By Daniel Hunter
Twenty years ago Pierre Omidyar launched a service that would go on to completely change shopping forever.
This month marks eBay's 20th birthday. The online marketplace has grown from a Omidyar's hobby into a global shopping destination with approximately 25 million sellers, 157 million buyers and 800 million listings.
To celebrate eBay's 20th birthday, here are 20 facts:
1 - 1995 saw eBay born in the US, opening for business over Labor Day weekend. The first item it sold was a laser pointer pen.
2 - eBay arrived in the UK in 1999 when a fifth of UK homes still bleeped to the tune of internet dial up and Posh and Becks tied the knot.
3 - The first item sold on eBay.co.uk was a three track CD from German rock outfit The Scorpions. It sold for £2.89.
4 - 2006 — eBay for Charity launches in the UK. Close to £90m has now been raised from the generosity of Brits buying and selling through the site.
5 - 2008 saw the value of sales on eBay.co.uk exceed the GDP of a whopping 68 countries.
6 - 2008 also saw the eBay app launch in the UK, just two months after its US debut as the first commerce app on iTunes. For the first time “Buy It Now!” listings hit 40% of overall listings on eBay in the UK.
7 - 2009 — eBay.co.uk turned 10.
8 - 2010 — More Brits shopped through the eBay mobile app than any other country in Europe.
9 - 2010 — 'Buy it now' sales also overtook auctions for the first time, accounting for almost two thirds of listings on the UK marketplace. More than 100 big high street brands could be found on eBay in 2010, while mobile sales hit £1.2bn.
10 - 2013 - eBay UK and Argos launch a Click & Collect trial with 50 eBay retailers and Argos stores nationwide.
11 - To date, more than 2.5 million eBay purchases have passed through the Click & Collect programme.
12 - Christmas Day 2014, eBay saw listings for tablets and iPads shoot up 43% and listings for perfume increase by 300% as people rushed to sell their unwanted presents during the Queen’s speech.
13 - Summer 2015 - An eBay report showed that Greater Manchester has a greater concentration of small businesses than anywhere else in the UK, followed by Lancashire and West Yorkshire, revealing a Northern Powerhouse of ecommerce.
14 - A great example of a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ case study is PF Jones, a family run business which sells diesel injectors and fuel pumps which launched its eBay store in 2009. Since then, the company’s eBay turnover has doubled.
15 - eBay also revealed that businesses set up and run by mums as sole proprietors are flourishing, generating £7.2 billion for the UK economy and supporting 204,600 jobs in 2013.
16 - Thingimijigs is an example of a ‘Mum-preneur’ business which started with just an eBay account, £200 and a kitchen table and now sells branded gifts and accessories for kids globally from a purpose built facility in Lancashire.
17 - More than half the small online retailers on eBay’s UK marketplace are ‘global’, exporting to four or more different continents.
18 - In May 2015, eBay’s Global Shipping Programme (GSP), which is used by up to 10,000 UK sellers, took its millionth order and expanded in to new markets.
19 - 18 million visit eBay.co.uk every month.
20 - Currently 59% of eBay’s revenue is international. In the 21st century, eBay’s total GMV has exceeded $660 billion.