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Strategic international expansion has failed in Taiwan and Japan, where Yahoo!
had a head start, and New Zealand, where Trade Me is the dominant online auction website.
In his responding email, the buyer explained: "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers." The frequently repeated story that e Bay was founded to help Omidyar's fiancée trade Pez candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager, Mary Lou Song, in 1997 to interest the media, which were not interested in the company's previous explanation about wanting to create a "perfect market".
Reportedly, e Bay was simply a side hobby for Omidyar until his Internet service provider informed him he would need to upgrade to a business account due to the high volume of traffic to his website.
e Bay requires sellers to include the VAT element in their listing price and not as an add-on and thus profits by collecting fees based not only on the sale price "ex VAT" but also on the VAT.
e Bay has already expanded to over two dozen countries, including China and India.
The company officially changed the name of its service from Auction Web to e Bay in September 1997.