To compete outside the local market and remain competitive, Mario Calabrese expanded his local family’s footwear business on eBay to reach a global audience.
Today, we take for granted how easy and seamless it has become to conduct business with one another and trade online. We order food on a mobile app from almost any restaurant and it arrives at our door within an hour; we get in a stranger’s car for a ride across town; we spend our family vacations in some other stranger’s home. It’s all so normal now — no big deal. But in 1995, when Mark Fraser of Salt Spring Island, Canada, sent $14.83 to a person he’d never met (Pierre) — and never even spoken with — to buy a laser pointer he saw on a website, it was a remarkable act and started an even more remarkable movement.
That first transaction on what would become eBay was a simple yet powerful proof point of how technology could be used to create opportunity and economically empower anyone with an Internet connection and the will to succeed. This democratization of commerce through technology was, and has been, eBay’s Purpose ever since our founding. It’s why eBay exists, and it comes to life every day across our vast global commerce network.
And eBay has many more success stories than Mario Calabrese.
Emmanuel Antig of Ormac City, Philippines, was on the verge of poverty 14 years ago, when his nephew showed him how to use the Internet. The first word he searched was ‘seashell’, and that led to the beginning of his seashell business on eBay. Today, Emmanuel’s business employs 12 people and exports around the world.