EBay stands for "Echo Bay." Pierre Omidyar discovered that another company had already taken EchoBay.com. He registered his next choice for a domain name instead: eBay.com.
In 1995, Omidyar founded his company under the name AuctionWeb as an open marketplace for buyers and sellers. Because customers and the media preferred to call the site eBay, he and then company president Jeffrey Skoll officially changed the name in September 1997. He originally wanted to name his online business after his computer consulting firm Echo Bay Technology Group, but the gold mining company Echo Bay Mines had already registered the domain EchoBay.com.