An estimated 750,000 Americans now make all or part of their living on eBay -- and many of those online entrepreneurs hail from smaller towns, according to eBay's "Community Counts" project, which identified the site's most active communities.
During a three-week period in November, the online marketplace tracked how many times people from each ZIP code listed, sold, bid on, or bought items in auction. They also tracked participation in community forums and charitable activity through eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) Giving Works. Some 52 million of these activities took place during the study.
Based on the number of transactions per capita during the sample period, eight of the top 10 most active eBay communities are smaller towns. Lumberton, N.J., was the most active community, followed by Nashville, Tenn., Henderson, Nev., Las Vegas; Talpa, Texas, Graton, Calif., Farmington, Ky., Coaldale, Colo., Indian Trail, N.C., and Walnut, Ind.
"The eBay community has changed the economic fabric of America by enabling entrepreneurs to compete globally, no matter where they make their home," Bill Cobb, president of eBay North America said in a statement.
As a prize for being named No. 1 eBay Community for 2006, the company will host a celebration in Lumberton, N.J., and make a $10,000 contribution on behalf of the ZIP code's residents to a local charitable organization they choose from a list of possible beneficiaries.