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E BAY




E BAY Inc. (NASDAQ: E BAY) is an American Internet company that manages E BAY.com, an
online auction and shopping website where people and businesses buy and sell goods and services worldwide. In addition to its original U.S. website, E BAY has established localized websites in several other countries.[1] E BAY Inc also owns PayPal, Skype, and other businesses.
Contents
[hide]

* 1 Origins and early history
* 2 Items and services
o 2.1 E BAY Express
o 2.2 E BAY Blogs and the E BAY Community Wiki
o 2.3 E BAY Mobile
* 3 Auction types
* 4 Bidding
* 5 Profit and transactions
* 6 Acquisitions and investments
* 7 Controversy and criticisms
o 7.1 Fraud
o 7.2 Other controversial practices of users
o 7.3 Intellectual property in auctions
o 7.4 Customer support
o 7.5 Other E BAY controversies
* 8 Prohibited or Restricted Items
* 9 Unusual sale items
* 10 Charity auctions
* 11 See also
* 12 Notes and references
* 13 Further reading
* 14 External links

[edit] Origins and early history

The online auction web site was founded in San Jose, California on September 3, 1995 by computer programmer Pierre Omidyar as AuctionWeb,[2] part of a larger personal site that included, among other things, Omidyar's own tongue-in-cheek tribute to the Ebola virus.[3]

The very first item sold on E BAY was a broken laser pointer for $14.83. Astonished, Omidyar contacted the winning bidder and asked if he understood that the laser pointer was broken. In his responding email, the buyer explained: "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers."[4] The frequently repeated story that E BAY was founded to help Omidyar's fiancee trade PEZ Candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager in 1997 to interest the media. This was revealed in Adam Cohen's 2002 book[3] and confirmed by E BAY.

Chris Agarpao was hired as E BAY's first employee and Jeff Skoll was hired as the first president of the company in 1996. In November 1996, E BAY entered into its first third-party licensing deal, with a company called Electronic Travel Auction to use SmartMarket Technology to sell plane tickets and other travel products. The company officially changed the name of its service from AuctionWeb to E BAY in September 1997. Originally, the site belonged to Echo Bay Technology Group, Omidyar's consulting firm. Omidyar had tried to register the domain name echobay.combut found it already taken by the Echo Bay Mines, a gold mining company, so he shortened it to his second choice, E BAY.com. [5]

E BAY went public in 1998, and both Omidyar and Skoll became instant billionaires.[4] The company purchased PayPal in October 2002.

[edit] Items and services

Millions of collectibles, appliances, computers, furniture, equipment, vehicles, and other miscellaneous items are listed, bought, and sold daily. In 2005, E BAY launched its Business & Industrial category, breaking into the industrial surplus business. Some items are rare and valuable, while many others are dusty gizmos that would have been discarded if not for the thousands of eager bidders worldwide. Anything can be sold as long as it is not illegal or does not violate the E BAY Prohibited and Restricted Items policy.[6] Services and intangibles can be sold too. Large international companies, such as IBM, sell their newest products and offer services on E BAY using competitive auctions and fixed-priced storefronts. Regional searches of the database make shipping slightly faster and cheaper. Separate E BAY sites such as E BAY US and E BAY UK allow the users to trade using the local currency as an additional option to PayPal. Software developers can create applications that integrate with E BAY through the E BAY API by joining the E BAY Developers Program.[7] As of June 2005, there were over 15,000 members in the E BAY Developers Program, comprising a broad range of companies creating software applications to support E BAY buyers and sellers as well as E BAY Affiliates.

Controversy has arisen over certain items put up for bid. For instance, in late 1999 a man offered one of his kidneys for auction on E BAY, attempting to profit from the potentially lucrative (and, in the United States, illegal) market for transplantable human organs. On other occasions, people and even entire towns have been listed, often as a joke or to garner free publicity. In general, the company removes auctions that violate its terms of service agreement within a short time after hearing of the auction from an outsider; the company's policy is to not pre-approve transactions. E BAY is also an easy place for unscrupulous sellers to market counterfeit merchandise, which can be difficult for novice buyers to distinguish without careful studying of the auction description.

