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Fifteen eBay facts as the online marketplace marks 15 years in business

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eBay’s UK marketplace has marked 15 years in business. The company said on Friday that it had enabled three billion sales worth a total of some £65bn in those years.

The first sale on eBay , back in 1999, was of a three-track CD from German rockers The Scorpions, sold for £2.89. Today, the marketplace has changed dramatically, and is now used by business sellers, from high street retailers and UK exporters, as well as the individual sellers who were its first traders.

Tanya Lawler, vice president, eBay in the UK, said: “The UK will spend an unprecedented £45bn shopping online this year and the evolution of eBay over the past 15 years is a good illustration of the transformation of the nation’s retail sector.

“Shoppers expectations have changed dramatically in recent years. Now on eBay in the UK, a pair of shoes sells every 10 seconds, a handbag every 23 seconds and a tablet every two minutes via mobile. The best retailers have adapted to keep pace and today, more than 140 Uk brands and retailers, from fashion to homeware, toys to electricals, are using eBay as part of their omnichannel approach to ensure customers can shop anytime, anywhere on any connected device.”

Fifteen for 15: eBay UK facts

1. In 15 years eBay has sold three billion items, worth £65bn.

2. Last Christmas, 14 gifts were bought on eBay each second.

3. Lady Thatcher’s handbag sold on eBay for £103,000.

4. Princess Beatrice’s royal wedding hat (aka ‘the pretzel’) fetched more than £80,000 on eBay with proceeds going to Unicef and Children in Crisis.

5. Ahead the Brazil World Cup, 24 football shirts sold every hour.

6. In the UK an item is bought every second via the eBay app.

7. A pair of shoes sells every 7 seconds, and a handbag every 19 seconds via mobile.

8. 9pm is the peak time for tablet shopping.

10. Today, more than 140 UK brands and retailers can be found on eBay.

11. 75% of items sold on eBay are sold at fixed price.

12. UK businesses selling on eBay each export to an average of 39 countries – higher than in any other eBay market.

13. Over 200,000 businesses, large and small, sell on eBay in the UK.

14. Close to £70 million has been raised from the generosity of Brits buying items through eBay for charity, raising funds for thousands of charities across the UK.

15. Over 19 million Brits visit eBay every month – that’s well over one third of the UK’s adult population.

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