eBay in 2003

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTA094
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 2003
Organization : eBay
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : Global
Industry : Internet

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

eBay's founder Pierre Omidyar felt that an Internet auction site could create a highly efficient market. The idea originated out of the difficulty that his fiancée faced while trying to collect Pez dispensers from the San Francisco Bay Area...

The eBay Community

The community of buyers and sellers, that eBay had created, lay at the heart of the company's business. Many members were passionate, avid defenders of the community. eBay worked to nurture, develop and grow its community...

Transaction Management

Most purchases on eBay were protected by an insurance policy administered by Lloyd's of London as part of the standard eBay service and provided at no charge to the buyer. The policy provided protection in case of items that were purchased but not delivered or those that had substantially less value than described (such as bidding on a gold item and receiving a copper one)...


After the infamous outage in June 1999, eBay initiated many precautionary measures. In the first phase, the company implemented a solution that allowed network recovery within four hours by increasing redundancy on servers, routers, switches and RAID drives...


In a scenario, where many dotcoms had collapsed, eBay seemed to be doing remarkably well. eBay was attracting heavy traffic in both good and bad times. eBay had been highly successful in building a vibrant online community...


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