E BAY's Latin American partner is MercadoLibre.

E BAY's rivals include Amazon.com Marketplace and Overstock Auctions.

[edit] E BAY Express

In April of 2006, E BAY opened its new E BAY Express site, which is designed to work like a standard Internet shopping site to consumers with United States addresses (E BAY Express). Selected E BAY items are mirrored on E BAY Express where buyers shop using a shopping cart to purchase from multiple sellers. The UK version was launched to E BAY members in mid October 2006 (E BAY Express UK), and differs from the US version by only offering brand new items from pre-vetted business sellers. The German version was also opened in 2006 (E BAY Express Germany).
[edit] E BAY Blogs and the E BAY Community Wiki

In June of 2006, E BAY added an E BAY Community Wiki and E BAY Blogs to its Community Content which also includes the Discussion Boards, Groups, Answer Center, Chat Rooms and Reviews & Guides.

[edit] E BAY Mobile

E BAY has a robust mobile offering, including SMS alerts, a WAP site, and J2ME clients, available in certain markets.

[edit] Auction types

E BAY offers several types of auctions.

* Auction-style listings allow the seller to offer one or more items for sale for a specified number of days. The seller can establish a reserve price.
* Fixed Price format allows the seller to offer one or more items for sale at a Buy It Now price. Buyers who agree to pay that price win the auction immediately without submitting a bid.
* Dutch Auctions allow the seller to offer two or more identical items in the same auction. Bidders can bid for any number from one item up to the total number offered.

[edit] Bidding

For Auction-style listings, the first bid must be at least the amount of the minimum bid set by the seller. Regardless of the amount the first bidder actually bids, until a second bid is made, E BAY will then display the auction's minimum bid as the current high bid. After the first bid is made, each subsequent bid must be equal to at least the current highest bid displayed plus one bidding increment. The bidding increment is established by E BAY based on the size of the current highest displayed bid. For example, when the current highest bid is less than or equal to $0.99, the bidding increment is $0.05; when the current highest bid is at least $1.00 but less than or equal to $4.99, the bidding increment is $0.25. Regardless of the amount each subsequent bidder bids, E BAY will display the lesser of the bidder's actual bid and the amount equal to the previous highest bidder's actual bid plus one bidding increment. For example, suppose the current second-highest bid is $2.05 and the highest bid is $2.40. E BAY will display the highest bid as $2.30, which equals the second-highest bid ($2.05) plus the bidding increment ($0.25). In this case, E BAY will require the next bid to be at least $2.55, which equals the highest displayed bid ($2.30) plus one bidding increment ($0.25). The next bid will display as the actual amount bid or $2.65, whichever is less. The figure of $2.65 in this case comes from the then-second-highest actual bid of $2.40 plus the bidding increment of $0.25. The winning bidder pays the bid that E BAY displays, not the amount actually bid. Following this example, if the next bidder is the final bidder, and bids $2.55, the winner pays $2.55, even though it is less than the second-highest bid ($2.40) plus one bidding increment ($0.25). However, if the next bidder is the final bidder and bids an arbitrarily large amount, for example $10.00 or even more, the winner pays $2.65, which equals the second-highest bid plus one bidding increment.

For Dutch Auctions, which are auctions of two or more identical items sold in one auction, each bidder enters both a bid and the number of items desired. Until the total number of items desired by all bidders equals the total number of items offered, bidders can bid any amount greater than or equal to the minimum bid. Once the total numbers of items desired by all bidders is greater than or equal to the total number offered, each bidder is required to bid one full bidding increment above the currently-displayed winning bid. All winning bidders pay the same lowest winning bid.

E BAY has established detailed rules about bidding, retraction of bids, shill bidding (collusion to drive up the price), and other aspects of bidding. These rules can be viewed on the help pages.

[edit] Profit and transactions

E BAY generates revenue from a number of fees. The E BAY fee system is quite complex; there are fees to list a product and fees when the product sells, plus several optional fees, all based on various factors and scales. The U.S.-based E BAY.com takes $0.20 to $80 per listing and 5.25% or less of the final price (as of 2007). The UK based E BAY.co.uk (E BAY.co.uk offices) takes from GBP ?0.15 to a maximum rate of GBP ?3 per 100 for an ordinary listing and from 0.75% to 5.25% of the final price. In addition, E BAY now owns the PayPal payment system which has fees of its own.

