Saturday, February 10, 2007

eBay: the pez connection

I have to admit i was never a huge fan of Pez. Pez for those of you not in the know, or born after the 70's are small crappy sweets that really are quite terrible. However the sweets came in dispencers, and this was inevitably what shot them to fame. They often depicted characters from movies such as star wars and popular cartoons, it was because of this they aquired somewhat of a cult following amonst the nerd population.

In 1995 a gentleman by the name of Pierre Omidyar was speaking to his wife (a nerd) who was interested in trading pez dispencers with other collectors (nerds) but didn't know where to look. Pierre thought that perhaps he could set up a simple website where people could trade or purchase these delightful little fancies.

He constructed that site 12 years is now EBAY the masters of ecommerce, and vendor of virtually anything. The site remains the biggest online retailer to date and has the unique appeal of bringing customers together rather than business to cutomer.
As my rather artistic picture shows the end result of the pez project is 2% of goods are sold through ebay.... that is to say 2% of all transactions in the world, online or off go through ebay. Pretty amazing i think.
  • As an aside
    750,000 people in the US claim ebay to be theri primary source of income

  • 300,000 people in the EU say the same

  • Last year a college girl tried to sell a date with her online to pay college fees, it got to $10,000 before it was pulled out by ebay for fear of setting a standard for things like escort agencies.

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