February 10, 2021
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Do you know anyone that likes to shop online?


Founded by entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar in 1995, eBay was one of the first auction sites on the web. In fact, its original name was AuctionWeb. Fast forward over 25 years later. As you can see from the eBay statistics below, the site has become a global marketplace connecting buyers and sellers online.

Perhaps you’ve bought things on eBay, but now are exploring how to start an eBay store or simply becoming an eBay seller. We show you the potential opportunity. Follow along as we explore eBay seller stats, company facts, and volume figures you need to know.

eBay History Facts

eBay has had a fascinating history from humble beginnings to roaring success.

A story circulated that founder Pierre Omidyar had created the website just to help his wife collect Pez candy dispensers. But It was later found out that the story was fabricated.

Following are some interesting eBay history facts:

  • The first item listed on eBay was a broken laser pointer that Canadian Mark Fraser bought with an intention to fix it because he couldn’t afford a new pointer.
  • Chris Agarpao was the first employee Pierre Omidyar hired to process the mailed check payments. And he is still working for eBay.

Pierre Omidyar founded eBay as a hobby. But after seeing the site’s growth, he quit his day job to focus on the site solely. Jeff Skoll joined eBay as the first president in 1996, and the site touched the $7.2 million sales mark in 1996.

Jeff Skoll

Here are some additional facts about eBay, which might interest you:

  • Initially being operated from home, eBay rented its first office at 1025 Hamilton Avenue in San Jose, CA in October 1996.
  • First called AuctionWeb, the site was officially renamed eBay in September 1997.
  • eBay made its first acquisition in 1998.

The company listed shares on NASDAQ under the symbol EBAY in 1998 and expected to fetch a share price of $18. Contrary to the expectations, the share price reached $53.50 in just one day.

Buy it now

Following are some more eBay history facts you may find of interest:

  • The company introduced the ‘buy it now’ button in 2000, which allows users to buy products instantly.
  • It launched global shipping programs in 2012 to help US sellers ship more easily to international buyers.
  • eBay launched a price-match guarantee for eligible deals in 2017

Fast forward to 2020, eBay is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The company keeps growing, just having completed a record quarter under the leadership of eBay CEO Jamie Iannone, who was appointed in April 2020.

Jamie Iannone

eBay is a good corporate citizen and serving the community with full dedication and honesty. And it was quick to terminate some of its top executives charged for cyberstalking a publisher.

Recently eBay agreed to transfer its classified business to Adevinta for a total consideration valued at approximately $9. 2 billion.

eBay Statistics Overall

So do people still use eBay? The answer is a resounding yes, as confirmed by various reports. eBay today is a global online marketplace, reaching record numbers. eBay and its brands have a presence in 190 different markets.

eBay is truly global. Here are some insights from eBay’s annual report:

  • 59% of eBay revenue comes from international operations.
  • The company has 13,300 employees globally out of which around 6,600 employees are located in the US.

Following are commonly asked questions about eBay statistics:

How Many People Use eBay?

There are 183 million buyers on the eBay marketplace globally. And there are 1.6 billion live listings on eBay. So you can understand that millions of people use eBay globally.

Are you curious about the US leading online marketplace according to sellers?

The answer is eBay. According to Statista, eBay got 6.53 on a 10-point number scale.

How Many Transactions Does eBay Process?

The site reached a $25 billion Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) in Q3 2020.

Gross Merchandise Volume is the total value of all successfully closed transactions between users on the platform.

With a big number of new sellers continuously adding to the platform from around the world, GMV is poised to grow further. This means eBay’s percentage of sales volume among online marketplaces will also increase.

You can check eBay GMV from 2006 to 2020 here.

What is eBay’s Revenue?

eBay revenue in Q3 20019 was $2.083 billion, and eBay’s Revenue for Q3 2020 is $2.606 billion, a 25% increase from Q3 of 2019, as reported by eBay.

Where are eBay Sellers Located?

Most of the top eBay sellers are located in the US. The rest are based in other locations.

Look at the following data to get an idea of eBay sellers’ location:

  • United States (28.2%)
  • United Kingdom (28%)
  • Germany (16.5%)
  • China (13.2%)
  • Australia (4.2%)
  • Others (9.8%)

The United States has the largest number of eBay sellers.

eBay Stats: Listings and Sellers


Savvy sellers know that listings make or break a sale. Among best practices, they streamline their businesses by using a good listing app (see: eBay listing tools). They also know that how they list their articles matters to success, so they save time through eBay listing templates. What’s more, they keep tabs on various eBay reports to know the best prices.

And they understand the facts and figures like the following:

How Many Items are Listed on eBay?

There are around 1.6 billion live listings on the eBay marketplace.

The number suggests that eBay is one of the leading marketplaces. And the number of listed articles on the site is around 7 times the number of eBay buyers. This means there are more products then buyers. As a result, you will have a competitor or competitors even if you think you have unique offerings.

So it becomes imperative to optimize your eBay listings to improve rank in product search on eBay.

What are the Average Listings Per Seller?

There is an average of 268 listings per seller on eBay.

As a non-store eBay user, you will get up to 200 free listings every month. Beyond that, eBay charges $.35 per listing.

However, if you subscribe to any of the eBay store packages, you will receive more free opportunities to list your articles.

How Many Items on eBay are New?

80% of items sold on eBay are new, and the remaining 20% of sold articles are old, according to an eBay press release.

eBay also launched the Certified Refurbished program. Under this program, a buyer can purchase refurbished products directly from the brand with a 2-year Allstate warranty.