Under current U.S. law, a state cannot require sellers located outside the state to collect a sales tax, making deals more attractive to buyers. Although state laws require purchasers to pay sales tax to their own states on out-of-state purchases, most people ignore this requirement.[citation needed]

The company's current business strategy includes increasing revenue by increasing international trade within the E BAY system. E BAY has already expanded to almost two dozen countries including China and India. The only places where expansion failed were Taiwan and Japan, where Yahoo! had a head start.

[edit] Acquisitions and investments

* In July 1998, E BAY acquired Cincinnati, Ohio based online auction site Up4Sale.com.[8]
* In May 1999, E BAY acquired the online payment service Billpoint[9], an unsuccessful competitor to PayPal, which they closed following the 2002 acquisition of the latter.[10]
* In 1999 E BAY acquired the auction house Butterfield & Butterfield[11], which it sold in 2002 to Bonhams.[12]
* In 1999 E BAY acquired the auction house Alando for $43 million, which changed then to E BAY Germany.[13]
* In June 2000 E BAY acquired Half.com for $318 million, which was later integrated with the E BAY Marketplace.[14]
* In December 2000 E BAY acquired the Precision Buying Service portion of Deja.com.[15]
* In August, 2001, E BAY acquired Mercado Libre[16] and Lokau, Latin American auction sites. E BAY also acquired iBazar,[17] a French auction site.
* In July, 2002 E BAY acquired PayPal, for $1.5 billion in stock.[18]
* On January 31, 2003, E BAY acquired CARad.com, an auction management service for car dealers.[19]
* On July 11, 2003 E BAY Inc. acquired EachNet, a leading ecommerce company in China, paying approximately $150 million in cash.[20]
* On June 22, 2004, E BAY acquired all outstanding shares of Baazee.com, an Indian auction site for approximately US $50 million in cash, plus acquisition costs. Baazee.com subsequently became E BAY India.[21]
* On August 13, 2004, E BAY took a 25% stake in Craigslist by buying out an existing shareholder who was once a Craigslist employee.
* In September 2004, E BAY moved forward on its acquisition of Korean rival Internet Auction Co. (IAC), buying nearly 3 million shares of the Korean online trading company for 125,000 Korean won (about US$109) per share.
* In November 2004, E BAY acquired Marktplaats.nl for €225 million. This was a Dutch competitor which had an 80% market share in the Netherlands, by concentrating more on small ads than actual auctions. Marktplaats is the Dutch word for Marketplace.
* On December 16, 2004, E BAY acquired Rent.com for $415 million in cash (original deal was for $385 million of the amount in E BAY stock plus $30 million in cash).
* In May 2005, E BAY acquired Gumtree, a network of UK local city classifieds sites.
* On May 18, 2005, E BAY acquired the Spanish classifieds site Loquo.
* In June 2005, E BAY acquired Shopping.com, an online comparison site for $635 million.
* At the end of June 2005, E BAY acquired the German language classifieds site Opus Forum.
* In September 2005, E BAY bought Skype, a VoIP company, for $2.6 billion in stock and cash.
* In April 2006, E BAY invested $2 million in the Meetup.com social networking site.[22]
* In April 2006, E BAY acquired Tradera.com, Sweden's leading online auction-style marketplace for $48 Million.
* In August 2006, E BAY announced international cooperation with Google. Financial details have not been disclosed by either party.[23]
* In February 2007, E BAY acquired online ticket marketplace Stubhub for $307 million.
* In May 2007, E BAY acquired a minority stake in GittiGidiyor.
* In May 2007, E BAY acquired the website StumbleUpon for approximately $75 million. E BAY Investor Message

[edit] Controversy and criticisms

E BAY has its share of controversy, ranging from its privacy policy (E BAY typically turns over user information to law enforcement without a subpoena)[citation needed] to well-publicized seller fraud. E BAY claims that their data shows that less than .01% of all transactions result in a confirmed case of fraud. However, E BAY states that their stated fraud statistic both undercounts and overcounts fraud.[24]

