10 astonishing facts about eBay
1. The first item ever sold on Ebay was a broken laser pointer
When eBay creator, Pierre Omidyar, emailed the person who bought the broken laser pointer for $14.83 ($22.40 today) to make sure he knew it was broken, the man told him “I’m a collector of broken laser pointers.”
- The original name of eBay was AuctionWeb
AuctionWeb was simply one of four sites Omidyar ran under his eBay Internet, a domain he’d purchased well before ever coming up with AuctionWeb. He initially wanted to call this “EchoBay,” but a Canadian mining company had already taken this domain, so he shortened it.
- In 2002, the town of Bridgeville, California became the first town to be sold on eBay
The tiny town went for $1,777,877, but has been put back on the market three times since.
- Even NASA used eBay to acquire things
NASA used eBay and other similar sites to buy things like old Intel 8086 chips and floppy disk drives that are no longer being made, but were essential to keeping the space shuttle support hardware working. Without those parts, the shuttles would have been forced to be grounded while NASA created extremely expensive redesigns of certain of their systems, which they ultimately were working on, such as a $20 million replacement for the booster automated checking system using more modern technology.
- The most expensive item to date purchased via a mobile device is a $265,000 PA-46-310P Malibu airplane.
- Brits have more eBay sales per capita than any other nation
Though America is the first country to use eBay, Britain turns out to be the nation with the most items per capita on eBay in the world. The first item ever sold there was the album You and Iby the iconic German band Scorpions at the price of £2.89. We theorize that this big deal caused the intense popularity.
- The most expensive item to date ever sold on eBay was a “Gigayacht”
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the 405-foot yatch at $168 million. Commented a yacht broker: “There’s definitely a ‘mine is bigger than yours’ syndrome in this industry and there is a desire to have the best. That’s the great thing about these yachts.”
- In 2004, a new species of sea urchin was discovered while it was being auctioned off
It happened again in 2008 when a fossil of a previously unknown species was purchased from a Lithuanian seller. The British scientist who bought the fossil attempted to have it named Mindarus ebayici, but other members of the scientific community rejected it, naming the species Mindarus Harringtoni instead.
- People have met on eBay and married
It was the case of Brad of Maggy. They got to know each other on eBay in 2001 and 3 years later the awaited wedding was officiated in New Orleans.
- The original eBay had a page dedicated to Ebola information
It’s ambiguous why Pierre Omidyar put the information about this deadly virus on eBay, but his biographer speculates that it may have been to get traffic because of the similarity between the two names. She also thinks that it might have been just a little bit of dark humor.