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Jul 21, 2005

New Study Reveals 724,000 Americans Rely on eBay Sales for Income

eBay, U.S. Postal Service Launch National Tour to Help Entrepreneurs Turn Dreams into Reality

San Jose, CA, (July 21, 2005) – Entrepreneurs in record numbers are setting up shop on eBay, according to a new survey conducted for eBay by ACNielsen International Research, a leading research firm. More than 724,000 Americans report that eBay is their primary or secondary source of income. In addition to these professional eBay sellers, another 1.5 million individuals say they supplement their income by selling on eBay, according to the July 2005 survey.

In the first six months of 2005, eBay members in the U.S. sold merchandise worth approximately $10.6 billion.

In order to support this growing economic force, eBay and the United States Postal Service have teamed to create an innovative educational opportunity that brings online selling expertise and experience to neighborhoods across the country: the eBay Day Small Business Tour. eBay sellers overwhelmingly use the Postal Service for their shipping needs.

Based on the results of the new ACNielsen International Research survey, the number of eBay entrepreneurs in the U.S. has increased 68 percent since the last time a comparable study was conducted in 2003. That study indicated that 430,000 Americans at the time were making some or all of their income selling on eBay.

"eBay's impact on job creation in the U.S. has been tremendous, and the health of our nation's economy depends on employment," said James K. Glassman, resident fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, who has analyzed the survey results. "A considerable amount of jobs have been created and enabled through eBay in the last few years, making it an important employment creation engine that many never considered just five years ago. The potential for entrepreneurs to realize success through eBay is significant."

eBay Day Small Business Tour with U.S. Postal Service
The eBay Day Small Business Tour provides free, fun and informative events, hands-on training, resources and education for entrepreneurs at U.S. Post Offices in eight cities during the next eight weeks.

"In just 10 years, eBay has become the destination for Americans pursuing their visions of entrepreneurship," said Bill Cobb, president of eBay North America. "We're proud to play a central role in small business development in the U.S. and around the world. Teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service, we're now bringing the eBay opportunity to people right where they live. It's exciting to think that many of them will go on to build thriving businesses, create jobs and fuel their local economies – while achieving the satisfaction of turning their vision into reality."

Attendees will receive one-to-one advice from eBay education specialists on how to build their business, and attend presentations to learn about selling on eBay and shipping products to customers using the U.S. Postal Service. The dean of eBay education and author of The Official eBay Bible, Jim Griffith, will be available in select markets to share tips and tricks. In addition, there will be experts on hand from Entrepreneur Magazine, giving aspiring small business owners advice and insights to help them turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality. "We are committed to continuing a long history of helping small business owners succeed by making it easier for them to take advantage of the Postal Service's mailing options to maximize their business opportunities," said John E. Potter, United States Postmaster General and CEO. "Hundreds of thousands of people have come to eBay to make a living and to start their own businesses. We are delighted to help them grow by offering a variety of shipping and business solutions."

Additional survey findings include:

  • 58 percent of Americans say they've dreamed of starting a business and becoming their own boss.
  • The most common reason for wanting to start a business is to increase one's personal income (66 percent of respondents), followed by increased independence (63 percent).
  • The primary barriers to starting a business are insufficient financial resources (cited by 49 percent of respondents), and satisfaction with their current situation (29 percent).
The eBay Day Small Business Tour will visit major U.S. cities this summer, including:
  • Bethesda, MD (July 20-21)/Baltimore, MD (July 22)
  • Minneapolis, MN (July 27-29)
  • Milwaukee, WI (August 3-5)
  • Kansas City, MO (August 10-12)
  • Phoenix, AZ (August 17-19)
  • Denver, CO (August 24-26)
  • Atlanta, GA (August 31 – September 2)
  • Miami, FL (September 14-16)
The events will take place at local post offices in each city. In each market, the traveling eBay "Sell-It-Ship-It" bus workshop, and the "Home Office Lab," a mobile home office set-up, will be stationed outside of the post offices to provide presentations, information, and guidance. And a customer service booth will offer in-person answers to general questions about selling on eBay and shipping with the USPS. Entrepreneurs and small business owners will learn how to package a product, insure it, label it and ship it using a number of products from the Postal Service that include scheduling a carrier pickup at no extra charge.

For more information about the USPS and eBay small business tour, visit

Survey Methodology
Two national surveys were conducted online by ACNielsen International Research for eBay:

  • A nationally representative survey among online population in the U.S. where 2003 respondents were surveyed from July 1 to 11, 2005. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.2%.
  • A nationally representative survey among eBay sellers who have listed at least one item on eBay in the past 12 months. 2002 respondents were surveyed from July 1 to 11, 2005. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.2%.

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About the U.S. Postal Service
Since 1775, the Postal Service has connected friends, families, neighbors and businesses by mail. It is an independent federal agency that visits 142 million homes and businesses every day and is the only service provider delivering to every address in the nation. The Postal Service receives no taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operating revenues solely from the sale of postage, products and services. With annual revenues of $69 billion, it is the world's leading provider of mailing and delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in the world. The Postal Service delivers more than 46 percent of the world's mail volume -- some 206 billion letters, advertisements, periodicals and packages a year -- and serves seven million customers each day at its 37,000 retail locations nationwide.

About eBay
eBay is The World's Online Marketplace®. Founded in 1995, eBay created a powerful platform for the sale of goods and services by a passionate community of individuals and businesses. On any given day, there are millions of items across thousands of categories for sale on eBay. eBay enables trade on a local, national and international basis with customized sites in markets around the world. Through an array of services, such as its payment solution provider PayPal, eBay is enabling global e-commerce for an ever-growing online community.

About ACNielsen International Research
ACNielsen International Research is the customized research division of ACNielsen in the U.S. ACNielsen is the world's leading marketing information company. Offering services in more than 100 countries, the company provides measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics and consumer attitudes and behavior. Clients rely on ACNielsen's market research, proprietary product, analytical tools and professional service to understand competitive performance, to uncover new opportunities and to raise the profitability of their marketing and sales campaigns.

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