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How on earth did eBay work?

How on earth did eBay work?

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How on earth did eBay work in the 1990s?

Everyone presumed the seller would send junk that didn’t work and the buyer would send a cheque that bounced!

In the 1990s when the internet was in it’s infancy, it was thought to be like the Wild West, new untrodden land where you do not give up your credit card details very easily.

Everyone knew of someone who got ripped off, or bought something that never turned up.

When eBay was first founded in 1995, payments were typically made by either sending a check or money order directly to the seller or by using an online payment service such as PayPal or Billpoint. In 1997, eBay began offering its own payment service called eBay Payments, which allowed buyers to pay for their purchases directly through the eBay platform. However, eBay Payments was eventually phased out and replaced by PayPal.

A platform where payments were given some sort of security was one of the two game changers that helped eBay thrive, the other was….


eBay started letting users leave feedback and ratings for transactions in 1996. This feature was introduced to help build trust between buyers and sellers on the platform.

The feedback system allows buyers to rate sellers based on their experience, including factors such as communication, shipping speed, and item quality. Similarly, sellers can also leave feedback for buyers based on their payment speed, communication, and overall experience. 

What can we learn from eBay?

If you don’t own a blue chip company or customers outside of your circle or city haven’t heard of your brand, gaining their trust has to be one of your main priorities. 

Allowing customers to use some sort of banking merchant such as Paypal to protect their money gives them some reassurance however the best way to gain people’s trust is to show your reviews or testimonials.

Most people these days when buying from an online seller will look at their reviews before committing. According to one website 93% of consumers look at reviews before purchasing!

Adding reviews or testimonials to your website is a no brainer when building or updating your website, contact us for further details.

Marco Walker

Marco has been working in website marketing since the late 90s and has worked with many leading SEO gurus from the States and UK, adopting tried and tested white paper methods on making websites successful.

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