Friday, July 26, 2002
I, Cringely | The Pulpit: The EBay Way "Let's put eBay in perspective. In terms of sales, the company is comparable in size to Amazon.com. But Amazon's sales are primarily composed of goods while eBay's sales are composed almost entirely of commissions -- commissions that average around five percent of the value of goods bought and sold. So while Amazon and eBay are both around a billion in sales, eBay actually represents more than $20 billion in economic activity. That makes eBay the third largest U.S. retailer after Wal-Mart and Sears, and three times the size of AOL, the other Internet merchandizing powerhouse. It took Wal-Mart almost 30 years to have the economic impact eBay has reached in five years. And profits? eBay makes more profit than all the rest of the retail Internet businesses COMBINED. It is a money machine. In retail economic terms, eBay IS the Internet."