eBay has been a major presence in online retail since the late 1990s and now operates in more than 190 countries globally. As one of the world’s first-ever online marketplaces, eBay has been riding the ups and downs of e-commerce for more than 20 years, but has arguably never been more popular with shoppers, and thus valuable for retailers, than right now.

With the surging popularity of marketplaces in Australia and globally, eBay is ideally placed to capitalise on its established position in the minds of shoppers and continue its strong growth into the future.

With this in mind, we’ve pulled together some key information about the tech giant and its operations in Australia.

Just getting started…

1. eBay was founded in 1995.

2. The site was originally called AuctionWeb.

3. The first item listed on eBay was a broken laser pointer, proving that even in the 90s, the internet was a strange place.

4. eBay launched in Australia in 1999 with eBay.com.au

25 years on, still a major player

5. eBay remains the largest marketplace in Australia and one of the largest in the US.

6. The site was originally designed to be a true peer-to-peer online marketplace, with a focus on used and collectible items in auction-style listings. eBay has since shifted more towards fixed-price ‘buy it now’ listings, which now account for most of its sales. 

7. You can buy nearly anything you can imagine on eBay – from collectible baseball cards to brand new cars. 

8. eBay’s portfolio includes eBay Marketplace and the eBay Classifieds platform, encompassing a large collection of brands including:

Continued strong performance in the Australian market 

9. In the last 12 months, 2 in 3 of Australian adults purchased something on eBay.

10. More than 40,000 Aussie retailers currently partner with eBay. 

11. eBay.com.au has 12 million active monthly visitors. 

12. In the Australian market, a truck or car part is purchased every 3 seconds, a tool is purchased every 4 seconds, a jewellery item is purchased every 7 seconds, a dress is purchased every 40 seconds, and a pair of headphones is purchased every 47 seconds on eBay!

13. 90% of all items sold on eBay in Australia are brand new. 

14. Almost 5,000 sellers have made more than $1 million in sales on eBay since it launched in 1999.

15. eBay is the most commonly used marketplace for cross-border purchases in Australia, with 45% of transactions.

 16. Average eBay.com.au site visit dwell time is currently 6 minutes and 56 seconds.

 17. Australian sellers on eBay export to over 159 countries.

18. 73% of eBay visits come through mobile devices.

Crunching the numbers

Based on eBay’s Q4 financial reports:

 19. eBay reported global revenue of US$2.6 billion, with 52% of that revenue coming from international operations. 

 20. Gross merchandise sales of US$20.7 billion was calculated towards the end of 2021.

 21. The amount of gross merchandise bought on mobile devices was $12.8 billion.

 22. There are 147 million buyers on the eBay Marketplace and approximately 1.5 billion live listings.

 23. eBay has 17 million sellers worldwide.

eBay and Rithum
You can market, sell and fulfil directly to eBay’s massive customer base, right from within Rithum mission control: Improve your eBay Promoted Listings, fine-tune pricing and inventory, manage eBay Guaranteed Delivery and more.

With customers selling on hundreds of e-commerce marketplaces worldwide, Rithum can keep you ahead of the latest eBay and other marketplace trends and ensure you’re maximising every opportunity. We make it easy to connect with customers, optimise operations and grow sales channels. 

  • SUPPORT FOR HUNDREDS OF  MARKETPLACES: Manage all marketing, selling and fulfilment activities in one central platform 
  • EBAY: Specialised tools to drive more traffic and sales
  • PRICING STRATEGIES: Automatically reprice and adjust based on the latest competitor data sales trends 
  • PRODUCT FEED MANAGEMENT: Get the most out of every product listing and ad

Here are some free additional resources on eBay:

Editor’s note: This blog post was originally published in September 2020 and was updated in March 2022 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.