The company launched the Certified Refurbished program under the following five categories:

  • Laptops
  • Portable audio
  • Power tools
  • Small kitchen appliances
  • Vacuums

Are Most eBay Items Fixed Price or Auction?

Most eBay items are fixed price. In fact, 88% of products sold in product categories on the eBay marketplace are marked Buy It Now product categories and don’t require bidding. Only 12 % of products are sold via auction.

Many of those who are thinking about starting an eBay store have the wrong impression that eBay mostly sells through an auction. The above eBay statistics prove this incorrect.

Promoted Listings: What Percentage are There?

Around 16% of listings are promoted listings.

There are 250 million promoted listings, according to eBay data. With 1.6 billion active listings on eBay, this gives us the percentage that are promoted.

Like most online marketplaces, competition is fierce on eBay. You will not move the needle without marketing, even if your prices are low.

eBay sellers implement various marketing services, such as:

  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Creating websites to promote their eBay stores.

Promoted eBay listings are a popular way for eBay users to grow their online businesses. And the numbers prove it. Promoted eBay listings gave eBay sellers $186 million in revenue for Q3 2020.

How Many eBay Stores are There?

There are around 790,000 eBay Stores, according to Marketplace Pulse.

The number is not surprising considering the benefits eBay store subscriptions offer. If you’re serious about selling online across different countries, having a store on eBay com helps a lot.

eBay store subscriptions will enable you to position your store in different markets aggressively. This is because eBay Store subscribers receive a host of tools to grow sales.

You can get more information about the benefits of having an eBay store to grow your business here.

What is the Number of eBay Top Rated Sellers?

The number of eBay top-rated sellers worldwide is 100. And these top-rated business owners are scattered in different countries, including the US, UK, and Germany.

Here are the numbers by country, according to Marketplace Pulse:

  • UK (48)
  • US (27)
  • Germany (20)

The top-rated program is launched by eBay to promote business owners who are doing exceptionally well on the eBay platform. Qualified top-rated sellers receive multiple benefits to boost their eBay sales.

eBay Trends About Products

Product trends

To be a successful business owner on eBay, you have to know what sells best on eBay, and find a good source of merchandise at a low enough cost to turn a profit.

  • If you sell collectibles or vintage items, be sure to identify the best flea market items to sell on eBay. If you are creative and prefer to sell your own handmade goods, read: Craft Ideas to Sell on eBay.
  • Since most product listings involve new goods, many aspiring online sellers will need access to wholesale or overstocked items, or discounted retail goods. More and more sellers use an eBay inventory management system to keep track.
  • Make sure you have the money to buy inventory in bulk for peak times. In August of 2020, eBay launched a program to offer eBay capital loans to sellers, in partnership with LendingPoint.

Here are other insights, trends, and facts to take into account:

What are the Top Selling Products on eBay?

The top selling products over the past 6 months include perfumes, stamps, tuning products, auto parts, vitamins, and herbal supplements, reported eBay.

Not sure about which category to choose on eBay to start selling?

Here is the best selling category list:

  • Home and garden
  • Health and beauty
  • Garden and Patio
  • Toys and hobbies

Look at the following insights to know what happens on eBay every minute:

  • 32 vitamins and minerals are purchased.
  • 6 women’s perfumes are bought.
  • 15 lawn mower parts and accessories are purchase.

How Many Mobile Transactions are There?

Mobile Transactions

More than half of all transactions on the eBay platform are viewed on a mobile device prior to purchase, according to eBay.

With such a big number of users accessing their mobile phones to view transactions, it becomes important for you to make all items listed mobile friendly on eBay. Doing so will help you get more items sold.

As the mobile app is easily available on both the App Store and Google Play, people use both the mobile app and the website to access eBay on mobile devices.

How Many Products Have Free Shipping?

70% of all items sold on eBay come with free shipping in the US.

As active buyers prefer to buy things that include free shipping, a big percentage of eBay offerings in the US include this perk.

If you also offer free shipping along with competitive prices, you’re more likely to succeed on eBay.

Holiday eBay Stats

Holiday eBay Stats

Shoppers love eBay for the Holidays! If you are looking to find active buyers this holiday season, check out these statistics from eBay to grow your business.

  • 72% of buyers will shop online more than they did previous years.
  • 1 in 3 users will buy things of value between $1000 to $3000 this holiday season.

Whether you are selling locally or your customers are scattered around the world, the holiday season is likely to boost your growth rate. This is because 76 percent of users say that online shopping has become easier. So the number of users buying things online during the holidays will grow.

Bonus Tips

As you review the above eBay stats, make notes of what will help you beat your competition. Sometimes knowledge is all it takes to do better than competitors.

Research and consider alternatives involving the eBay ecosystem. For example, some entrepreneurs decide to go into business providing services to other sellers. Read: How to Start an eBay Drop Off Store.

Finally, watch costs closely. Whether it’s saving a few dollars on the best shipping tape, or remembering that eBay takes a 10% cut out of every item sold — even small expenses add up when you do thousands of transactions. Mark up your merchandise to account for eBay’s 10% listing fee, other fees, and miscellaneous costs. After all, the name of the game is profit. You can get more information about the benefits of having an eBay store to grow your business here.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “Fascinating eBay Statistics and Facts for Small Business Sellers” was first published on Small Business Trends