Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Smaller Auction Sites

A lot is being written about the large auction sites right now. eBay, Yahoo, Amazon, and Overstock. You can readily find information on these sites and I will continue to discuss them as new developments arise. But in this post I want to cover a few of the not so well known auction sites. My intention is to give a general rundown of their features and to provide some useful links to other sources of information about these sites.

Some of these sites are recent entries into the auction sellers world, that have popped up in the wake of eBays price increase, others have been around for some time. I am not indorsing any of these sites because I do not sell on any of them. This list is provided to give you some information that you may not be able to find anywhere else.

Please do the due diligence prior to getting involved with any of these sites or any other on line operation for that matter. The major thing that you should consider is how you can fit these sites into your business model and get them to work for you. They all have some interesting features and the savvy seller can make them work.

Features - BidVille has most of the normal features that sellers have come to expect from a selling site. They have search function as well as Watch List, Image Gallery, and fixed price listing options. They also have a community area which has a message board.

BidVille was founded in 1999 as an online auction alternative to eBay and is headquartered in Clearwater, Florida. Here is an article about BidVille being acquired. You can check out their ratings on Tucows here here. And here is an article from Forbes.com on Bidville.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- blujay

Features - They have 100% Totally free listings. Unlimited item listings
that last for 180 days. And they allow four photos per item. They also offer free store fronts. blujay has a manage your ad feature as well as allowing a seller to create a profile. And they upload items to Froogle. They also have a community area.

FreeAuctionScripts also host a discussionarea for blujay.

According to them; blujay is the free online marketplace for the small business and individual seller. Our goal is to make it free & easy to start selling online. blujay offers small businesses & individual sellers the tools, services, features needed to sell their goods online. A seller can list items and then link to their online store.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bidchaser

Features - Bidchaser has auctions, stores, gift shop, and a service directory. They also have Chat Boards, a Bulk Loader, Storefront package, and an affiliate program.

Bidchaser.com - Here is a press release
about Bidchaser from PRWeb. Auctionbytes reports on a deal between an Indian Company and Bidchaser.com. Here is a review from FTPPlanet.com's review section. And in this report from PRWeb
Bidchaser announces their “GEARup” Seller program, offering guaranteed lifetime fee structures for participating sellers. This program is aimed at eBay sellers.

Features - No fee if no sell. Free image hosting. No listing fee, a search function. An affiliate program. Their forum feature is listed as "meet friends".

Here is an article by Auctionbytes on ePier.

Here is a review of ePier over at FTPPlanet.

I present these articles and information here for your review. It goes without saying that you should decide what auction site that you will sell at via careful consideration of your goals and weighing the cost benefits, risk and rewards from using any of the above mentioned sites.

Also the forums that are listed are a mere sampling of what the many users of these sites have to say, so take many of the comments with a grain of salt.

Tip of the Day - Know the fees associated with the auction site that you choose. Various sites have different fee structures. Some have listing fees as well as final value fees. Others have fees associated with their store fronts. And these fees change constantly as with the case of eBay. But in truth all sites have fees that is how they make money, which is not a problem, but as a seller you have to make sure that the fees fit with in your business plan.

Fees are sometimes not placed up front for you to see prior to listing or buying on the site. If you sell a low margin item it may be impossible for you to make a profit if the fees are too high.

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