[edit] Fraud
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One mechanism E BAY uses to combat fraud is its feedback system. After every transaction both the buyer and seller have the option of rating each other. They can give a "positive", "negative", or "neutral" rating and leave a comment no longer than 80 characters. So if a buyer has problems, he or she can rate the seller "negative" and leave a comment such as "never received product".
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Weaknesses of the feedback system include:[25][26]

* Small and large transactions carry the same weight in the feedback summary. It is therefore easy for a dishonest user to initially build up a deceptive positive rating by buying or selling a number of very low value items, such as e-books, recipes, etc., then subsequently switching to fraud.
* A user may be reluctant to leave honest feedback out of fear of negative retaliatory feedback (including "negative" in retaliation for "neutral").
* Users and generators of feedback may have different ideas about what it means. E BAY offers virtually no guidelines.
* Feedback and responses to feedback are allotted only 80 characters each. This can prevent users from being able to fully list valid complaints.
* Although E BAY protects sellers from getting a negative feedback from a deadbeat buyer when the deadbeat buyer/bidder did not respond to Unpaid Item dispute, they do not offer the same protection for a buyer who gets a deadbeat seller.

E BAY acknowledges weaknesses in its feedback system on its own policy pages, noting several of the above points.[27]

When a user feels that a seller or buyer has been dishonest, a dispute can be filed with E BAY. An E BAY account (whether seller, buyer or both) may be suspended if there are too many complaints against the account holder.

Many complaints have been made about E BAY's system of dealing with fraud, leading to its being featured on the British consumer rights television program Watchdog. It is also regularly featured in The Daily Mirror's Consumer Awareness page. The complaints are generally that E BAY sometimes fails to respond when a claim is made, and since E BAY makes its money on commissions from listings and sales may not be in E BAY's interest to take action against large sellers. [citation needed]

Frauds that can be committed by sellers include:

* Receiving payment and not shipping merchandise
* Shipping items other than those described
* Giving a deliberately misleading description
* Knowingly and deliberately shipping faulty merchandise
* Counterfeit or bootleg merchandise
* Knowingly Selling stolen goods
* Inflating total bid amounts by bidding on their own auction with "shill" account(s), either the seller under an alternate account or another person in collusion with the seller. Shill bidding is prohibited by E BAY and, in at least one high-profile case involving Kenneth Walton (and his accomplices Kenneth Fetterman and Scott Beach) has been prosecuted by the federal government as criminal fraud.

Frauds committed by buyers include:

* PayPal fraud: Filing false shipping damage claim with the shipping company and with PayPal.
* Credit card fraud, in the form of both stolen credit cards and fraudulent chargebacks.
* Receiving merchandise and claiming otherwise
* Returning items other than received
* The buyer sends a forged payment-service e-mail which states that the buyer has made a payment to the seller's account. An unsuspecting seller may ship the item before realizing the e-mail was forged.

[edit] Other controversial practices of users

* Sellers of inexpensive items may benefit from inflating the shipping cost while lowering the starting price for their auctions,[28] because some buyers overlook the shipping cost when calculating the amount they are willing to spend. Since E BAY charges their fees based on final sales price without including shipping, this allows sellers to reduce the amount they pay E BAY in fees (and also allows buyers to reduce or avoid import fees and sales taxes). This is called "fee avoidance", and is prohibited by E BAY policy,[29] as are excessive shipping and handling charges.[30] A danger to the buyer in such cases is that in the event of defective merchandise, the seller may claim to have met his refund obligations by returning only the minimal purchase price and not the shipping costs.

