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Htay, Tammy

EBay for Online Shopping

        With a growing technology, online shopping becomes one of the most popular activities on Internet. Online shopping means buying products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet. This online activity is growing everyday simply because it is easy and convenient for both buyers and sellers. There are many popular online shopping sites such as Amazon, Overstock, and Ebid. The most well known online shopping site is eBay, which is a multi-billion dollar business and operating in over thirty countries worldwide. There are a fair amount of successful and not-so-successful experiences on eBay among the users. However, why millions and millions of users still use eBay even though it may not be their favorite site to do online shopping? The answer is simple. EBay is easy and cheap to use. For sellers, they can easily expose their goods or services to millions of people around the world. They do not have to go look for the markets and customers. Just sitting in front of their computers at home, the markets and customers come to them and purchase their items. The same reason goes with the buyers. If a buyer wants an old, first edition book or a used or new car, eBay is the first place that many people go to look for what they want. Sellers can list their items for as cheap as twenty-five cents, depending on the type of items and the basic price that they want to auction their goods and services. The buyers can save money and also make money if they understand the concept of buying on eBay.


Brief History of eBay


            EBay was first founded by Pierre Omidyar on September 4, 1995 as Auction Web in San Jose, California.  In 1996, Jeffery Skoll was hired as the first president of the company. In 1997, the company officially changed the name ‘eBay’ from ‘Auction Web’. Omidyar decided to use the word ‘eBay’ because his first choice ‘echobay’ was already registered by a gold mining company. In early 1998, the company hired Meg Whitman as the CEO and went public later in the same year. EBay share price went up to $ 53.50 from its targeted prices of $ 18 a share on its first day of public trading.

Pierre Omidyar 

How eBay works


            EBay do not own the items that are listed on the site. Also, eBay do not provide the items for sale. EBay only provide the site and bidding system. EBay is a perfect example of consumer-to-consumer (C2C) business model.  It is an online international platform where individuals can trade any type of goods or services without a middle agent. All transactions take place between individuals, and eBay has nothing to do with the content of the items or context of the listings. Individuals list an item that they want to sell. If they want to sell it as an auction style, they can list their items for maximum seven days. If they want to list it longer, they can sell the items as a Buy It Now option, which costs sellers a little more of insertion or listing fees and costs buyers a fixed price set by the sellers. After buyers win the item, pay through PayPal within seven days or any time frame that both buyers and sellers agree before the auctions closed. EBay also makes money from Final Value Fees, the percentage of final price of the sold item. For example, if the item is sold for $ 100, the seller should prepare to pay from nine percent of the final sale price for using the site.  The sellers completely control the photo or context of the listings.

How eBay Works


Pros & Cons of shopping on eBay



          Shopping on eBay is extremely simple and easy. It is also less time consuming because eBay search engine is powerful and buyers can easily find things that they like. Buyers can have a large variety of products to choose on eBay. The prices of the items on eBay are mostly cheaper than the retailers and its competitor online shopping sites. Buyers can buy items from international sellers without worrying about currency conversions or exchange rates. Money can be sent to almost all sellers quickly and electronically through PayPal with security as long as buyers follow the PayPal Purchase Protection program. EBay can also be entertaining because buyers can name the strangest items and find it on eBay.

Crazy Items on eBay


            If something goes wrong with the goods and services or the transaction on eBay, the refund process may not be so pleasant experience for buyers. Most sellers do not offer the refund policy, and some offer but only a few of them follow their own policies. The quality of the product may not be as accurate as claimed by the sellers. Almost all sellers claim that their items are excellence but not all of them are honest. Also, most sellers raise the price for shipping to cover the fees to pay to eBay. Fees to eBay are not buyers’ responsibility but sellers raise the shipping charges to have buyers share the load. Buyers have to be very careful with frauds because buying from a perfect stranger who is sitting across the world and not knowing what to expect does not always come with the positive outcomes. However, eBay has a Buyer Protection Program that covers each transaction up to $ 200.



            EBay has a lot to praise about and a lot to complain about. Is eBay a good place to shop or a bad place? Either decision will depend on the buyer's experience and awareness. There is no organization that is perfect in every possible way. Every firm or organization has its downsides. Consumers need to be aware of those downsides and know how to protect themselves from scammers. Although eBay has its weaknesses and many users have complaints about its system, eBay is still growing everyday. It still stands as the world largest online flea market that offers practically anything. This feature has allowed eBay to stay strong in the competitive online business, and one of the best online places to shop.