History & marketing Strategies of Ebay

Brand Name– eBay
Founded by– Pierre Omidyar

Based in San Jose in California, eBay Inc. is a multinational e-commerce corporation from America which facilitates business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer sales via its website. The foundation of eBay was laid by Pierre Omidyar, back in the autumn of 1995. As of 2011, eBay operates in about 30 nations across the globe and has successfully established itself as one of the most notable multi-billion dollar business worldwide.

The company is responsible for managing the website ebay.com which provides an inline platform for buying and selling of a variety of products and goods by businesses and people everywhere.

How It All Started and the Gradual Growth of the Company-

Initially known as AuctionWeb, eBay was born on 3rd September 1995 in California. Pierre Omidyar, the chairman and the founder of eBay, was born in France and is an Iranian-American computer programmer who made eBay as part of a bigger and larger personal website. A website that had started off as merely a side hobby soon began drawing so much traffic that Omidyar had to shift to a business account.

The increase in costs led him to charge users of his website and hire the first ever employee of eBay, Chris Agarpao, whose job was to process checks that had been mailed for fees.  Jeffry Skoll became the first ever president of the company in early 1996 and September 1997 saw the name of AuctionWeb being changed to eBay.

In the month of March 1998, the CEO and president for the company was hired, Meg Whitman. Soon after, the company went public, making both Skoll and Omidyar instant billionaires. The target price of eBay’s shares was $18 which was greatly surpassed, reaching $53.50 on the very first day of trading.

The company, AuctionWeb, was originally founded, keeping in mind the image and goal of auctioning collectibles. But the rapid growth and popularity of the company helped in diversification and eBay entered a wide range of upscale markets, with more ASP or average sale price that drove further growth of the company. 

A new logo was introduced by eBay back in September 2012 and installed on 10th October the same year that was set in Universe typeface and used a thinner variation of the previous logo. The old logo had been in use since 1995, the year of establishment of eBay. Another logo, completely red in colour, was additionally introduced for being utilized during different holidays.

Marketing Strategies of the Company-

With the help of the World Wide Web, eBay has built a trading community on the internet platform on a person-to-person basis. The business model of the company involves a C2C trading social network that allows sellers and buyers to come together under one roof in such a way that the former group is allowed to list items for the purpose of sale and the latter group is permitted to bid on those very items in a completely and totally automated manner.

Making things easier is the process of arranging various products by topic, with each auction type having its very own category. The person-to-person trading of eBay is both globalized traditional and streamlined, having been conducted for so long in conventional ways such as flea markets, collectibles shows, garage sales and more, with the help of the web interface.

 During the initial years of the establishment of eBay, not a single dime was spent by the company for the purpose of marketing. Instead, it relied solely on viral, word of mouth marketing. It also used the strategy and its ability of piggybacking on the ceaseless efforts made by its competitors and contemporaries for retaining market recognition. But as the number of companies entering similar markets as itself increased, it began focusing on the development of a strong brand name and scaling ‘outwards’, instead of scaling up.

Marketing strategies followed by eBay that drives its raging success are- establishment of an insurmountable consumer/customer base; concentrating on both international and local trade; expansion of the trading platform; development and maintenance of a strong community affinity; constant enhancement and improvement of the functionality and features of its website, among others.

The customer value proposition of eBay makes it extremely user friendly and provides them with numerous benefits, including a rigorous protection regime from fraud.

The eBay revenue and business model is touted as one of the greatest success stories of the dotcom era. This is mainly attributed to its simplistic and pure play strategies. The horizontal integration and decomposing organization cells on the basis of functionality have paved the way for the company to remain profitable, efficient and lean.

No heavy investment into its R&D department is required as eBay depends largely on its customers itself for identification of inefficiencies in the business model.

Campaigns Launched by the Company-

Various campaigns launched across various locations around the world have also helped eBay in securing strong market hold even to the day.

These include the integrated brand campaign ‘Want it. Get it’; the ‘Your Shopping Universe’ campaign in the United Kingdom; the first global ‘Shop The World’ campaign; digital campaign in India named ‘#NoWorldWithoutGirls’; ‘Fill Your Cart With Colour’ campaign, and major campaigns in Australia.


The transparent and clear strategies and values implemented and upheld by eBay helps in making it so popular among one and all. The company believes in the good nature of people and that everyone had something positive to offer. It believes that an honest and open environment brings out the best that there is in a person.

It believes in recognizing and respecting each and every one as a separate and distinct individual with an identity of his/her own.  

Also, eBay believes that one should always treat someone else in the same way as he/she would like to be treated. Such beautiful and meaningful values keep the work ethic of eBay intact, so much so that the company reaches new and greater heights every chance it gets.

Even with stiff competition being put up by amazon.com with its huge market capitalization, eBay is still managing to survive in the market while experiencing growth, although slowed than before, at the same time.

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