* Sellers sometimes charge fees for use of PayPal as well to cover the fees that PayPal charges them. Although this is officially banned by E BAY and PayPal (except in the UK) and is against some local laws as well as violating merchant agreements with Visa, Mastercard and Discover (again, except in the UK), E BAY does sometimes police for this and will suspend auctions where the seller requests an additional fee for taking PayPal. Therefore inexperienced users often wind up paying these illegal and unenforceable fees.[citation needed]

* Auction sniping is the process of watching a timed online auction, and placing a winning bid at the last possible moment (often literally seconds before the end of the auction), giving the other bidders no time to outbid the sniper. Some bidders do this manually, and others use online services and software designed for the purpose. While disliked by many E BAY users, sniping is not against E BAY rules as users are expected to put in their maximum bid from the start and the system will automatically bid up on their behalf.

* Burying shipping charges or undesirable terms in a large amount of text.

[edit] Intellectual property in auctions

Holders of intellectual property rights, have claimed that E BAY profits from the infringement of intellectual property rights. E BAY has responded by creating the Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) program, which provides to rightsholders expedited auction takedowns and private information on E BAY users, but has likewise been criticized.

* In June 2004 the jeweler Tiffany & Co. sued E BAY claiming that E BAY profits from the sale of counterfeit Tiffany products.[31] As of July 2006, a trial date has not been set.[32]

* In September 2005, E BAY's privacy practices relating to its VeRO program came under scrutiny when WNDU-TV reported that the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition was accusing United States buyers, identified by E BAY, of copyright infringement, and demanding monetary settlements. E BAY's privacy policy warns that E BAY may disclose personal information on the request of any VeRO rightsholder investigating illegal activity;[33] in comparison, competing service Yahoo! Auctions may disclose personal information in response to a subpoena or court order.[34] Although, according to a University of Notre Dame law professor, there is no legal basis, in the United States, for copyright infringement claims against buyers,[35] E BAY's VeRO program may have allowed the ESPC to obtain private information without judicial oversight.

* Some manufacturers have abused E BAY's VeRo program, through which copyright and trademark owners can quickly protect their rights, by seeking to prevent all sales of their products on E BAY.[citation needed]

* In November 2006, a U.K. High Court ruled that a VeRO rightsholder's takedown request to E BAY constituted a legal threat under design patent law. Since groundless legal threats under design patent law are unlawful, the ruling holds that groundless VeRO takedown requests based on design patents are also unlawful. Further, the text of the ruling appears critical of the VeRO program in general: "It is entirely wrong for owners of intellectual property rights to attempt to assert them without litigation, or without the threat of litigation, in reply."[36]

[edit] Customer support

A source of frustration for some E BAY users is that owing to the company's size, it offers no customer support by phone, instead referring all ordinary members to its online help features. Apart from a library of self-help resources, these features consist mainly of e-mail contact forms and "Live Help," which lets users chat with customer service representatives via instant messaging, however this is not availiable to users from international sites such as E BAY.co.uk. In fact, most visitors to the E BAY site will not find any company phone number listed at all.

E BAY does, in fact, have a phone support department, but that service is limited to members of the rank "Silver PowerSeller" and above, the company's term for members who sell at least $3,000 worth of goods per month on the site. The phone number for that service is not published, although there have been reports on E BAY's own forums and weblogs that customers who manage to obtain the number through legal documents are rudely replied and told to use the online service instead.[37][38][39]

[edit] Other E BAY controversies

Other notable controversies involving E BAY include:

* In May 2000, E BAY seller Kenneth Walton auctioned an oil painting on E BAY for $135,805, due to speculation that it might be the work of California modernist Richard Diebenkorn. Walton pretended to know nothing about art and claimed to be surprised by the price the painting fetched, and the auction attracted international media attention. In several investigative reports by The New York Times, it was revealed that Walton was in fact an experienced E BAY art dealer with several unhappy customers, and that he had colluded with two other E BAY sellers to bid up each other's auctions. The Times described this as a "shill bidding ring".[40] Walton and his cohorts were banned from E BAY and eventually convicted of fraud by the federal government in the first ever prosecution for shill bidding on E BAY.

