More than 430,000 people in United States - more than are employed worldwide by General Electric and Procter & Gamble combined - earn a full- or part-time living by selling things on online auction site eBay.com.
According to BusinessWeek Online, becoming an eBay entrepreneur is the latest fad for American career women who are beginning to realise that trying to juggle work and children just isn't worth the hastle -† and that all the talk of work-life balance isn't going to change anything.
It's no coincidence that the rise of the eBay mompreneurs comes as more highly educated women are choosing to stay at home with young children. The percentage of working women with children under the age of one dropped from a record 59% in 1998 to 55% in 2002, after rising steadily for 30 years. Some see the decrease as a referendum on the work-life balance. As in, it doesn't exist.
Trading everything from fashion to farm equipment, the highest-sellers are said to be making up to $1 million a month.
On eBay, however, says Marsha Collier, author of the bestselling Starting an eBay Business for Dummies, "there's no commuting. No back-stabbing. No office politics. No glass ceiling. No need to waste gas. No waiting in line at the post office, because they'll pick up for free. I mean, how much better could it be?"