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THE ARTICLE

eBay Inc. is the world’s leading e-commerce company. It was founded as an online auction site in 1995 called AuctionWeb by Pierre Omidyar. He said: “What I wanted to do was create an efficient market, where regular people could compete with big business…It was a little bit of an experiment.” He changed the name in 1997 to be similar to his company Echo Bay Technology Group. Within two years of starting, the company hosted 2,000,000 auctions. The company website explains the success story to date: “With more than 90 million active users globally, eBay is the world's largest online marketplace, where practically anyone can buy and sell practically anything…In 2009, the total worth of goods sold on eBay was $60 billion -- $2,000 every second.” The company employs over 15,000 people throughout the world.


 

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WARM UPS



 

1. BRAINSTORM CHAT: Write all the words you can think of about EBay on the board or on a piece of paper. Talk about these words with your partner(s).

2. EBAY MORNING: Each student pretends to be an employee of EBay. They walk around the class and talk about the company and their job.

3. RUMOURS: Each student writes down a pretend rumour about EBay. They then walk around the class and talk to other students about their rumour.

4. GOOD AND BAD: Brainstorm good and bad things about EBay and write them on the board. Students talk about these in pairs.

5. TRUE OR FALSE: Students find out several facts about EBay. They write these down and add the same number of things about the company that are false. Students test each other on which of their points are true or false.

6. FACTS: In groups, students write down as many facts as they can about EBay. The winner is the group with the most facts. Teacher may wish to have groups share their facts to make sure they are real.

*  LISTENING / READING GAP FILL

eBay Inc. is the world’s __________________ company. It was founded as an __________________ in 1995 called AuctionWeb by Pierre Omidyar. He said: “What I wanted to __________________ efficient market, where regular people could compete with big business…It was __________________ experiment.” He changed the name in 1997 to be similar to his company Echo Bay Technology Group. __________________ starting, the company hosted 2,000,000 auctions. The company website explains the ____________________: “With more than 90 million active users globally, eBay is the world's largest online marketplace, where practically anyone can buy and sell __________________ …In 2009, the total worth of goods sold on eBay was $60 billion -- $2,000 every second.” The company employs over 15,000 people ____________________.

*  CORRECT THE SPELLING

eBay Inc. is the world’s leading e-cormecme company. It was founded as an online cuniaot site in 1995 called AuctionWeb by Pierre Omidyar. He said: “What I wanted to do was create an eiftnecfi market, where regular people could ctmeope with big business…It was a little bit of an experiment.” He changed the name in 1997 to be srilaim to his company Echo Bay Technology Group. Within two years of starting, the company esdoth 2,000,000 auctions. The company website explains the success story to date: “With more than 90 million atceiv users globally, eBay is the world's largest online marketplace, where ccylpirtaal anyone can buy and sell practically anything…In 2009, the total rotwh of goods sold on eBay was $60 billion -- $2,000 every second.” The company soeympl over 15,000 people throughout the world.

*  UNJUMBLE THE WORDS

eBay Inc. company commerce - e leading world’s the is. It as online site founded an auction was in 1995 called AuctionWeb by Pierre Omidyar. He said: “What I wanted create efficient to was an market do, where regular business big with compete could people…It was a little bit of an experiment.” to 1997 in name the changed He be similar to his company Echo Bay Technology Group. Within two years of starting, the company hosted 2,000,000 auctions. The company website explains the success story to date: “more With active million 90 than users globally, eBay is the world's largest online marketplace, buy sell practically can and where anyone practically anything…In 2009, the total worth of goods sold on eBay was $60 billion -- $2,000 every second.” company The people 000 , 15 over employs throughout the world.

