e Bay requires sellers to include the VAT element in their listing price and not as an add-on and thus profits by collecting fees based not only on the sale price "ex VAT" but also on the VAT.
e Bay has already expanded to over two dozen countries, including China and India.
The company officially changed the name of its service from Auction Web to e Bay in September 1997.
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e Bay generates revenue by a complex system of fees for services, listing product features, and a Final Value Fee for sales proceeds by sellers.
As of November 2012, the US-based e charges $0.10 to $2, based on the opening or reserve price, as an insertion fee for a basic auction-style listing without any adornments.
Omidyar had tried to register the domain name echobay.com, but found it already taken by the Echo Bay Mines, a gold mining company, By early 2008, the company had expanded worldwide, counting hundreds of millions of registered users as well as 15,000 employees and revenues of almost $7.7 billion.
After nearly ten years at e Bay, Whitman decided to enter politics.
In October 2009, e Bay changed to an affiliate payout system that it calls Quality Click Pricing, in which affiliates are paid an amount determined by an undisclosed algorithm.
The total earnings amount is then divided by the number of clicks the affiliate sent to e Bay and is reported as Earnings Per Click, or EPC.
In his responding email, the buyer explained: "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers." The frequently repeated story that e Bay was founded to help Omidyar's fiancée trade Pez candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager, Mary Lou Song, in 1997 to interest the media, which were not interested in the company's previous explanation about wanting to create a "perfect market".
Reportedly, e Bay was simply a side hobby for Omidyar until his Internet service provider informed him he would need to upgrade to a business account due to the high volume of traffic to his website.
In November 1996, e Bay entered into its first third-party licensing deal, with a company called Electronic Travel Auction to use Smart Market Technology to sell plane tickets and other travel products.
Growth was phenomenal; in January 1997 the site hosted 2,000,000 auctions, compared with 250,000 during the whole of 1996.
Reduced Final Value Fees are available to business registered customers.