* On 28 May 2003, a U.S. District Court jury found E BAY guilty of willful patent infringement and ordered the company to pay US$35 million in damages. The plaintiff was MercExchange, which had accused E BAY in 2000 of infringing on three patents (one of which is used in E BAY's "Buy It Now" feature for fixed-price sales, 30 percent of E BAY's business and growing). The decision was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). The CAFC affirmed the judgment of willful infringement, and reversed the lower court and granted a permanent injunction. E BAY appealed the permanent injunction to the U.S. Supreme Court, which on May 15, 2006 found an injunction is not required nor automatic in this or any patent case where guilt has been established. The case was sent back to the Virginia district court for consideration of the injunction and a trial on another MercExchange patent the inventor claims covers the remaining 70 percent of E BAY's business model. (see E BAY Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C. [41]). This case has been particularly controversial since the patents involved are considered to be business method patents. (See also Software patent debate)

* On 28 July 2003, E BAY and its subsidiary PayPal agreed to pay a $10 million fine to settle allegations that they aided illegal offshore and online gambling. According to the settlement, PayPal between mid-2000 and November 2002 transmitted money in violation of various U.S. federal and state online gambling laws.[42] E BAY's announcement of its acquisition of PayPal in early July said that PayPal would begin the process of exiting this market, and was already doing so when the ruling occurred.[43] These offenses occurred prior to E BAY's purchase of PayPal.

* On 17 December 2004, Avnish Bajaj, CEO of E BAY's Indian subsidiary Baazee.com, was arrested after a video clip showing oral sex between two Indian students was sold online. The company denied knowing the content of what they were selling (because it is a venue, not a retailer) and removed the offensive material as soon as they became aware of it. The Indian government attempted to make the case that Bajaj had violated India's IT Act, which forbids "publishing, transmitting or causing to publish" obscene material, even though the actual material was never published on Baazee's servers.[44] E BAY supported Baazee's defense.[45]

* On 14 June 2005, E BAY removed auction listings for originally free tickets to the Live 8 charity auction amid hundreds of complaints about such auctions.[46] Normally, selling of charity tickets is legal under United Kingdom law.[citation needed]

* In 2005, the Australian National Rugby League tried unsuccessfully to persuade E BAY to prevent scalpers from selling Grand Final tickets online.[47]

* On 18 December 2006 E BAY won a court case against Creative Festival Entertainment in Australia, allowing sellers to on-sell (or scalp) tickets for the Big Day Out concert.[48] The case was won due to the big day out organizers not being able to fully enforce an anti-scalping policy printed on the back of the tickets. The presiding judge described the decision as "unfortunate".[49]

* Some have criticized[weasel words] the emphasis E BAY places on its subsidiary PayPal as a method of accepting payments.[attribution needed] E BAY discourages sellers from using independent money-wiring companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram (Moneybookers is now allowed instead), stating that it prohibits or discourages certain forms of payment in order to reduce fraud.[50] On the U.S. E BAY, while sellers may accept such payments, they are prohibited from advertising them as a payment option. A similar policy applies to mailing cash as a payment option. Certain non-U.S. branches of E BAY allow sellers to advertise wire transfers or mailed cash as payment options, provided such methods are not the only payment options the seller accepts.[51][52]

* In late 2006 E BAY effected a policy change which showed less information about sellers once auctions reached a certain value. This policy has been criticized for making shill bidding much harder to detect, to the potential disadvantage of buyers and significant advantage to unethical sellers who may artificially inflate the price of an auction. An investigation by The Sunday Times in January 2007 uncovered substantial evidence of shill bidding on E BAY.[53]

[edit] Prohibited or Restricted Items

E BAY in its earliest days was essentially unregulated, but as E BAY grew, it found it necessary to restrict or forbid auctions for various items. Note that some of the restrictions relate to E BAY.com (the US site), while other restrictions apply to specific European sites (such as Nazi paraphernalia). Regional laws and regulations may apply to the seller or the buyer. Among the hundred or so banned or restricted categories:

