eBay is a name we can all identify with. Since its creation in 1995, it’s taken the eCommerce world by storm, with everyone’s old possessions becoming another person’s treasure.
It’s grown so big that well established brands are branching out and new businesses are blooming.
So, with it being such an influential name, we dug deep to find some interesting facts that you might be surprised to learn about the famous selling site.
Broken Laser Pointer
The first item ever sold on eBay was a $14.83 broken laser pointer. I know what you’re thinking, why would anyone want to buy that? And that’s exactly what the creator Pierre Omidyar thought. After emailing the buyer to inform him it was broken, he got a reply to say that the buyer was in fact a collector of broken laser pointers – who’d have thought it!
The UK Loves eBay
It has been proven that us Brits are great lovers of eBay as we buy more items per capita than any other country, and over 19 million of us shop on the selling site every month. And it’s not just about the buying, there are over 2,000 eBay sellers in Britain that have made themselves millionaires. Through and through, eBay is etched into the heart of the UK!
A Yacht of Money
The most expensive item ever sold on eBay remains to be a 405-foot yacht which was designed by Frank Mulder, complete with necessary amenities such as a movie theatre. The buyer sailed off into the sunset having parted with $168 million of spare change.
New Life Discovered
Believe it or not, new life was discovered on eBay in the form of a rare sea urchin. When someone posted this on eBay back in 2006, the Natural History Museum had noticed that this was an undiscovered species and eventually gave it the name Coelopleurus Exquisitus (and that’s not a creation of Hogwarts).
It’s strange to think that the brand we all know and love was not initially intended to be called eBay. In fact, it originally started off with the name AuctionWeb – and while that provided a ‘does what it says on the tin’ effect, it wasn’t quite what Omidyar wanted. In 1997, he attempted to change it to the name of his other business – EchoBay. As this was taken by a mining firm, he shortened it and thus eBay was born.
Bridgeville For Sale
I’m sure we’ve all witnessed some pretty peculiar items for sale on eBay in our time, but nothing quite as surprising as this. A Californian town named Bridgeville found itself to be the first of its kind to be auctioned on eBay not once, but twice. It was unsuccessfully sold in 2002 for $1.77 million but the buyer had backed out, it was then officially sold for $700,000 with the intention of turning it into a health resort, and finally sold again in 2006 for double. The lucky land owners gained three cows, eight houses and a post office so the description states!
Craziest Items Sold
Keeping on the theme of crazy purchases, we unearthed some of the most outlandish items that people have sold and bought on eBay. These include, a grilled cheese sandwich with what was believed to be a portrait of the Virgin Mary, Justin Bieber’s hair, William Shatner’s kidney stone, the Hollywood sign and the meaning of life – hard to think why anyone wouldn’t want those items…
NASA Utilised eBay
You heard that right, NASA, the world-renowned space organisation, turned to eBay to acquire some replacement parts, including floppy disk drives and Intel chips, that were so out of date they could no longer gain them through other means. Who would have thought putting an old floppy disk on eBay could contribute to space travel!
You might be surprised to learn that despite the mass amount of weird and wonderful items, eBay make a point of setting restrictions on what you can sell. Some of the most bazaar ones include, psychic readings, magic potions, prayers, human remains and your soul – seriously, there is a strict prohibition on anything that doesn’t physically exist, including your soul!
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