eBay Inc. is an e-commerce platform with headquarters in San Jose, California. The company specializes in consumer-to-consumer as well as business-to-consumer sales through its site - allowing anyone to list their products and run auctions in order to fetch the best price, while presenting opportunities for deals for customers. The company has evolved from this original concept to additionally offer a "Buy It Now" option for a fixed price. eBay employs 14,100 professionals and reported a revenue of $9.567 billion USD for 2017.
eBay was founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar and was one of the most publicized successes of the dotcom era. Omidyar was a computer programmer who founded the site as part of his own personal website. One of the first items he ever sold from the platform was a broken laser pointer, which sold for $14.83. The platform actually began as a hobby for Omidyar, until his IP informed him that he needed to switch to a business account owing to large volumes of traffic. This forced him to start charging sellers on eBay. In 1996, the first president, Jeffrey Skoll, was hired. In 1997, the company officially changed its name to eBay from the former "AuctionWeb." In 1998, both Omidyar and Skoll became instant billionaires when eBay went public with a share price of $53.50. PayPal, the electronic payment processing company, was a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay until 2015.
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