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Earnings comprised transaction revenues from their US operation ($362.2m), their international transactions ($257.1m), their online payment services ($155.5m) and currency fluctuations mainly involving the euro ($17.4m). Together, these totalled $756.2m, compared to the forecast of $700m for the period.

Net income, which almost doubled for the period, came in at $220.1m, meaning that eBay are operating at a net margin of about 26 per cent. The fact that net profits soared by a far greater margin than even the record rise in turnover may point, among other factors, to higher yields from the enhanced payment service, PayPal – acquired by eBay just over a year ago – than from the transactions themselves.

Twelve categories now deliver more than $1bn worth of sales annually: motors still make up the lion’s share at $8.7bn, with computers next at $2.6bn. Collectables come in at $1.6bn, but art and antiques also fall under other categories, such as jewellery and gemstones ($1.3bn).