eBay.co.uk is 10 years old today

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Happy 10th Birthday eBay!

ebay10yearsTen years has gone by since the first eBay UK user sold a CD from The Scorpions, called ‘You & I’, which sold for £2.89. Since then some 38.2 million people have used eBay to buy and sell 964 million items.

The numbers are staggering – 964 million items is equivalent to 16 for every person in the UK and of the 123,000 registered businesses on eBay today, 171 sell more than a £1million on the site each year.

The most expensive item sold on eBay UK was a £1.9million Spanish Villa in 2008. A 2004 sale for an “Elvis Presley 8 DVD Box Set Graceland GOLD EDITION” holds the record for the highest number of bids at 3668 and sold for £71.

Buying habits have changed a lot over the last decade, in eBay’s early days Pokemon cards were the most popular item but today it’s women’s clothes. For many years Caravans were one of the most searched for items on eBay but today it’s mainly electrical items.

In the past 10 years eBay has gone mainstream with a host of celebrities such as Sophie Ellis-Bextor; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; James Blunt and Jamie Theakston using the site. Daniel Bedingfield famously sold his “lucky Calvin Klein” boxer shorts described as “Worn, slightly faded & washed!” in aid of charity and celebrity following has been taken to the extreme with one ardent fan blogging each of Paul Daniels eBay purchases and sales for a three year period.

So tell us about your eBay story – How did you hear about the site? When and what was your first trade?

12 Responses

  1. I remember when I used to think eBay was the best thing in the world.

    Now I just hand them money.

    Shame really, when did it all go wrong? I can’t remember a defining moment to be honest, I just know I don’t have one drop of loyalty left.

    I do have a fond memory of the Power Seller Board though, I think my first ever post was a link to that really awful song by some bloke called Weird Al Yankovic, I thought I was the dogs dangly’s when I posted it, but I soon realised everyone on the board had seen it a million times apart from me 😆

    I am also glad I am still banned, my tourettes has got worse over the years 🙂

  2. Recall finding this eBay site thing around 2000 time and wondering how it could possibly work. People send money to strangers who’ve they never meet and they trust them to send the goods from all around the world….. ah daft idea I thought, it’ll never work. This was back in the days when a lot of trade was done with cash in the post too. Ah fond memories. Something like 15,000 transactions later I’m still buying and selling on this thing I thought was a daft idea that would never work. 🙂

    I remember when you could browse the entire CD section in 5 minutes, there was only a few hundred listings, today it’s a bit like painting the fourth bridge.

  3. I joined in January 2000. The very first thing I sold was a book.Arthur C Clarke’s RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA. And it fetched a nice sum,Those were the days.It was just like a cosy little club,Everybody trusted each other.Lots of people sent dollars by post.No Ebay payment International payment system.
    Just another multi billion comglomerate.

  4. I joined in Feb 2003 and sold my hubbie’s old camera, then my mini perfume collection. The first thing I bought was a cassette album of Force by A Certain Ratio (ACR).

    If I knew back then what I know now I probably wouldn’t have taken the plunge into selling. Like the line from the film Dante’s Peak. Put a frog in boiling water and it will jump right out. Put a frog in cold water, apply heat gradually and it will slowly cook to death.

    I’ll stick with it untill it becomes unviable. I have always said that. I wonder if I’ll be saying that in 10 years time ????

    Yours faithfully
    Boiled Frog

  5. Joined in September 1999. Share much the same experience as #4.
    No PayPal in those days.
    Buyers and Sellers seemed to be mainly collectors, so lots of cigarette cards, football programmes, stamps etc listed.
    There was a real feeling of respect and trust amongst users, actively encouraged by Ebay with the message ‘Communication is the Key to Good Trading’ always prominent on the Home page.
    It all started to go downhill with BIN which opened to door to dodgy sellers and pedlars of cheap tack rubbish!
    I just wish there was a viable alternative, one that supported those trading values of the late 90’s Ebay.

  6. The ‘big picture’ for me is that I probably couldn’t have started selling online without eBay. I was able to make a success of it part-time then go full time and subsequently change my life for the better. Thank you, eBay.

    I do share many of the ‘good old days’ thoughts expressed in the above posts. But, while eBay certainly isn’t the same ‘community’ as it was, it’s great to see many of the best small business sellers going on to run excellent stand alone websites.

    Things move on but eBay was certainly a magnificent invention.

  7. Is is just me or have things become more and more complicated? I dont have a degree; I just wanna sell stuff!
    I cant complain though as ebay HAS changed my life. I sold my business (3 shops & 25 staff), bought a house in the country, and work from a cabin in the garden 3 days a week with my mum doing the packing. Ok, I’ll never be a millionaire, but I get to have my business meetings sat on my sundeck (ok, so its been in the rain this year!) & the stress has just vanished. Thanks to ebay I have a great quality of life, so how can I complain?

  8. Ebay is a wonderful tool to launch a company.

    But not the best tool to maintain a company over time.

    As time goes on and they keep putting their prices up, they are in effect forcing the “evolution” of the online market place.

    Most succesful sellers will watch those fees increase and end up asking the question:

    “Why am I paying all these fees when I can have my own website?”

    I think the correct model know is Ebay+Venues.

    It used to be that Ebay was sufficient on its own, but it is not the same beast it used to be in my view.


  9. this is why ebay is going done the hill……I read this article remebered i need new skype headphone good ones, the last ones I bought from a chinese seller broke within two weeks so I decided good quality that will last… and I started to look skype headphones and you know what I could not be asked to go through endless of the same products from china its just cheap s****t so I ended up going to amazon nice and easy…i do this for a living but its just to much hassle to go through all the listings god knows what it will be like in 12 months time but ebay is just junk 99p and 4.99 shipping

  10. no room left for the small fry!
    big probs for small time buyers when the 200 items dodgy seller is making sh%tbay wads of money.
    do they care?????? nooooooooooooo
    slap on the wrist and “don’t do it again please but thanks for making us a tidy profit”


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