10 Exciting Facts About eBay

Becca Marsh
5 Minutes Read

The most expensive item ever bought on eBay was a super yacht for $170 million by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

    eBay has been around for years and has become an everyday tool to use to shop and auction your unwanted things online.

    But do you know how long eBay has been around? How has it become one of the biggest ways to sell items online?

    Here are 10 exciting facts about eBay that will leave you wanting to discover some of the mysteries people list online.

    eBay was launched in 1995.

    eBay was founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar

    eBay was created by an Iranian-American computer programmer called Pierre Omidyar, on September 3, 1995.

    At the age of 28, he was working on designing code for an online auction website originally called Auction Web.

    Auction Web was a side project, for fun alongside his everyday job.

    It wasn’t until the website was getting too much traffic that he decided to launch as a business and re-branding it as eBay.

    The first item to be sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer.

    The first item ever sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer

    The broken laser pointer was an item laying around Omidyar’s house, that he thought he would use to test out the site.

    In the first week, he listed it as $1 and to no surprise, it didn’t sell.

    So he listed it again for the same price for a second week.

    This time a bidding war took off and it sold for $14.83.

    He contacted the seller to check that they realized what they had bid on, and it turned out they were a collector of broken laser pens!

    The British use eBay the most.

    The UK uses eBay the most

    That’s right, the Brits use eBay the most across the world. Around 19 million British people use eBay in a month, to sell old and new items.

    The UK also buys more items a month per capita than any other collective of countries in the world.

    This is probably because the British love a bit of a bidding war, what’s better than being able to auction from your own home!

    The first item sold in the UK was a CD.

    The first item sold in the UK was a CD by The Scoprions

    The CD was by a German rock band called The Scorpions. It was a copy of their single released in 1996 called “You & I“.

    eBay wasn’t launched in the UK until 1999 which was 4 years after it was set up in the US.

    In 2008 the first person reached a feedback score of 1 million.

    Jack Sheng was the first to receive over 1 million reviews

    There have been multiple, but the first person to reach a feedback score of 1 million was Jack Sheng.

    After 8 years of selling, on November 13, 2008, Sheng became the first person to reach this amount of reviews.

    To recognize his success, eBay even made a special shooting star icon to put alongside his name on eBay.

    Even better, eBay also named one of their conference rooms after him.

    He then managed to double the number of reviews to 2 million within another 18 months.

    Even NASA has used eBay!

    Nasa used eBay to find replacement parts

    That’s correct! One thing that is great about eBay is that you can find everything and anything.

    In 2002, NASA had some issues with the discontinuation of replacement parts they needed.

    So they turned to eBay in hope of finding some second hand parts for their machinery.

    Due to the stop in production, they used eBay as a tool to search for sellers who might have listed items or parts from the same machines.

    eBay started out with a yellow interface.

    eBays background color has changed several times since it was founded

    The sometimes blinding and glaring yellow background was the original design for the interface of eBay and it was used up until the site changed to white.

    Due to a high volume of complaints after they changed to white, eBay respected their customers choice, so they changed it back to the bright yellow.

    But in a slow passive aggressive manner over time, they faded the yellow color until it eventually was back to being white.

    This was in hope that customers would not notice the gradual change over time.

    The most expensive item ever sold on eBay was a yacht.

    eBays most expensive item was a super yacht that sold for $170 million

    Over the years there have been many items, sometimes even joke items that have reached millions but not quite as much as this one.

    The 405 foot (123.4 meters) super yacht, designed by Frank Mulder sold for a whopping $170 million.

    The yacht had its own cinema, gym helipad and many more over the top features.

    Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich was the lucky winner of this bid.

    Thanks to eBay, a new species was discovered.

    eBay helped the discovery of a new sea urchin species

    In 2006 a type of sea urchin was listed after being found in the Pacific Ocean.

    This is not the first time an item has been listed in the wrong category, or identified as something it is not.

    A British scientist and Zoologist named Simon Coppard came across the urchin and from the photo recognized that this was something new.

    At the time, Coppard was working with The Natural History Museum in London and was able to confirm from the photo uploaded that the species was unidentified, making it a new discovery of sea urchin that he named Coelopleurus exquisitus.

    There is no limit to the amount of items that can be for sale at once.

    It's not clear how may items can be published simultenously without crashing eBays systems but the largest to date is 800 million

    The exact number of items that can be listed on eBay at once before the server’s crash is unclear.

    But the record for the most items listed, collectively form multiple sellers at one given time was 800 million items.

    Their selling process is one of the simplest platforms available online which makes it accessible to almost everyone.

    With this vast quantity of numbers eBay does not create an annual report on how many items are sold within a year.


    eBay will remain to be an auctioneer’s paradise, where bidding wars can happen from the comfort of your very own home.

    This convenience is one of the reasons it became such a popular platform over the years.

    So when you have a spare moment, why not see what weird and wonderful things you can find for sale on this virtual auction house.

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About The Author

Becca Marsh
Becca Marsh

Becca Marsh is a travel enthusiast and a lover of nature. She is the co-founder of Global Convoy, a travel production company. When she is not filming, she enjoys writing about culture and travel.

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