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|Registration||required to sell and buy|
|Launched||August 2, 1999|
|572 (April 2016[update])|
MercadoLibre.com (literally "free market" in Spanish) or MercadoLivre in Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal) is an Argentine online marketplace dedicated to e-commerce and online auctions. eBay is the largest common stock owner in MercadoLibre, with 18.40% of total common stock. eBay entered into a strategic alliance with MercadoLibre in September 2001. MercadoLibre is Latin America's most popular e-commerce site by number of visitors. It is currently present in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Portugal, Uruguay and Venezuela.
MercadoLibre was established in August 1999 in Argentina and rapidly expanded to Brazil (as MercadoLivre.com), Mexico and other South American countries. Marcos Galperin, current CEO, began the company while still in business school at Stanford University. Finance professor Jack McDonald had been helping Marcos to contact potential investors, and asked John Muse, an invited speaker and co-founder of the Hicks Muse private equity fund, if Marcos could drive him to his private plane. Before boarding his plane, Muse expressed his desire to have his fund invest in the idea and soon thereafter the company started. MercadoLibre received funding from JPMorgan Partners, Flatiron Partners, Hicks Muse Tate and Furst, Goldman Sachs, GE Capital and Banco Santander Central Hispano. In September 2001 eBay acquired 19.5% of MercadoLibre in exchange for eBay's recently acquired Brazilian subsidiary of Ibazar.com.br. In this transaction, MercadoLibre also became eBay's exclusive partner for the Latin American region. eBay currently holds an 18.37% share in MercadoLibre with more than 50% of the board votes.
In 1999, MercadoLibre was chosen to be an Endeavor Entrepreneur.
In November 2005, MercadoLibre acquired DeRemate's operations in eight countries (till then, DeRemate (or Arremate.com in Brazil) was MercadoLibre main competitor in the region). The acquisition included Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.
In August 2008, MercadoLibre acquired the remnant DeRemate operations, including its Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil branches. This way, the company seeks to strengthen its leading position in Argentina and Chile.
In 2010, MercadoLibre.com launched new operations in Portugal.
The MercadoLibre system
MercadoLibre works in the way as eBay does: customers bid for an item or buy without bidding, and the customer with the highest bid after a determined date wins the item. But the main selling option MercadoLibre's community use is fixed price (80%). The seller offers a product at a fixed price and the first buyer who offers that amount, gets the product. The customer must then pay before receiving the item bought or by meeting with the seller in person, they can make the transaction face to face. There are various methods for paying, such as "MercadoPago" (MercadoLibre's version of PayPal), credit cards and money orders. When sending money to a seller, the customer puts his or her trust in the seller to send the item. Once the transaction is finished, the seller and the buyer can write feedback on each other.
"MercadoPago" is MercadoLibre's safety payment system. When adding MercadoPago in its listings, sellers allow buyers to choose among many payment alternative methods such as cash, bank transfers and credit cards or installments, among others.
"MercadoShops" is MercadoLibre's ecommerce solution for small and midsize business creating their own ecommerce website, integrated with MercadoLibre ecosystem and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
"MercadoSocios" MercadoLibre's Partners Program, allow small, medium and large websites to accumulate benefits through MercadoLibre's online promotion. Payments are generated once new users register and make operations referred by partners and when commissions are paid to MercadoLibre related to activity coming through partners websites.
"MercadoSolidario" was MercadoLibre's section where foundations and non-profit organisations sell products or organise charity auctions without paying any fee to MercadoLibre as part of its fundraising activities. Even the site is not available anymore it can be accesed via archive.org
||This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject. (November 2010)|
When MercadoLibre absorbed the DeRemate regional sites other than Argentina and Chile in 2005, MercadoLibre became a monopoly. Although other sites have emerged, none of them have been able to challenge MercadoLibre, similar to eBay's monopoly in English speaking countries. In September 2008, MercadoLibre acquired whole ownership of DeRemate, including the site Deremate.com had launched to renew its challenge for Latin American domination.
MercadoLibre does not take a stance on customer issues. The company employs a "buyer beware" policy in relation to fraud.