Selling through Auction Marketplaces
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Author: Nowshade Kabir
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Consumers are increasingly feeling more comfortable in buying
products through the Internet. According to a report released
recently by the Department of Commerce first-quarter retail sales
rose 23.8 percent to US$ 19.8 billion in the United States from
US$ 16 billion a year ago. E-commerce sales during the first
quarter of 2005 rose 6.4 percent from the fourth quarter of last
year. Forrester Research estimated that 2005 online retail sales
will increase at a pace of 22 percent. Today, a third of all
households in US make at least one purchase online within a year,
a figure which will grow to almost 40 percent by 2009, predicts
Forrester. As a seller, this strong growth of online sales means
that you have to put considerable stress on your Internet sales
endeavor if you are not doing this as yet.
According to statistics compiled for the Internet Retailer Top
400 Guide, the top retailers in 2004 garnered combined online
sales of more than US$ 51 billion, which accounts for 58.3
percent of all US Internet sales. The growth in online sales is
quite impressive for large retailers. J.C. Penny Co. Inc., for
example, reported a 35 percent year-over-year rise of online
sales in May, 2005. Can new online ventures boast same type of
significant growth? Unfortunately, not!
Each day, there are thousands of new companies are setting up
shops on the Internet trying to sell every conceivable type of
products and services. Most of these websites do not attract
enough visitors to make them profitable. Competition on the
Internet is fierce! Internet marketing campaigns are becoming
increasing expensive. Many small companies can't afford to spend
money required to promote their sites. So, what are the options
available for a small company with modest product range to thrive
on the Internet? One of the best sales channels, in my opinion,
on the Internet by far is auction marketplaces. Of course, no
matter what, you will still need to promote your website with all
the methods you can master. However, selling your products and
services through established auction marketplaces has its own
With 63.8 million unique visitors hitting the auction site only
in April of this year, eBay has established itself as the largest
marketplace on earth. In 2004 alone US$ 34.2 billion worth of
merchandize exchange hands on eBay. Presently, the site has
around 135 million registered users in 32 markets worldwide.
With such a vast community of buyers and sellers, eBay should be
your number one choice for selling your products or services
online. On the eBay you can sell any kind of item. The varieties
of stuffs people are selling through eBay are mind boggling! At
any given time there are over 29 million items displayed on eBay.
The number of new items added each day exceeds 3.5 million.
However, still many offline sellers perceive eBay as an auction
site for mainly collectible items. They can't be more wrong! The
largest selling category on the eBay is, believe it or not,
automobile and accessories, which comprises of almost 22 percent
of all sales. I have, personally, bought three luxury cars over
the course of last two years through eBay and I have nothing to
As a seller on the eBay, the biggest advantage that you gain is
the possibility of becoming from a local merchant to an
international player over night. If you are already selling
merchandize to consumers online or offline, eBay gives you an
additional sales channel without any extra cost. If you are
planning to begin selling goods or services through the Internet,
eBay allows you to start your business online quickly and with
You may have difficulty in imagining the biggest portal on our
planet as a marketplace, in some countries, like Japan and
Canada, Yahoo auction is, actually, doing better than eBay. In
the US market Yahoo has just announced its intention to eliminate
fees charged for using its auction site. This is a good news for
even many eBay power sellers. Some of them will definitely move
to Yahoo in a bid to save on high fees charged by eBay. The good
thing about Yahoo is slowly it is becoming a major hub for many
small business web stores. As a matter of fact, according to
Yahoo, every eighth online store is now hosted by Yahoo.
Amazon, may be is not as popular as eBay or Yahoo as far as
auction marketplace is concerned, however, many auctioneers claim
that some of the products sell better on Amazon than any other
Why should you consider selling through auction marketplaces?
Here are some reasons, why auction marketplaces are viable sales
channel for businesses:
• The auction marketplaces are very popular and each of
them has huge community of buyers and sellers.
• There is virtually no start-up cost involved.
• No extra overhead is required.
• You really don't have to set up a website to start
• Easy to learn.
While determining what to sell through auction marketplaces,
choose your products very carefully. Don't try to sell products
like DVD, cellular phones and similar common items. There are way
too many people are trying to sell those products. Do your
research before jumping into online auctions. Go through the
categories of your choice. See how your competitors are doing.
Check out the listings of sold items. For how much the products
you intend to list are getting sold for? What keywords your
prospective competitors are using to market these products? On
which auction site these products are selling better?
Go with the trend! Travel, cosmetics and jewelry sales are
expected to do better than other categories of e-commerce in
coming years. In every category of goods and services you will
find a niche, which is doing fairly well. All you have to do is
find that niche by making extensive and thorough research!
Selling through auction marketplaces like any other business
process requires sound judgment and careful planning. Be sure to
use them before starting your online sales. Nowshade Kabir, is the founder, primary developer and present
CEO of Rusbiz.com - a Global B2B Exchange with solutions to
create e-catalog, Web store, business process management and
other features to run a business online. You can read various
articles written by Nowshade Kabir at http://ezine.rusbiz.com.