How eBay Australia Has Evolved Since 1999

How eBay Australia Has Evolved Since 1999

This article is sponsored by eBay.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a quarter of a century since eBay was first introduced to the internet, and 21 years since it arrived on Australian browsers. Here’s how it’s evolved over that time.

Many of us will have memories of convincing our wary parents to let us sign up for the relatively unknown site. We’d then buy obscure items for unpredictable prices and frantically refresh the page to ensure we hadn’t been outbid.

Of course, this was all before eBay introduced maximum bids that let you automatically outbid others without having to monitor the situation so closely. This is just one of the major changes eBay has undergone since its inception, so let’s walk through the evolution of the biggest marketplace on the web.


In 1999, the US-based platform expanded its market by launching in Australia, Germany and the UK. So while eBay and its variations have existed online for 25 years, we’re only just celebrating its 21st birthday Down Under (you can check out the huge birthday sale here).


Arguably the best introduction of the year 2000 was the ‘Buy it Now’ feature, changing the game for users who were too impatient to see an auction through.


eBay Stores might seem like a feature that’s been around since eBay itself, but it wasn’t until 2001 that people could start running their own businesses through the marketplace.

These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find items for sale that aren’t run through an official store.


Similarly to eBay Stores, PayPal is a service that is synonymous with eBay. It feels like it’s always been there. But the payment service wasn’t introduced until three years after Australians first got a taste of the site.

In 2003, PayPal buyer protection was added on top of eBay’s own buyer protection.


eBay introduced the ‘Top-Rated Seller’ status a little over a decade ago, giving instant credibility to sellers across the globe as they build upon their positive feedback as well as the volume of items they’re selling.

If you spotted an eBay user with that medallion next to their name, you can almost guarantee you’re in the safest of hands.


In May 2018, eBay Plus was introduced. eBay Plus is a shopping membership that unlocks delivery benefits and huge savings. For $49 for 12 months, Plus members benefit from free express delivery, free returns, access to exclusive deals and huge savings when they shop Coles (from select suburbs) on eBay (Coles officially jumped on as a partner in 2019).

As of this month, eBay Plus members will be able to cop huge discounts, including 23% off the Nintendo Switch, so keep an eye and an ear out.


The biggest evolution eBay has gone through in the past year-or-so is its rollout of Afterpay.

If you look at your item’s payment section, it will often have an ‘Afterpay may be accepted’ line hiding below the other options.

This is merely scratching the surface of eBay’s history (you can read up on the full evolution here), but to celebrate their big 21st accomplishment, be sure to check out their sale now.

For the eBay Plus membership, please see full terms and conditions on