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the history of ebay

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What is the link between a Canadian silver and copper mine, Paris France, Iran, and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore? They all have a connection with a young gentleman named Pierre Omidyar, a self-made billionaire with a net worth of $13.1 billion, as of January 2019.

Who are we talking about? Of course the founder of eBay, a company which has rapidly grown into one of the top places where Americans shop online, thus allowing them to join that small family of mega online retail outlets like (in no particular order) Amazon,, Shopify and of course eBay all of which have earned the distinction of America's favorite places to shop online.


Our future billionaire was born in Paris France, to an Iranian couple who had immigrated to France to receive better education, something which they both succeeded in doing as his father born in 1934, has worked for the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and now practices as a surgeon in California.

His Mother completed her studies and gained a doctorate in linguistics at the Sorbonne, and now is an academic. It was because of his father's work that Pierre moved to the USA. That should explain our question in the first paragraph of this short narrative, we will get into the gold, silver, and copper mine later.

Pierre Omidyar has always been interested in computers, especially programming, a love he picked up while in the ninth-grade at The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia. He would, after attending various other facilities, earn a bachelor’s degree something he would use to his advantage in later years.

Pierre Omidyar’s first million

After gaining his degree, he went to work for Claris a subsidiary of  Apple Computer where he, along with others, worked on upgrading MacDraw to MacDraw II. After cutting his teeth at Claris, with true entrepreneurial spirit he jumped in with both feet and co-founded Ink Development. This was a small start-up company which he and his friends would rebrand to an e-commerce company renamed as eShop inc, which Microsoft acquired in June 1996 for the small sum of $50 million, Omidyar’s cut, was a cool $1 million. A future billionaire was now on his way.

Unbeknown to all, Omidyar was already writing computer code for an idea he had been thinking about from day one, the creation of an online person-to-person collectable auction site. Once the code was completed, apparently very quickly, he came up with a prototype which he incorporated into a personal webpage he had just set up.

The timing for the launch of the site he already knew had to be on a day when Americans were not occupied with regular work-related problems. So on the 4th September 1995 Labor Day, the American public got their first glimpse of an auction site, named Auction Web. The website that would become as we know today, eBay.

From day one, Omidyar knew, as did other online shopping malls like BargainBrute.Com, the importance of keeping his subscribers happy and interested while they were on his site. So from the very beginning he inserted a blog page, unheard of back then I might say, where he would place suitable worldwide interest-based stories. On the first launch day, he chose a story about the Ebola virus much to the astonishment to his first subscribers.

The first day of operation was an astounding success, much more than he was expecting, especially when the first successful auction, a broken laser printer went through almost immediately. After that sale, he knew that if people were willing to buy a totally useless laser printer, then they would buy anything.

Because of the rapid expansion of his auction site, he was asked by the company who was hosting his personal webpage, that since he had grown too big he would have to change his personal account over to one of their business accounts.

After being asked to change his webpage account over to a business account, Omidyar took the decision to incorporate the business. Once incorporated, the revenue he was earning off all sales soon was more than he was earning at General Magic, so a few months later he turned his full attention to the business and really the rest is history.

The Gold, Silver, and Copper mine association

The Canadian Gold, silver, and copper mine eBay association. Initially the new formed “Auctioned Web” belonged to the “Echo Bay Technology Group,” part of a consulting firm run by Omidyar. When Omidyar attempted to register the domain “” he found that the domain was already taken by Echo Bay Mines, a Canadian gold mining company. He had no choice but to revert to his second choice which was “eBay.Com,” so there you have it, the connection between eBay and a Canadian gold mine.

The rapid expansion of the eBay product literally exploded onto the North American online shopping scene in its first year, and with over 41,000 registered customers money simply rolled in. In its first year alone, eBay had a gross merchandise volume of $7.2 million, an extraordinary figure for any business to achieve in its first year, and it would not stop there.

The date was 1997, and others were watching this new form of online auctioning, and this resulted in a $5 million investment from a venture capital firm which allowed the fledgeling eBay to hire more staff. They now had 41 employees all of whom had to sit on folding chairs and unpack their own flat-packed desks before placing their folding chairs behind them ready to start work.

eBay had been born, and online shopping would never be the same again.

It would be remiss for me if I did not give thanks to the friendly people who commissioned me to write this short narrative, who are themselves, one of the pioneers of online shopping. A real family run business, situated in the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Fort Collins, Colorado, and with 49 separate online stores, plus a network of 97 warehouses spread throughout the United States, all packed to the top with over 3 million different high-quality products. You can be sure to find that best shopping deal you have been searching for, and what's more, often delivered day after order. It is no wonder they were voted America's best place to shop online in 2019. Give them a visit you will not regret it.

Many thanks once again for taking the time to read this narrative, and I hope to see you on the inside at America's best place to shop online, BargainBrute.Com

You all keep safe, and God Bless.

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