eBay's First Sale Was a Broken Item

The e-commerce giant celebrates 20 years
By Brownie Marie,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2015 9:21 AM CDT
eBay's First Sale Was a Broken Item
This Jan. 14, 2015 photo shows signage at eBay headquarters in San Jose, Calif.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

"AuctionWeb" came into being over the Labor Day weekend that occurred precisely two decades ago, and Time uses the anniversary to look back at the very first transaction that occurred on what came to be known as eBay. It pulls the detail from the book The Perfect Store: Inside eBay, which recalls founder Pierre Omidyar listing a broken laser pointer as a test.

He listed the item, purchased for $30, for $1, and noted in the listing that though he tried new batteries, the pointer didn't work. It ended up selling anyway, for $14.83. It was a first sale that snowballed into riches for Omidyar who, according to Forbes, is now worth about $8.5 billion. (Read more eBay stories.)

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