EBay is an online multinational marketplace for buying and selling items of any kind, including antiques. Headquartered in San Jose, California, eBay was founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar as an online auction site and it has long had a strong presence of collectables, antiques, furniture, ceramics, jewellery, watches and works of art, as well as second-hand goods of any description.

Today it is a business with operations in over 30 countries. The website is free to buyers but charges a fee to sellers. When items are offered via eBay’s auction facility, potential buyers have to make bids over a certain time period.

Over the years, eBay has had to make efforts to combat fakes and reproductions being traded as genuine or original items. It now includes guides for buyers to avoid being misled.

July price hikes for UK eBay sellers

23 June 2003

In addition to the implementation of VAT on seller fees reported in last week’s issue, eBay will introduce a number of substantial price increases from July 1. Most likely to upset eBay users is the imposition of a 1% charge on items carrying reserves in excess of £100. Previously that fee was just a flat rate of £1.20.

eBay to charge VAT from July

17 June 2003

New European Union regulations regarding the collection of VAT on digital services mean that eBay will begin collecting VAT on seller fees from July 1.

When it wasn’t quite enough to be-in-time

10 June 2003

Canadian-based eBay seller gstark didn’t need to include the words “extremely rare” in his auction listing for a jade green Sony TR-55 transistor radio. Fifteen ardent bidders already knew that.

eBay’s first quarter profits for 2003 more than double

29 April 2003

Forecasts revised upwards for the rest of the year: eBay’s net profits for the first quarter of 2003 more than doubled last year’s figure, breaking the $100m barrier for the first time. With a turnover of $476.5m for the period, the firm generated $104.2m profit, compared with a turnover of $245.1m and profits of just under $50m for the first quarter of 2002.

Fab Four at a fab price

21 November 2002

WHILE the bubble may be bursting in some fields of collecting, Beatlemania looks like remaining a safe bet for a long time to come. The latest eye-popping bid for a piece of the Fab Four came on eBay when this 1968 Yellow Submarine bubble gum store display box, right, complete with 40 original, mint condition Beatles gum packs made £15,100.

eBay patents wrangle looks set for court fight

12 November 2002

The patent dispute pitching a Virginia inventor against eBay appears to be heading to trial. US District Court Judge Jerome Friedman issued a series of rulings in late October that, while firming up aspects of eBay’s defence, rejected the company’s attempts to have the claims – made by MercExchange, a Virginia technology company – thrown out.

Shedding light on mining traditions

22 October 2002

Listings on eBay can sometimes be prone to hyperbole but when a seller from Ontario, Canada described this remarkable object as “definitely one of the finest sticking tommy candlesticks ever made” few enthusiasts of antique mining collectables could have argued.

eBay seal deal to acquire payPal

14 October 2002

WITH the backing of 65 per cent of a PayPal shareholders vote, eBay have completed their acquisition of the leading online payments company. Despite the overwhelming approval of the merger, some shareholders did object to it, suing eBay and PayPal in an attempt to block the acquisition.

eBay face new problems over PayPal deal

23 September 2002

PAYPAL, the leading online payment service, are facing a new challenge that could scupper eBay’s attempt to take them over.

eBay record results for third quarter

30 July 2002

eBay have reported a record $266.3m turnover for the second quarter of the year ending June 30, a 47 per cent increase on the same period last year. Of this, $235.3m came from online transactions.

Where Double Eagles dare

26 July 2002

USA: Next week in an extraordinary single-lot auction – and the first joint sale between Sotheby’s.com and eBay, this 1933 Double Eagle $20 gold coin is to be offered for sale by Sotheby’s and New York coin auctioneer Stack’s on behalf of the US government.

eBay extend online grip by bidding to take over PayPal

17 July 2002

EBAY have struck a $1.5bn deal that will give them control of PayPal, the leading online payment service, by the end of the year.

eBay deal sees Yahoo close European sites…

27 May 2002

Yahoo will close five of its auction sites in Europe and instead promote eBay’s competing auctions as part of an agreement the companies announced on last week.

...eBay’s selling rates and prices for collectables keep falling

27 May 2002

eBay sellers dealing in collectables are getting lower prices and having fewer successful auctions than a year ago, according to a study by AuctionBytes.com. The results were similar to those found in a separate analysis by TIAS.com.

US court to hear $1.3m Web bidding fraud case

04 March 2002

In the second major Internet shill bidding case, three people have been charged with running a scheme that boosted the sale prices of hundreds of pieces of Lalique glass auctioned on eBay.

Now eBay strike online deal with sothebys.com

05 February 2002

THE influence of eBay in the online antiques trade has increased further with the announcement of an online deal with sothebys.com.

Butterfields cut back staff to concentrate on eBay Premier

29 January 2002

USA: Butterfields Auctioneers are cutting their Los Angeles staff by more than half as part of a major restructuring programme that will lead to a greater focus on San Francisco.

eBay repro rules are hitting our sales say antique print dealers

12 December 2001

A DEALER in antique prints has complained to eBay that the promotion of reproduction prints in the antiques category is slowly destroying the online market for originals.

User outcry forces eBay to change payment policy

21 November 2001

CHECKOUT, the payment feature introduced by eBay last month to streamline transactions, is to be altered following a campaign against it by sellers.

$6262 to be the man with the golden gun…

05 November 2001

Listed on eBay on October 15 with an opening bid of just $75, within seven days this gold plastic PEZ space gun dating from the late 1950s/early ’60s had attracted a final bid of $6262 (£4540). At today’s prices, that’s more than 22 times the cost of an ounce of real gold.