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Do you eBay?

February 21, 2010

Nowadays, if you know that you want something, you can find it online. And if you don’t know you want it? You can still find it online. In either of these scenarios, you can find the old, the new, the obscure and all at a price that you want to pay. Auction sites make transactions like these possible, and help people from across the world sell items that they don’t want to other people who do want them. And way more efficiently and with a much better profit margin than a neighborhood yardsale over Labor Day weekend.

The recognizable monster in the online auctions is the formidable eBay. What started as AuctionWeb in 1995 (the first item auctioned off was a broken laser pointer, which led to the realization that there is a market for everything) has grown into one of the most profitable websites on the Internet. Other competitors are few and far between, and many attracting niche audiences only, unlike the grab bag that eBay is.

eBay works not only because it sells everything under the sun, but also because of its set-up. It is inherently interactive, making the connections to bring people together. By providing a space for people to put items up for sale that they no longer want or that they want to profit from, eBay allows for interactions to occur all over the world. There are many tools that have been added since the advent of eBay to make the aution process easier: BuyItNow (to avoid the auction process), PayPal (which allows for easy payment), and incremental bidding (which allows bidders to set a high bid and then lets the auction site meter up to that amount). These interactive tools make the process of selling and buying a much easier and enjoyable experience that keeps people coming back.

The other main element of eBay that allows it to function with ease is the organization of it all. By providing access to myriad of different categories, stores, and your favorite sellers, eBay makes it easy to find things that you are looking for and those that you aren’t too.

So, do you eBay? What sorts of things do you buy? And why?

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