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Ten quirky things you might not know about eBay

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Forget Google, Facebook, Amazon or even China’s Alibaba, eBay is older than them all and has now made it though two decades.

From its humble beginnings at the hands of a French-born Iranian-American computer programmer, it now has 25m sellers, 157m buyers and 800m listings.

It has also helped span hundreds of multi-million pound enterprises that only trade using eBay, opening entrepreneurs up to an easily-accessible global market at the click of a button.

To shed some more light on eBay, we looked at the weirder side of things and selected our favourite ten factoids.

(1) The first item sold though the online auction platform, in 1995, was a laser pointer pen

(2) It was originally called AuctionWeb when set up by Pierre Omidyar, and didn’t change until 1997

(3) Having IPO’d in September 1998, shares in eBay have risen by 84.5 times though both the dot.com bubble at the turn of the millennium and global recession of 2008

(4) It first came to the UK in 1999, when a CD from The Scorpions for £2.89 became the first item sold though eBay.co.uk

(5) In 2008 it was noted that sales on eBay.co.uk surpassed the GDP of 68 countries around thew world

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(6) The most expensive item to ever pass though eBay was a $168m yacht that was reportedly snapped up by Chelsea Football Club owner and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich

(7) The auction site has even helped sell physical locations, including Thatch Cay in the Virgin Islands

(8) A handbag is sold in eBay’s mobile platform every 15 seconds, while shoes are bought every seven seconds in the UK alone

(9) Its Click & Collect scheme, run in partnership with retailer Argos, has seen 2.5m purchases passed though

(10) More than half the small online retailers on eBay’s UK marketplace are global, exporting to four or more different continents

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