Today eBay has more than 12 million items listed across 18,000 categories for sale, with customized trade enabled for markets around the world. The eBay community includes more that 62 million registered users and according to Media Metrix, is the most popular shopping site on the Internet when measured by total user minutes. Its members are from all over the world. eBay has now local sites that serve the United States, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
How it works
The simplicity of how eBay works is one of the key factors of their success: Buyers and sellers register their personal information as well as a valid e-mail address with the company, which e-mails back a verification and password. A seller lists his item(s), places it in a specific category and then types up a detailed description that can be accompanied with a photograph of the item. The seller sets a minimum bid price and selects the length of the auction. The auction is then posted for anyone who might be interested in bidding. Then users are free to bid on eBay's auctions, which typically last three, five or seven days. Revenue for eBay is generated by the sellers, who pay a "success fee". Once the sale is complete, the seller and buyer deal directly with each other; eBay is not involved.
A buyer can find items in two ways:
- Browsing - Browse though the range of items in a particular category.
- Searching - Search for items by providing keywords.
Most of eBay’s transactions work without a problem and that is mostly due to the “feedback” feature where buyers and sellers critique each other publicly with positive, neutral or negative feedback. In eBay’s site feedback is followed by (your reputation). As explained by the Help “Site your reputation is important for doing business -- and making friends”. The better a seller's feedback, the more confident bidders feel in dealing with him. The better a buyer's feedback, the more comfortable sellers feel about his ability to complete a deal.
eBay provides a wide variety of services (see Appendix A). In addition to its well-known auction services, eBay provides the following services as well:
- eBay International: country-specific to serve the countries mentioned. It is not uncommon to hear about eBay members in Korea purchasing items from members in the U.S.
- eBay Motors: the Internet's largest auction-style marketplace for buying and selling all things automotive. At any given time, eBay Motors has a wide variety of vehicles listed for sale, including cars, trucks, collector cars, motorcycles, as well as auto parts, also provides end-to-end online services such as financing, inspections, escrow, auto insurance, vehicle shipping, title & registration, and a lemon check.
- eBay Stores: allows sellers to create customized shopping destinations to merchandise their items. For buyers, eBay Stores represent a convenient way to access sellers' goods and services. Buyers who shop at eBay Stores are able to make immediate and multiple-item purchases for fixed-price and auction-style items.
- Buy It Now: (optional enhancement for item listings). Buyers can purchase an item at a specified price without waiting for the end of the auction. It gives sellers an easy and convenient method to sell items quickly at a specified price.
- eBay Professional Services: serves the fast-growing and fragmented small business marketplace by providing a destination on eBay to find professionals and freelancers for all kinds of business needs such as Web design, accounting, writing, technical support, among others.
- eBay Local Trading: Local Trading is a way to trade stuff you never imagined seeing on eBay! Big things. Fragile things. Things that need a test drive. Things that are used locally like concert tickets or holiday timeshare rentals. So try out Local Trading today.
- eBay Live Auctions: Using eBay Live Auctions, you can now bid real time on live auctions happening on the floor of some of the world's greatest auction houses.
- PayPal. eBay recently acquired PayPal, a global, real-time payment solution that allows any business or consumer with an email address to securely, conveniently, and cost-effectively send and receive payments online. PayPal has over 20 million registered users, including more than 3 million business accounts
The eBay Economy
The company is not just a wildly successful startup. It has invented a whole new business world
EBay managers are reminded of this day after day. Whitman says it often takes six months for new managers to adjust to the democratic regime. "Some of the terms you learn in business school -- drive, force, commit -- don't apply," says former PepsiCo ( ) Inc. exec William C. Cobb, now senior vice-president in charge of eBay's international operations. "We're over here listening, adapting, enabling."
eBay website, The Company Overview http://pages.ebay.com/aboutebay/thecompany/companyoverview.html
Transactions are restricted by the locations in which PayPal service operates.
Christine Perfetti, Driving Innovation and Creativity through Customer Data
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5 eBay: Innovation and Online Community Development at Work
eBay Help site http://pages.ebay.com/help/welcome/find-items.html
eBay Help site http://pages.ebay.com/help/feedback/reputation_overview.html
eBay Live Auctions
Sun Microsystems, Inc. Case Study