The Growth Story of eBay Brand


Companies become successful not overnight but over time. It takes a lot of dedication, perseverance, and hard work for a global company to be a household name. Companies have to innovate not only in terms of their products, pricing, promotion, and distribution strategies but also in all of their marketing strategies to be at that level with the competitors. All the 7 P’s of modern marketing, help the company survive the tides of time. eBay is one of the companies that have been dedicated to making the online space safe as well as convenient for sellers and buyers.

In this article, we will be diving deep into the birth and growth trajectory of eBay to understand it as a brand and its strategies and initiatives.

Image − eBay's logo since October 2012.

The Birth of eBay as a Brand

The brand eBay was started in 1995 by Mr. Pierre Omidyar, a French-Iranian immigrant. Pierre Omidyar did the coding of the platform, and the major aim of Pierre Omidyar with eBay is to set up an online community for buyers and sellers. Both parties can meet each other and buy goods that they want at a price that is mutually desirable to them. Omidyar appointed Meg Whitman as the CEO of eBay. Meg Whitman served a tenure of 10 years and retired after that, and they took the company to great heights.

Many market and business critics provide the argument that how can people buy and sell things to strangers? To this, Pierre Omidyar replied by saying that he believes people are innately good and kind, and as the originator of eBay, they did two things well, and those are −

  • Build a strong online community.

  • Develop tools that will reinforce trust between the parties.

The first sale on eBay was worth 14.83 dollars, and it never stopped after that. In 1996 and 1997, eBay hit a record of 250000 to 200000 auctions every year. In 1996, Pierre Today, eBay is not just a platform for people to sell or auction used goods and collectibles but also a medium through which companies sell their products to customers.

The brand eBay has also faced difficulties at the time of the global recession, including major competition from brands like Amazon, Flipkart, and Google, and difficulties in expanding globally and especially to markets like China, but eBay never gave up. It was always there to knock out problems and serve its customers in the best manner possible with its resources and innovative ideas.

Unique Initiatives by eBay

The Core Essence of eBay

eBay was launched with the motive of providing sellers and buyers with a market in which they could sell anything and everything. With this core essence in mind, today you can find products on eBay ranging from boats, cars, health care, skincare, cosmetics, home appliances, furniture, property, jewelry, and others.

There is practically everything that a customer might want, and on top of that, eBay has also come up with the buy now option. This ensures that with a minimal fee, a customer can order anything from the merger partners like Target, Macy’s, Home Depot, and Toys R Us. With this system in place, eBay has become a major competitor to Flipkart, Google, and Amazon, with its age-old legacy and the auction option giving it an advantage over the other brands.

Pricing System on eBay

eBay first charges a listing fee from the seller of the product, and in addition to this, it charges a fee based on the auction price of the good. So, the total fee charged by eBay is the commission plus the variable fee based on the price of the auction. For example, if a seller is able to sell a product for a price range of 60 dollars, he will be charged 8.75% on the first 23 dollars and then 3.5% on the remaining 35 dollars.

This pricing system helps the company get bulk orders and removes those small chapters. The fixed fee for listing ensures that there are only relevant ads on eBay. Though in the current scenario, only 30% of the total income of eBay comes from the auction, the other 30% comes from website ad marketing and the buy now eBay option.

Acquisition Strategies by eBay

To date, eBay has done more than 50 acquisitions. These acquisitions by eBay are of small companies, which will help eBay serve its customers better. eBay has acquired brands like Paypal,, Stub Hub, Bill Me Later, Donahoe, and others. Paypal has been acquired by eBay because, after having a word with its customers, it pointed out that Paypal is the most trusted platform and the most desired one as well.

eBay wanted a safe payment platform so that it could help sellers and buyers transfer money globally and across borders with ease. Donahoe has been acquired by eBay to build a strong backup system and take eBay to the stage where it can easily compete with Amazon and other big brands.

Reach of eBay as a Brand

We notice that every 2 seconds a pair of shoes is sold at eBay, a man’s necktie in every 23 seconds, a major appliance every 26 seconds, and an LCD television every 6 minutes. This shows the wide reach and quick turnover of eBay. Companies joined eBay because, through this platform, they could easily get rid of the unsold inventory at the store, which was of limited knowledge.


The brand eBay has been in the market before social media giants like Facebook and WhatsApp. eBay helped in knowledge transference and also created a community where knowledge could be shared easily. Today, knowledge is what determines the price of the product, and limited knowledge holds back customers from buying and sellers from selling. With eBay, they were able to solve this problem of theirs. eBay today has more than 200 million active users and a revenue of more than 14 billion dollars. eBay's success as a brand proves that you can be successful; all you need to do is solve one of your customer’s problems through your product.

Updated on: 02-Aug-2023


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