maandag, september 26, 2005

eBay 10 Years - 2000

The Year that Was: 2000
"eBay is positioned to thrive, not just survive this shakeout." - Meg Whitman

"Outwit. Outplay. Outlast"—these three words summed up a new reality-based television show that premiered in the U.S. in the spring of 2000. Its name, of course, is Survivor, and it immediately captured the imaginations of ten of millions of viewers. For many people with a stake in the new breed of Internet companies, this show also mirrored a reality they were experiencing in their own lives. Just a few weeks before Survivor first aired—on April 14, 2000, to be exact—the dot-com bubble burst. Stock prices plummeted. And among the biggest losers were these Internet startups—the "dot.goners" as they were quickly renamed. Soon afterwards, these companies began to fold in droves. Just as on the show, the vast majority of participants did not survive.

eBay—due in large part to its extremely successful business model, loyal community, and opportunistic management style—was one of the fortunate few. In fact, during the spring of 2000, people throughout the company were already thinking beyond the present and well into the future. As Meg Whitman put it at the time: "eBay is positioned to thrive, not just survive this shakeout."

eBay was not entirely immune; its stock price dipped for a time. But, throughout the year, the company continued to grow and develop at its usual break-neck pace.

One major 2000 theme was expansion both at its headquarters and around the world. As the company moved into still more buildings at eBay Park, its Hamilton Avenue, San Jose location, and into its new customer support center in Salt Lake City, Utah, it also opened sites in Austria, Canada, France, Germany, and Japan. If anyone ever had doubts about eBay's global appeal, they were clearly laid to rest.

During the year, eBay also moved into a new market—the online buying and selling of fixed-price items. In July, the company acquired, an online fixed-price marketplace for books, CDs, movies, and video games. Launched just six months before, was an instant hit and had 250,000 registered users by the time the acquisition was final. The success of also inspired eBay to add the Buy It Now feature to the main site just in time for Christmas 2000. An appeal to auction-adverse buyers, Buy It Now allowed sellers to establish a price at which they would be willing to stop the auction and finalize the sale. As well as improving eBay's Holiday Season transaction volume, this feature dramatically increased “auction velocity,” the speed that items move off the site.

Other highlights during the eventful year included the creation of eBay University, an online educational service that teaches people how to become successful eBay sellers; the launch of eBay Motors, which debunked once and for all the myth that people would not buy automobiles over the Internet; and co-branding and other partnership arrangements with companies such as Disney,, Microsoft,,,, and General Motors.

As well as experiencing many highlights of its own during 2000, eBay also helped facilitate a highlight in the arena of baseball card trading. In July, one of the rarest of all pieces of baseball memorabilia—a small, slim card depicting the legendary Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Honus Wagner—sold on eBay for a record $1.265 million—the highest price ever for a single baseball card.

By year end, more than 22.5 million eBay registered users trading in more than 7,600 categories had accounted for $5.4 billion in gross merchandise volume—all shattering 1999 records. Once again, the company had proven itself to be much more than a survivor.

Links naar deze post:

Een link maken

<< Homepage