Did you know that eBay was founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar?
Or that it was originally called AuctionWeb?
These are just some of the interesting facts on eBay that you’ll learn in this blog post.
All and most of online businesses can credit their start because of eBay. Isn’t that crazy?
What Is eBay Known For?
eBay is known for being a popular online marketplace platform that allows individuals and businesses to buy and sell a wide variety of goods and services. It offers a global platform for both buyers and sellers to interact and conduct transactions in a safe and convenient manner. eBay is also known for its auction-style bidding system, which allows sellers to auction off their items to the highest bidder.
We dug up some of the best facts about the website, including the first thing ever sold on the website and how eBay got its name.
Here are the interesting and weird statistics and facts about eBay!
What Was eBay’s Original Name?
AuctionWeb. Pierre Omidyar launched AuctionWeb.com after writing code at home during a 1995 September Labor Day weekend. He would later change the name to eBay. More info on that in the next fact.
But first, how did the AuctionWeb website look back in the mid-90s? Here you go:
1990s web design was so awesome.
Why Did AuctionWeb Change to eBay?
While the original idea wasn’t to change the AuctionWeb name to eBay, it’s kind of hard to imagine a world now without the eBay brand.
In 1997, eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar tried to change AuctionWeb to the name of his other business: EchoBay. However, the company name EchoBay was already taken by a mining firm at the time, so Omidyar shortened it to eBay.
It’s pretty crazy how some companies and brands are born.
What Was the First Item Sold on eBay?
The first item sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer in 1995.
eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar listed the broken laser pointer for sale on his website he founded, AuctionWeb, which later became known as eBay. It sold for $14.83.
Now that you have learned the historic facts about eBay and how the website started and evolved early on, lets get into some of the other cool and weirder things about eBay.
What Country Uses eBay the Most?
United Kingdom. The British use eBay the most. Around 19 million British people use eBay in a typical month.
Who Was the First Person to Reach 1 Million Feedback on eBay?
As you might know, buyer feedback is a huge part of the eBay experience. Getting a negative feedback rating could cause potential buyers to distrust the seller.
However, getting tons of feedback, good or bad, can be helpful, too. So, who got to 1 million feedback on eBay first?
In 2008, it was Jack Sheng after 8 years of selling on eBay.
In 2006, William Shatner Sold Which Item on eBay for $25,000?
His kidney stone. The online casino GoldenPalace bought William Shatner’s kidney stone in 2006 for $25,000.
Obviously, it was a publicity stunt by GoldenPalace, who is known to buy weird things like a partially eaten cheese sandwich that was thought to contain the image of the Virgin Mary. But the purchase did create some buzz at the time for them.
The money went to Habitat for Humanity, which builds houses for folks that need some help in their life.
What Is the Most Expensive Thing Sold on eBay?
A gigayacht sold for $168 million USD on eBay. The 405-ft megayacht designed by Frank Mulder was bought by a Russian billionaire named Roman Abramovich.
The yacht featured a movie theater and a helicopter pad, along with many other rooms and spaces.
A few other notable mentions include:
- Gulfstream II – $4.9 million
- Lunch with Warren Buffett – $2.6 million
- The Town of Albert, TX – $2.5 millon
- House with a War-Proof Bunker – $2.1 million
How Did NASA Use eBay?
NASA bought replacement parts through eBay, which seems kind of weird. They found floppy disk drives and Intel chips that were so out of date at the time, those products could no longer be found through other ways.
You never know how much your old junk can contribute to our lives and science until you learn how to sell on eBay.
Number of eBay Users
There are 135 million eBay users worldwide as of 2022.
What’s on the List of eBay Prohibited Items?
Currently, here are categories that are on the banned, prohibited, and restricted item list:
- Adult items policy
- Airsoft, air rifles & BB guns policy
- Alcohol policy
- Animal products policy
- Animal traps policy
- Artifacts and cave formations policy
- Beta & OEM software policy
- Bullion policy
- Chance listings policy
- Charity listings policy
- Collectible currency policy
- Compilations of information policy
- Cosmetics policy
- Counterfeit item policy
- Coupons policy
- Credit and debit card policy
- Disaster and tragedy policy
- Electronic equipment policy
- Electronically delivered items policy
- Embargoed goods policy
- Encouraging illegal activity policy
- Event tickets policy
- Fertilizer and pesticides policy
- Firearms and accessories policy
- Food policy
- Funeral items policy
- Gift cards policy
- Government items policy
- Hazardous materials policy
- Human body parts policy
- Illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia policy
- Illegal explicit content policy
- Intangible items policy
- International trading policy
- Jewelry policy
- Knives policy
- Live animals policy
- Lockpicking devices policy
- Lottery tickets policy
- Medical devices policy
- Military items policy
- Offensive material policy
- Personal information policy
- Plants and seeds policy
- Police-related items policy
- Prescription and over-the-counter drugs policy
- Price gouging policy
- Product safety policy
- Products with eligibility requirements policy
- Prohibited adult items policy
- Protecting minors policy
- Real estate policy
- Replica coins and currency policy
- Replica, toy, and prop firearms policy
- Selling art policy
- Services policy
- Slot machines policy
- Social media and reviews manipulation policy
- Stamps policy
- Stocks and securities policy
- Stolen property policy
- Tobacco and e-cigarettes policy
- Travel policy
- Used clothing policy
- Vehicle, parts and accessories policy
- Violence and violent criminals policy
- Virtual currency policy
- Weapons policy
A couple of notable prohibited items include the human body parts policy, price gouging policy, and the adult items policy.
For the current and full list with links to details about each policy, check it out here: https://www.ebay.com/help/policies/prohibited-restricted-items/prohibited-restricted-items?id=4207
What Services Does eBay Provide?
eBay provides a variety of services to its users, including online auctions, shopping, and payment processing. eBay also offers buyer protection and dispute resolution services.
Or you can just search all of craigslist all here on one page!
Did You Learn New Things About eBay Facts?
I hope you learned some interesting eBay facts!
These interesting and weird eBay facts shed light on the incredible world of online auctions. From million-dollar purchases to bizarre listings, eBay has certainly carved its place in digital commerce history. Be sure to share these fascinating facts on Twitter and Facebook to spread the conversation.
Did anything surprise you? What do you think about eBay’s history? Post your comments below! I like to hear feedback or other ideas.
Nick is a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in successfully selling products online across various platforms. With his extensive knowledge and expertise, he has honed his skills and has become an expert in the field of online sales.