Ebay turns 20: From auction house to marketplace

EBay’s marketplace model is something that has been quite an inspiration for the latest crop of e-commerce websites in India. Visual from ebay’s website

EBay, one of the pioneers of global e-commerce, turns 20 today. The company was founded by French-born Iranian computer programmer Pierre Omidyar in September 1995, a time when start-ups were still not the flavour of the street. Back then it was called AuctionWeb and was renamed eBay in September 1997. A look back at the milestones in the history of eBay, to understand its evolution from an auction site to the marketplace we see today.

AuctionWeb’s first sale was a broken laser pointer that Omidyar himself had put up for sale. It fetched $14.83, and was purchased by someone who collected laser pointers.

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