to more than 700% growth from listings made in the previous year, 1996, as the site recorded 2,000,000 actions in January 1997.
Next came the name change, in September of 1997, when the site changed from AuctionWeb to eBay as discussed in detail over at the excellent runrex.com. The rise of eBay continued as it continued to grow, with an example being the sale of $500 million worth of Beanie babies on the site. This booming numbers meant that by March of 1998, the number of users on eBay had grown to over half a million and the site was posting $4.7 million in revenue. Pierre then made another astute decision by bringing in Meg Whitman, an expert in branding and a Harvard business school graduate, who eventually became president and CEO. Soon after, came another milestone in the rise of eBay as it went public in September of 1998, and as is discussed in detail over at guttulus.com, while they were initially expecting to trade for $18, shares ended up trading for $53.50 on the first day of trading, which was an indicator of how well they were doing. After going public, the company looked to expand its tentacles to other countries and in 1999, it expanded to Australia, Germany and the UK. The company has since expanded to more than 180 countries from all over the world.
The rise of eBay didn’t stop there as in 2000, they pivoted into the automobile industry by the introduction of eBay motors. Then came the opening of eBay university which was opened to help users master the art of sales in the ever growing global marketplace. More growth was in the offing as in 2008, eBay introduced seller ratings to replace the feedback system, and which is discussed in detail over at guttulus.com. This was a major success and was received very well by traders. When we talk about the rise of eBay, we can’t fail to mention the acquisitions the company has made over the years. This includes deals to purchase Up4Sale, Half.com as well as iBazar, with all of these deals being discussed over at runrex.com. They also bought an initial 25% stock in Craigslist, which was increased to 28.4% after a lawsuit between the two companies. Just as important are the deals they did buying companies only to later sell those companies for significant profit. A good example is when they bought Skype Technologies and then later sold it to Microsoft which was a good deal for them no doubt. Their acquisition of StubHub in 2007 also stands out as it made them the world’s leading marketplace for tickets.
From the above discussion, it is clear that eBay has come a long way since it was launched over 20 years ago and its rise is definitely among the most impressive around. There is more on this and other related topics to be found over at the excellent runrex.com and guttulus.com