This morning we came across an old eBay press release from September 1999. "Today, the site has over 3.7 million items and many eBay users are taking the opportunity to find terrific bargains or those special items they are looking for," eBay had announced.
The milestone of 3.7 million listings was impressive at the time. Compare that to today's 1.5 billion listings on eBay.
What's more striking is that today, 91% of listings on eBay are fixed-price
format. In 1999, eBay only had auction
listings. (It launched a Buy It Now option for auctions
in late 2000, and fixed-price format in 2002.)
It's also interesting to look at the auction listings eBay found noteworthy in 1999. At the time, sellers listed high-value items at low starting prices (99 cents was often preferred), confident they would be bid up to satisfactory prices. We wish we could tell you what the items featured in the press release below ended up selling for, and what they might go for today.
eBay issued the announcement after it had held a free listing day on September 9, 1999, which obviously helped boost the number of listings on the site. Does anyone remember how cherished free listing days were by sellers at the time? (And imagine if eBay held a free listing day for auctions today.)
Here's the September 1999 Press Release - enjoy this blast from the past:
eBay Site Hits Record Number of Auction Listings
Users Flock to the eBay Site to Find Bargains and Unique Items
WHAT: Now is a better time than ever to visit eBay, the world's largest person-to-person trading community http://www.ebay.com .
After its free listing day event on September 9, eBay hit a record number of over 4.2 million items up for auction, offering visitors even greater selection and value. Today, the site has over 3.7 million items and many eBay users are taking the opportunity to find terrific bargains or those special items they are looking for.
"The record number of items is a tribute to the support of the eBay community," said Brian Swette, senior vice president and general manager of eBay U.S. operations. "The community is the heart of what eBay does, and we are happy that the free listing day has been so well received by the community."
eBay's free listing day event ran for 24 hours on September 9. eBay typically receives over 400,000 item listings daily. On September 9, the number of listings added to the site jumped to over 1.4 million.
Here's a sampling of just some of the items available:
- Ladies Tag Watch 1000 two-tone, item #162361040, current bid $25.00
- 1995 Cadillac Limousine, item #162451448, current bid $8,000
- 1980 Harley Davidson Sportster, item 16114700, current bid $3,058
- Adult Pirate Halloween Costume, item #159453487, current bid $4.99
- Three Pounds World Coins, item #160329629, current bid $3.25
- 1977 Charlie's Angel Jaclyn Smith Doll-MIP, item #161846191, current bid $30.00
- Sony Mavica Digital Camera MVC-DF73 New, item #161931107, current bid $10.00
- 1958 American Character Toni Doll Booklet, item #162037602, current bid $7.00
WHERE: http://www.ebay.com .
CONTACTS: Kristin Seuell, +1 408-558-7431, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jennifer Chu, +1 408-558-7432, or email@example.com, both of eBay Inc.
SOURCE eBay Inc.
Web site: http://www.ebay.com
Feel free to share your early memories of the site.