eBay company profile

eBay is the world’s largest auction site and operates in 190 markets around the world.

One Labor Day public holiday in America, Pierre Omidyar, a young computer scientist based in San Jose, California, launched an online marketplace called AuctionWeb. The year was 1995. The site became eBay and by July 2019 it had a market capitalisation of $36bn.  

Omidyar wanted to create an auction site "dedicated to bringing together buyers and sellers in an honest and open marketplace”. 

At first the site was a hobby. Omidyar started charging users only when his internet service provider informed him the amount of traffic coming to the site would require him to upgrade to a business account. 

By January 1997 the site was hosting more than 200,000 auctions monthly. In September it changed its name to eBay.

The name was taken from Omidyar's firm Echo Bay Technology Group – because the domain name EchoBay.com was already taken he shortened it to eBay.com.

In 1997 venture capitalist Benchmark Capital invested $6.7m. In 1998 eBay listed on the New York Stock Exchange and by 2000 had more than 12 million users.

About eBay - timeline

1995 – Mark Fraser, a Canadian, bought the first item listed on the site in 1995 – a broken laser pointer.

A story circulated that Omidyar created eBay to help his wife collect Pez candy dispensers. Later, it was revealed the story was not true.

1996 – Omidyar hires the first eBay employee, Chris Agarpao. More than 20 years later, Chris is still an eBay employee.

1997 – the company was renamed eBay. In the same year more than $500m worth of Beanie Babies – Ty Warner’s line of cuddly stuffed animals – are sold on eBay alone and eBay sells its millionth item, a Big Bird jack-in-the-box toy from PBS’ Sesame Street 

1998 – in September eBay listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares were expected to trade for $18 but reached $53.50 in just one day.

2000 – the first eBay university course taught users how to become master sellers. 

2001 – the oldest known pair of Levi’s were sold on eBay. They were sold back to Levi Strauss & Co for $46,000 for its museum collection.  In the same year a Gulfstream jet sold for $4.9m, setting a new price record for the company.

2002 –  eBay acquired PayPal. In July 2015 PayPal was spun off into an independent company.

2005 – eBay bought Gumtree.

2008 – the eBay app is launched. By now eBay has bought and sold Skype, keeping a 30% share.

2020 – Jamie Iannone became eBay’s CEO.

EBAY price history

Date Close Change Change(%) Open High Low
Oct 22, 2021 80.50 4.24 5.56% 76.26 81.10 76.24
Oct 21, 2021 76.14 0.67 0.89% 75.47 76.19 74.99
Oct 20, 2021 75.90 1.13 1.51% 74.77 76.85 74.48
Oct 19, 2021 74.66 0.28 0.38% 74.38 75.30 74.26
Oct 18, 2021 74.17 -0.42 -0.56% 74.59 74.97 73.82
Oct 15, 2021 74.84 -0.24 -0.32% 75.08 75.22 74.57
Oct 14, 2021 74.57 -0.77 -1.02% 75.34 75.56 74.15
Oct 13, 2021 74.85 0.19 0.25% 74.66 75.26 74.15
Oct 12, 2021 74.60 -0.44 -0.59% 75.04 75.60 74.43
Oct 11, 2021 74.40 -0.10 -0.13% 74.50 74.81 74.13
Oct 8, 2021 74.98 0.63 0.85% 74.35 75.87 74.23
Oct 7, 2021 74.09 1.41 1.94% 72.68 75.09 72.68
Oct 6, 2021 71.46 2.25 3.25% 69.21 71.52 69.03
Oct 5, 2021 69.89 1.06 1.54% 68.83 70.53 68.57
Oct 4, 2021 68.42 -0.97 -1.40% 69.39 69.46 68.21
Oct 1, 2021 69.80 0.12 0.17% 69.68 70.28 68.95
Sep 30, 2021 69.59 -0.46 -0.66% 70.05 70.59 69.56
Sep 29, 2021 69.90 -1.55 -2.17% 71.45 71.71 69.66
Sep 28, 2021 71.19 -1.58 -2.17% 72.77 73.49 70.65
Sep 27, 2021 73.60 0.95 1.31% 72.65 73.73 72.34

Who owns the eBay company?

eBay listed on the New York Stock Exchange in September 1998 and founder Pierre Omidyar still serves on the company's board. Omidyar currently owns 5% of eBay and 6% of Paypal.

Where is the company eBay located?

eBay is headquartered in San Jose, CA and has eight offices throughout the US. 

Trade eBay - EBAY stock price

eBay
Daily change
80.5
Low: 77.47
High: 81
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