* Tobacco (tobacco-related items and collectibles are excepted)[54]
* Alcohol (alcohol-related collectibles, including sealed containers, as well as some wine sales by licensed sellers are allowed)[55]
* Drugs and drug paraphernalia[56]
* Nazi paraphernalia[57]
* Bootleg recordings[58]
* Firearms and ammunition[59], including any parts that could be used to assemble a firearm as well as (as of 30 July 2007) any firearm part that is required for the firing of a gun, including bullet tips, brass casings and shells, barrels, slides, cylinders, magazines, firing pins, trigger assemblies, etc.
* Used underwear (see Panty fetishism) and dirty used clothing[60]
* Teachers' editions of textbooks including homeschool teacher's editions.[61][62]
* Human parts and remains[63]
* Live animals (with certain exceptions)[64]
* Certain copyrighted works or trademarked items.[65]
* Lottery tickets, sweepstakes tickets, or any other gambling items.
* Military hardware such as working weapons or explosives.
* Virtual items from massively multiplayer online games.[66][67]
* Many other items are either wholly prohibited or restricted in some manner.[68] One major example includes several E BAY members auctioning debris from the Space Shuttle Columbia following its February 1, 2003 breakup over Texas and Louisiana on re-entry from space. These auctions were removed immediately by E BAY.[citation needed]

[edit] Unusual sale items

* In June 2005, the wife of Tim Shaw, a British radio DJ on Kerrang! 105.2, sold Tim's Lotus Esprit sports car with a Buy It Now price of 50 pence after she heard him flirting with model Jodie Marsh on air. The car was sold within 5 minutes, and it was requested that the buyer pick it up the same day.[69]
* In May 2005, a Volkswagen Golf that had previously been registered to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (who had been elected Pope Benedict XVI) was sold on E BAY's German site for €188,938.88. The winning bid was made by the GoldenPalace.com online casino, known for their outrageous E BAY purchases.[70]
* A seaworthy 16,000 ton aircraft carrier, formerly the British HMS Vengeance, was listed early in 2004. The auction was removed when E BAY determined that the vessel qualified as ordinance, even though all weapons systems had been removed.[71]
* In September 2004, the owner of MagicGoat.com sold the contents of his trash can to a middle school language arts teacher, who intended to have her students write essays about the trash before it was cleared away by a well-meaning janitor.[72]
* Water that was said to have been left in a cup Elvis Presley once drank from was sold for $455. The few tablespoons came from a plastic cup Presley sipped at a concert in North Carolina in 1977.[73]
* A Coventry University student got ?1.20 for a single cornflake.[74]
* A man from Brisbane, Australia attempted to sell New Zealand at a starting price of $.01AUD. The price had risen to $3,000 before E BAY closed the auction.[75]
* One of the tunnel boring machines involved in the construction of the Channel Tunnel was auctioned on E BAY in 2004.[76]
* A group of four men from Australia auctioned themselves to spend the weekend with the promise of "beers, snags, good conversation and a hell of a lot of laughs" for AU$1,300[77]
* Disney sold a retired Monorail Red (Mark IV Monorail) for $20,000[78]
* The German Language Association sold the German language to call attention for the growing influence of Pidgin-English in modern German.[79]
* In late November 2005, the original Hollywood sign was sold on E BAY for $450,400.[80][81]
* In February 2007, after Britney Spears shaved all of her hair off in a Los Angeles salon, it was listed on E BAY for $1million USD before it was taken down after some considerable controversy.[82]
* Bridgeville, California was the first city to be sold on E BAY in 2002, and has been up for sale 3 times since.[83]
* Boston Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez attempted to sell his neighbor's JENN-AIR Gas Grill on E BAY. The auction started at $3,000 and the price escalated to an astounding $99,999,999, the maximum amount allowed by E BAY. The auction was later closed by E BAY because of the promise of an autographed baseball going to the winner as well as the grill; it is a violation of E BAY policy to include items other than those advertised.[84]
* In April 2004, American entrepeneur Matt Rouse sold the right to choose a new middle name for him. After receving an $8,000 "Buy It Now" bid, the Utah courts refused to allow the name change. He currently still has his original middle name "Jean".[85]

[edit] Charity auctions

Using MissionFish as an arbiter, E BAY allows sellers to donate a portion of their auction proceeds to a charity of the seller's choice. Some high profile charity auctions have been advertised on the E BAY home page, and have raised large amounts of money in a short time. For example, a furniture manufacturer raised over $35,000 for Ronald McDonald House by auctioning off beds that had been signed by celebrities.