by CharotteHannah

EBAY , a case study within the topic of ‘ the flow of fashion through people and technology”

Industry Structure:

Online structure, made up of sellers both professional and casual. Traders can sell their own clothes or professional ‘pickers’ hunt for clothes which they can then resell and make a profit. In EBay has been described as a virtual street market.

Wikipedia “consumer to consumer trading structure”

Organisational bodies:

EBay is the owning company. They have a global presence with sites in over 30 countries.

Brands: Traditional stores and brands are having EBay stores to maintain their industry position and increase audience. Witchery and Mimco are examples. This also benefits to counter act other dealers selling ‘fakes’ or heavily reduced items.

Charity: Charity auctions are used to sell clothing on EBay. Often people donate and then 100% of the profits can be donated to the charity.  A current example is Marie Clare’s collaboration with Tamara Ecclestone who have teamed up In support of The Australian Children’s Music Foundation. They are auctioning three pieces of her extravagant wardrobe with all profits being donated to the charity. Often these auctions have an inflated price as people are happy to support charity and enjoy the ‘celebrity’ factor.

Individual: Individuals such as students and Mums sell unwanted clothing and goods to make extra money. Not always to make a profit but to recoup some of the money they have spent on the item to re buy new seasons trends or contribute to savings or travel.

Dealers: EBay dealers sell to make a profit. They buy either new or second hand items with the soul purpose to re sell and make a profit. In terms of the vintage trade EBAY dealers complete the EDIT for consumers. The scale of the vintage market is very large vintage traders earn their money through being able to sort the good from the bad.

Production of artefacts:

Second hand




A  place to buy. Get nearly anything you need or want at prices better than you can find in traditional brick-and-mortar or even online stores. Though there are lots of rotten deals on eBay, too, the careful consumer can always come out ahead. (http://ebay.about.com/od/gettingstarted/a/gs_whatisebay.htm)

A place to sell. Whether you’re a bix-box retailer or just an average Joe (or Jane) cleaning out your garage, nearly anything you list on eBay will sell if you’re flexible enough about the price. eBay’s global reach can even move unusual items that aren’t in demand in your own neighborhood, turning paperweights into cash. (http://ebay.about.com/od/gettingstarted/a/gs_whatisebay.htm)

A meeting place, not a store. eBay doesn’t actually sell any goods itself. All of the goods on eBay are sold and delivered by third party sellers that are neither employed by, nor have any other relationship with, eBay itself. Instead, eBay’s business is to give entrepreneurs and sellers a place to reach buyers, and to give buyers access to the world’s largest collection of things for sale. (http://ebay.about.com/od/gettingstarted/a/gs_whatisebay.htm)

A place to shop. Because of the immense variety of things that can be found for sale on eBay, many members have discovered that eBay is one of the best places in the world to window or comparison shop. The millions of item listings created by sellers often include photos, detailed descriptions, and owner experiences. Because you can see lots of the same item side-by-side in various conditions and know what each one sold or is selling for, eBay gives you insight into the real market value or “street value” of most types of goods around the world. (http://ebay.about.com/od/gettingstarted/a/gs_whatisebay.htm)


Brought second-hand culture into the mainstream. This is highly beneficial in terms if sustainability also. Also with sellers ‘editing’ their collection it allows for a easier way of shopping. No longer do consumers need to search around their city, simply log on to eBay.

Green. eBay is has proven to be a boon to the environment. Millions of tons of goods that would otherwise go into landfills or more resource-intensive recycling programs instead find new homes every year thanks to eBay. Some of these goods include consumer electronics items like computer parts and mobile phones that release toxic substances once they’re discarded and exposed to the environment. (http://ebay.about.com/od/gettingstarted/a/gs_whatisebay.htm)

Socially responsible. Because eBay eliminates middlemen and lowers barriers to buying and selling, potters in rural Mexico and bead weavers in central Asia can sell hand-made goods directly and inexpensively to a massive global audience. This brings new economic opportunities to developing areas and increases cultural understanding between populations. eBay has become one of the world’s most interesting and exciting trans-national ambassadors. (http://ebay.about.com/od/gettingstarted/a/gs_whatisebay.htm)

Diffusion mechanisms:

EBay was founded during the “dot-com” bubble.  Its primary diffusion mechanisms include spreading via the internet. The internet has allowed individuals to become a part of the online selling revolution through eBay. Due to the ease of use it has spread virtually around the globe.