*  INSERT THE VOWELS

_B_y _nc. _s th_ w_rld’s l__d_ng _-c_mm_rc_ c_mp_ny. _t w_s f__nd_d _s _n _nl_n_ __ct__n s_t_ _n 1995 c_ll_d __ct__nW_b by P__rr_ _m_dy_r. H_ s__d: “Wh_t _ w_nt_d t_ d_ w_s cr__t_ _n _ff_c__nt m_rk_t, wh_r_ r_g_l_r p__pl_ c__ld c_mp_t_ w_th b_g b_s_n_ss…_t w_s _ l_ttl_ b_t _f _n _xp_r_m_nt.” H_ ch_ng_d th_ n_m_ _n 1997 t_ b_ s_m_l_r t_ h_s c_mp_ny _ch_ B_y T_chn_l_gy Gr__p. W_th_n tw_ y__rs _f st_rt_ng, th_ c_mp_ny h_st_d 2,000,000 __ct__ns. Th_ c_mp_ny w_bs_t_ _xpl__ns th_ s_cc_ss st_ry t_ d_t_: “W_th m_r_ th_n 90 m_ll__n _ct_v_ _s_rs gl_b_lly, _B_y _s th_ w_rld's l_rg_st _nl_n_ m_rk_tpl_c_, wh_r_ pr_ct_c_lly _ny_n_ c_n b_y _nd s_ll pr_ct_c_lly _nyth_ng…_n 2009, th_ t_t_l w_rth _f g__ds s_ld _n _B_y w_s $60 b_ll__n -- $2,000 _v_ry s_c_nd.” Th_ c_mp_ny _mpl_ys _v_r 15,000 p__pl_ thr__gh__t th_ w_rld.

*  PUNCTUATE THE TEXT AND ADD CAPITALS

ebay inc is the world’s leading e-commerce company it was founded as an online auction site in 1995 called auctionweb by pierre omidyar he said “what i wanted to do was create an efficient market where regular people could compete with big business…it was a little bit of an experiment” he changed the name in 1997 to be similar to his company echo bay technology group within two years of starting the company hosted 2000000 auctions the company website explains the success story to date “with more than 90 million active users globally ebay is the world's largest online marketplace where practically anyone can buy and sell practically anything…in 2009 the total worth of goods sold on ebay was $60 billion -- $2000 every second” the company employs over 15000 people throughout the world

*  CHOOSE THE CORRECT TENSE

eBay Inc. .......... (be) the world’s leading e-commerce company. It was .......... (found) as an online auction site in 1995 called AuctionWeb by Pierre Omidyar. He .......... (say): “What I .......... (want) to do was create an efficient market, where regular people could .......... (compete) with big business…It .......... (be) a little bit of an experiment.” He .......... (change) the name in 1997 to be similar to his company Echo Bay Technology Group. Within two years of starting, the company .......... (host) 2,000,000 auctions. The company website .......... (explain) the success story to date: “With more than 90 million active users globally, eBay .......... (be) the world's largest online marketplace, where practically anyone can buy and .......... (sell) practically anything…In 2009, the total worth of goods sold on eBay was $60 billion -- $2,000 every second.” The company .......... (employ) over 15,000 people throughout the world.

*  REWRITE WITH SPACES

eBayInc.istheworld’sleadinge-commercecompany.Itwasfoundedasanonlineauctionsitein1995calledAuctionWebbyPierre
Omidyar.Hesaid:“WhatIwantedtodowascreateanefficientmarket,whereregularpeoplecould
competewithbigbusiness…Itwasalittlebitofanexperiment.”Hechangedthenamein1997tobe
similartohiscompanyEchoBayTechnologyGroup.Withintwoyearsofstarting,thecompanyhosted
2,000,000auctions.Thecompanywebsiteexplainsthesuccessstorytodate:“Withmorethan90
millionactiveusersglobally,eBayistheworld'slargestonlinemarketplace,wherepractically
anyonecanbuyandsellpracticallyanything…In2009,thetotalworthofgoodssoldoneBaywas
$60billion--$2,000everysecond.”Thecompanyemploysover15,000peoplethroughouttheworld.

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*  CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

eBay Inc. is the world’s ____________ e-commerce company. It was founded as an online ____________ site in 1995 called AuctionWeb by Pierre Omidyar. He said: “What I wanted to do was create an ____________ market, where regular people could compete with big business…It was a little ____________ of an experiment.” He changed the name in 1997 to be similar to his company Echo Bay Technology Group. Within two years of starting, the company ____________ 2,000,000 auctions. The company website explains the success story to ____________: “With more than 90 million active users globally, eBay is the world's largest ____________ marketplace, where practically anyone can buy and sell ____________ anything…In 2009, the total ____________ of goods sold on eBay was $60 billion -- $2,000 every second.” The company employs over 15,000 people ____________ the world.

