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eBay in 2003

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : BSTA094 Electronic Format: Rs. 300;
Courier (within India):Rs. 25 Extra
Business Strategy | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Business Strategy, Case Studies


Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 2003
Organization : eBay
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : Global
Industry : Internet


eBay is widely considered to be one of the most successful business models in the Internet world. eBay is one of the few profitable dotcoms around. With a presence in 27 international markets and 325 million page views each day, eBay seems to be well ahead of its competitors. eBay's transparency, strong financial performance and a large on-line community have made it one of the most popular dotcom stocks. Like most other dotcom companies, eBay has a freewheeling, informal culture. But its disciplined approach to managing business is a rare commodity in the on- line world. eBay executives manage eBay more like a brand, than like a piece of software. eBay has also built up a well-knit, vibrant on-line community.

eBay operates very much like a newspaper classified section. It facilitates person-to-person transactions but does not take possession of the items being sold. But eBay exercises control over buying and selling and restricts the items which can be listed on its site. This case can be used to study how a successful on-line business is managed. It also demonstrates the importance of identifying the correct spot on the value chain. The case is aimed at MBA/PGDBA students as part of the business strategy curriculum.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
The eBay Community 3
Transaction Management 7
Security 9
Conclusion 10
Exhibits -


eBay, Internet company, Dotcom, Transparency, Strong financial performance, On-line community, Classified, Pez dispenses, 325 million page views per day, Traditional auction houses, CEO Meg Whitman, P/E of 143, Amazon.com, AOL, Matchmaker

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