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EBay Goes Green
May 12, 2008

EBay Does Energy Efficiency

EBay , the Internet auction giant, just recently finished construction on a new building at their headquarters in San Jose, California. It's meant to house about 800 employees of the PayPal branch of their business and has been designed at the highest of "Green" standards. It has the largest solar roof in San Jose and sports lots of automated functionality engineered to save energy. Accomplishing this added about 4%-5% to their construction budget, a figure very close to the insertion fees sellers pay to list items on eBay's auction site.

It's nice to see a massive business like eBay moving in the "Green" direction, but I do hope that they will care for their customer base to the same degree that they care for the environment. Collectors of all kinds have come to depend on eBay as their exchange network. Many coin dealers do the lion's share of their selling on eBay and some newer entrants do business exclusively in shops and auctions on eBay, with PayPal payment a near industry standard.

As costs rise sellers are directly affected in a very immediate way. Cheaper items become harder to justify selling individually and I have seen more put together coin sets out on eBay lately than ever before. In the case of new issues, that is often a good thing for buyers, but the junk groups that are cropping up only serve to litter the vast number of lots a potential buyer must sift through to find desirable items.

Let's just hope that eBay and their sister firm, PayPal, hold hobby health as close to their hearts as they do environmental concerns. Collectors should not have to foot the bill for eBay's elective drive to the "Green" way of life.

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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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