eBay: From auction house to retail powerhouse

Celebrating 18 years of e-commerce.

The online shopping revolution all started in 1999 with an Australian selling a Harman Kardon amplifier to a US buyer. In its first full year of operation in Australia, shoppers spent over 1 million hours on eBay, which at the time exceeded expectations. In 2017 alone, more than 239 million hours have been spent browsing, searching comparing and purchasing products on eBay.

To celebrate its 18 year anniversary, eBay was host to a select group of media to showcase the milestone products of each year since 1999, including the first generation Apple iPod and first Samsung Galaxy mobile phone, highlight the evolution of online shopping and provide a sneak peak of what’s to come.

Newly appointed eBay Australia and New Zealand, managing director, Tim Mackinnon said, “It is incredible to think that it has been 18 years since the idea was created that you could buy something from the other side of the world, pay for it and trust that it would get to you. It was a crazy idea and people said that online retail wouldn’t take off. Fast forward to today and think about the way the market place has changed, not just in retail, but across many industries. People are completely comfortable getting into a strangers car and staying in a strangers place. The marketplace has completely transformed the way we do things.

“Australian consumers are infatuated with eBay. They have spent more than 2 billion hours on eBay over the last 18 years. We have gone from being an auction house to a retail powerhouse. Today, 90% of what we sell is brand new, we have 40,000 Australian businesses who sell on eBay, one million Australians visit our site every month and three out of five consumers have bought something on eBay in the past 12 months.

“We are about to experience the biggest period of change in Australian retail for many years and we need to consider how we can continue to growth through this change.”

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