 

 

date
leading
online
hosted
worth
practically
efficient
throughout
auction
bit

*  PROJECT EBAY

Part 1. Your mission is to increase the profits and sales of EBay. Complete this  table with your project partner(s):

Main products

 

 

 

How to improve them

 

 

 

A brand new ‘killer’ product

 

How eBay is better than the competition

 

How to beat the competition

 

Part 2. Change partners and look at their project. Suggest improvements. Ask for advice on your project:

Part 3. Make a presentation on your project. Give it to the class. Vote the best projects.

*  EBAY – ROLE PLAY 1

Role  A – EBay CEO

You believe your company is the best in the world. It pays its workers very well and working conditions are great. Your company is very green – it cares about the environment. You think your levels of customer service are great. Disagree with person B, C and D.

Role  B – EBay worker

You think it’s a bad company to work for. You’re very unhappy with pay, raises and bonuses. You are very unhappy with the working environment. You don’t like the company’s policy on the environment. You keep hearing profits are more important than customers. Disagree with A and C. Tell D the truth.

Role  C – EBay customer

You are a customer of EBay. You used to think it was great, but not now. Its workers are always very rude. No one ever answers the phone. You are shocked about its policy on the environment. You think all staff should get less pay. You disagree with person A and B. Tell D the truth.

Role  D – A journalist

You keep hearing bad things about EBay. You want to tell the world in your newspaper. You heard the CEO gets a huge bonus every year. You found a company memo saying profits are more important than the environment. You want to know why so many staff are ill. Find the truth.

*  EBAY – ROLE PLAY 2

Role  A – EBay New Products Director

You have created a new product for EBay. You believe the new product will be the company’s best ever. It will be a bestseller. There are people who do not agree with you. You need B, C and D on your side. Tell them why this is a product that will bring great things to EBay.

Role  B – EBay Marketing Director

You think the company’s new product is a really bad idea. It will give your company a really bad name. You think the New Products Director is trying to destroy the company. Try to get him/her to understand there’s no way the new product will sell. Try to get person C and D on your side.

Role  C – EBay Market Researcher

You have interviewed thousands of people about the new product. They don’t like it or hate it. You think it will be successful if they make many changes. Tell the New Products Director he/she needs to change the product. You neither like nor trust person B. Disagree will him/her.

Role  D – EBay Shareholder

You know a lot about EBay’s new product. You are worried it will not sell and share prices will go down. You think A is crazy and must find a new job. You agree with everything B says. You don’t agree with C. The new product should not go on the market.

*  JOB INTERVIEW ROLE PLAY

INTERVIEWER  (Write the questions you want to ask the candidate.)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

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4.

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5.

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6.

________________________________________________________

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INTERVIEWEE  (Write questions you want to ask the interviewer.)

1.

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2.

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3.

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4.

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5.

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6.

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*  DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

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2.

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3.

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4.

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5.

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6.

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STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

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3.

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4.

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5.

________________________________________________________

6.

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*  EBAY SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about EBay in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

*  WRITING 1 – SPEED WRITING

Write anything about EBay for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

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*  WRITING 2 – LETTER OF COMPLAINT

Write a letter to EBay. Complain about one of its products. Ask for a refund. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

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*  WRITING 3 – LETTER OF APOLOGY

Write a letter of apology to the customer. Explain why you cannot give a refund. Show your partner your letter. Correct each other’s work.

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*  HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET INFO: Search the Internet and find more information about EBay. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about EBay. What have they done recently? What are their plans? Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. EBAY POSTER Make a poster about EBay. Make sure you sell the company to the public.  Show it to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your posters.

5. MY EBAY LESSON: Make your own English lesson on EBay. Make sure there is a good mix of things to do. Find some good online activities. Teach the class / another group when you have finished.

6. ONLINE SHARING: Use your blog, wiki, Facebook page, MySpace page, Twitter stream, Del-icio-us / StumbleUpon account, or any other social media tool to get opinions on eBay. Share your findings with the class.

ANSWERS

You can check your answers to these activities by looking at the article at the top of this page.

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