eBay started as the brainchild of Pierre Omidyar, a computer programmer, and his wife, they wanted to sell their goods to other collectors online within a trustworthy environment. This website was named Auctionweb and it was later renamed eBay. Over the past 16 years eBay has grown to be the most successful and biggest online business environment in the history of the internet. The website has grown to provide millions of people the opportunity to sell their merchandise online via an eBay store. The merchandise ranges from small toys and games to cars and houses. The eBay software has become a global platform for trading online and it still continues to grow today.
The eBay software or platform has become so successful because of its simple business model and ideas. Provide a safe and simple platform in which people can sell their merchandise online. Charge the people a small fee to sell their products, but insist on the safety and trust factor so that people return and build up their own trustworthiness.
eBay works just like any platform that sells products, such as a market or high street store, a reputation is built and therefore trust is gained for repeat business. On the basic level an eBay store provides the following criteria:
- An eBay seller pays an insertion fee and a final fee (a percentage of the sale) to eBay in order to use the eBay platform
- An eBay buyer visits and can purchase from the platform without any fees
- Any persons who abuse the platform or each other will be disciplined or banned
On a higher level the eBay software is far superior to a market or high street store, here are the major differences and why the eBay platform has become successful:
- eBay is international, therefore the potential audience crosses languages and social constraints
- Huge choice of products
- Options for sales: either auction format or traditional fixed price. The seller chooses the format
- The sellers and buyers have no need to meet
- The buyers online only see images of the product before purchase, guarantees are pre-determined to ensure product satisfaction
- Customer Feedback is integral to the ebay software, known as ‘positive feedback’ this is used to measure the integrity of the sellers and buyers
- Secure payment services such as Paypal are used to ensure security and confidence in the transaction
In the forthcoming guides we will look at how your eBay store interacts with the customer and how to increase sales with the use of online techniques and marketing methods.