• eBay is founded by Pierre Omidyar in San Jose, California.
  • Originally named “AuctionWeb,” the site is launched as a platform for online auctions.


  • The company is officially renamed eBay.
  • The first item sold on eBay is a broken laser pointer for $14.83.


  • eBay officially incorporates, with Meg Whitman joining as President and CEO.
  • The company introduces its feedback system, allowing buyers and sellers to rate each other’s transactions.


  • eBay goes public, trading on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “EBAY.”
  • The acquisition of Butterfield & Butterfield marks eBay’s entry into the online auction market for fine art and collectibles.


  • eBay launches its Global Shipping Program, allowing sellers to ship internationally with ease.
  • The company acquires Half.com, an online marketplace for fixed-price goods.


  • eBay acquires PayPal for $1.5 billion, integrating the popular payment platform into its services.
  • The launch of eBay Motors expands the platform to include vehicles and automotive parts.


  • eBay introduces the “Buy It Now” feature, allowing sellers to offer items at a fixed price.
  • The company announces plans to acquire Bill Me Later, a provider of online credit services.


  • eBay surpasses 100 million active users worldwide.
  • The acquisition of GSI Commerce strengthens eBay’s position in e-commerce and digital marketing.


  • eBay spins off PayPal into a separate publicly traded company.
  • The company introduces its “eBay Valet” service, allowing sellers to consign their items to professional sellers for listing.


  • eBay announces the sale of its StubHub ticket marketplace to Viagogo for $4.05 billion.
  • The company launches Managed Delivery, a fulfillment service to rival Amazon’s FBA.

Bio of Founders

Pierre Omidyar: Pierre Omidyar is the founder of eBay, a pioneering online marketplace that revolutionized the way people buy and sell goods. Born on June 21, 1967, in Paris, France, Omidyar showed an early interest in computers and technology. He moved to the United States with his family at the age of six and later attended Tufts University, where he studied computer science. In 1995, while working for a software development company, Omidyar created AuctionWeb as a side project. This project would eventually evolve into eBay, which became one of the most successful e-commerce companies in the world. Omidyar’s vision for eBay was to create a platform that empowered individuals to conduct commerce in a transparent and democratic manner. His entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to innovation have earned him widespread recognition in the business community.

Meg Whitman: Margaret Cushing “Meg” Whitman is an American business executive who served as President and CEO of eBay from 1998 to 2008. Born on August 4, 1956, in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, Whitman attended Princeton University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. She later received an MBA from Harvard Business School. Prior to joining eBay, Whitman held executive positions at companies such as Procter & Gamble, Hasbro, and Disney. Under her leadership, eBay experienced exponential growth and expanded its presence globally. Whitman’s strategic vision and leadership skills played a significant role in eBay’s success during her tenure as CEO.

10 FAQs for Sellers

1. What is eBay’s Seller Platform? eBay’s Seller Platform is a marketplace where individuals and businesses can list and sell a wide range of products to millions of buyers worldwide. Sellers have access to tools and resources to manage their listings, process orders, and communicate with buyers.

2. How do I become a seller on eBay? To become a seller on eBay, you must create a seller account on the platform’s website. You will need to provide information about your business, including contact details, payment preferences, and shipping options. Once your account is set up, you can start listing your products for sale on eBay’s marketplace.

3. What types of products can I sell on eBay? eBay allows sellers to list a wide variety of products across numerous categories, including electronics, fashion, collectibles, home goods, and more. However, there are certain restrictions on what can be sold on eBay, such as prohibited items and items that violate eBay’s policies. It is essential to review eBay’s seller guidelines and policies before listing products for sale.

4. What are the fees for selling on eBay? According to WhenSourcing, eBay charges sellers various fees for listing items and completing transactions. These fees may include insertion fees for listing items, final value fees based on the selling price of items, and optional fees for additional listing features or promotions. Sellers may also incur payment processing fees if they use PayPal or other payment methods.

5. How does eBay support sellers? eBay offers a range of tools and resources to support sellers on its platform. This includes seller dashboards and analytics to track performance, promotional opportunities to increase visibility and sales, and seller protection policies to safeguard against fraud and disputes. Additionally, eBay provides educational materials and customer support to help sellers succeed and grow their businesses on the platform.

6. Can I offer international shipping on eBay? Yes, eBay allows sellers to offer international shipping to buyers located outside their home country. Sellers can choose to ship internationally using their preferred shipping carriers and methods. eBay’s Global Shipping Program also offers a convenient option for international shipping, where eBay handles the international leg of the shipment for sellers.

7. How do I handle returns and refunds on eBay? eBay has a standardized returns process that sellers can use to manage returns and issue refunds to buyers. Sellers can set their return policy preferences, including return periods and restocking fees, and communicate these policies to buyers through their listings. If a buyer requests a return, eBay provides guidance to both parties on how to proceed, and sellers can issue refunds once the returned item is received.

8. Can I sell used or refurbished items on eBay? Yes, eBay allows sellers to list used, refurbished, or pre-owned items for sale on the platform. However, sellers must accurately describe the condition of these items in their listings and disclose any defects or imperfections. eBay’s condition guidelines provide specific criteria for categorizing items as new, used, refurbished, or other conditions.

9. How do I optimize my listings for better visibility on eBay? To optimize listings for better visibility on eBay, sellers can use keywords and relevant product attributes in their titles and descriptions to improve search rankings. Including high-quality photos and detailed product information can also attract buyers and increase sales. eBay offers various promotional tools, such as promoted listings and markdown sales, to increase visibility and drive traffic to listings.

10. What seller protections does eBay offer against fraudulent buyers? eBay provides seller protection policies to safeguard against fraudulent buyers and unauthorized transactions. These policies include seller performance standards, which evaluate sellers based on their transaction history and customer service metrics. eBay also offers protection against unpaid items and fraudulent payment disputes, with options for sellers to appeal and resolve disputes through eBay’s resolution center.

eBay History Timeline

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