EBay is an online multinational marketplace for buying and selling items of any kind, including antiques. Headquartered in San Jose, California, eBay was founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar as an online auction site and it has long had a strong presence of collectables, antiques, furniture, ceramics, jewellery, watches and works of art, as well as second-hand goods of any description.

Today it is a business with operations in over 30 countries. The website is free to buyers but charges a fee to sellers. When items are offered via eBay’s auction facility, potential buyers have to make bids over a certain time period.

Over the years, eBay has had to make efforts to combat fakes and reproductions being traded as genuine or original items. It now includes guides for buyers to avoid being misled.

ATG letter: Antiques VAT mess is on top of ‘increasingly poor security’

19 December 2022

Re my letter: ‘Why does eBay charge incorrect import VAT?’ Letters, ATG No 2560). Just so you know, I never heard back from eBay, plus it seems they continue to charge the wrong 20% duty on most if not all antique items being sent into the UK.

ATG letter: VAT – the onus should be on eBay

12 December 2022

I read in ATG Letters Nos 2564 and 2560 about the problem relating to VAT calculation from eBay.

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ATG Letter: ‘Antique’ listing – if you want a VAT refund from eBay you’re at the mercy of the seller

17 October 2022

I note in ATG No 2560 David Penney’s letter regarding eBay’s import duty charges on antique items.


Raid on eBay seller's 'fake medal factory' run from garden shed leaves market reeling

15 June 2020

A trading standards investigation has unearthed a ‘medal factory’ in Derbyshire, sparking the fear that thousands of fake military awards and badges could be in circulation.

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Ebay’s new tracking policy could lead to higher postage fees

08 February 2019

EBay has announced a change to its postal tracking policy as a caution against buyers who fraudulently claim they never received items that were sent.

EBay drops Paypal after signing with new payment platform

08 February 2018

Across the next five years, eBay is to drop PayPal in favour of a new online payment processor. The e-commerce giant says the decision to use Dutch firm Adyen to process future payments will benefit both sellers and buyers.

EBay threat over Australian sales tax

28 April 2017

Online giant eBay is threatening to block Australian customers from buying from overseas firms if the government enacts laws to collect a tax from online sales.

Thracian coin eBay auction

Ancient coin banned from eBay due to Nazi-like symbol

23 August 2016

An auction of a Thracian coin – minted in the city of Apollonia Pontica (in modern-day Bulgaria) in the 4th or 5th century BC – was halted by eBay on the grounds the listing was ‘hateful or discriminatory’.

Phillips join Sotheby’s in streaming sales live on eBay

11 September 2015

Phillips are to begin-streaming their sales live on eBay’s platform for upmarket auctions of fine art and antiques.

Regulations on tiger parts

29 June 2015

The law on tiger jewellery is frequently flouted. Last week on eBay – a site that operates a ban on antique ivory – several items of big cat jewellery were on sale from UK vendors.

HMRC investigate eBay traders

25 June 2015

Online sellers who use eBay are the focus of fresh attempts by HM Revenue & Customs to crack down on tax evasion.

Sotheby’s start their new eBay experiment

26 March 2015

Sotheby’s have begun live streaming their sales on eBay’s new auctions platform.

eBay to split from PayPal

03 October 2014

Online auction site eBay plans to spin off its PayPal business into a separate publicly traded company next year.

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Superhuman price for comic at $3.2m

05 September 2014

The big comic story of the year – and one unlikely to be bettered – when two New York specialist dealers, Stephen Fisher and Vincent Zurzolo, paid $3.2m (£1.93m) for a copy of Action Comics No.1. When launched in June, 1938 it had originally cost just 10 cents.

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Right time, right place this time around, say Sotheby’s and eBay

25 July 2014

Twelve years after their first online collaboration, Sotheby’s and eBay have formed a second partnership to stream Sotheby’s sales worldwide.

Dadd watercolour – £200 on eBay

03 February 2014

A British collector has reportedly bought a watercolour, ‘A lady with a Minstrel’ from 1874, by the Victorian artist Richard Dadd on eBay for £200.

PayPal alert over eBay buyer scam

25 July 2011

EBAY users are being warned of a new scam that targets sellers who allow buyers to collect items in person.

EBay targeted in hunt for tax dodgers

04 July 2011

INDIVIDUALS buying and selling goods over the internet are to be targeted in the latest crackdown by the taxman.

Flat rate fee for eBay’s Buy It Now

27 June 2011

UNDER a new fees structure, private users of eBay will face a flat ten per cent charge for items sold under the ‘Buy It Now’ price listing.

Hacker court case exposes weaknesses of PayPal system

28 February 2011

THE case of a hacker who stole more than £180,000 from eBay users has highlighted weaknesses in PayPal’s procedures.