RealTime IT News

eBay Launches in Italy

The world's largest online trading community, eBay, expanded its international operations this week with an Italian-language portal.

"We're very happy to bring eBay to Italy," said Meg Whitman, president and CEO, eBay Inc. "It is one of the world's leading Internet markets."

The site will allow Italian users to trade locally, regionally or globally along with the rest of eBay's worldwide community of 18.9 million registered users. No other web site offers Italian traders a proven local service with an international reach."

Founded in 1995, eBay created web platform for the sale of goods and services by a community of individuals and small businesses. On any given day, there are millions of items for sale on eBay sites across thousands of categories. The company offers trading throughout the United States, and maintains country-specific sites in Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, United Kingdom, and now Italy.

Italy ranks number three in European Internet usage with 13.42 million active users, according to industry report EuropeProfile. While the country's online spending traditionally falls below that of the United Kingdom and Germany, an upward trend has been seen in recent months, capped by 191 million Euros in holiday spending at the end of 2000. It is Italy's continuous growth of usage and online buying that stimulated eBay to focus its expansion to the Mediterranean peninsula.

Already, according to an eBay spokesperson, thousands of Italians are enthusiastic eBay users -- some even making a living selling products and services on the web platform. eBay Italy will offer many of the same features that have made the company a success around the world: categories and content built around collectibles and other popular items, chat boards that allow the local community to connect online, and in-language customer support.

Last week eBay also announced an agreement to purchase a share majority of Korea's leading online trading web site, Internet Auction Co. Ltd. This, plus the Italy launch, gives the company a local presence in every major e-commerce, revenue-generating nation.