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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 861 - October 04, 2004 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 4

Circuit City Closes Four eBay Drop-off Centers

By Ina Steiner
October 04, 2004

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Retailer Circuit City began a program in May to test the concept of selling items for consumers on eBay on a consignment basis. The chain closed four of its eight drop-off centers in September, but said it is still testing the concept in the four remaining Pittsburgh test centers.

Drop-off stores sell items for consumers on a consignment basis. Circuit City's test program is called Trading Circuit and charges a 35% commission for items that sell for $500 or less. Consignors can receive payment in the form of a check or can donate the proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club of America. They can also choose to receive payment in the form of a Circuit City gift card, in which case they receive 110% of the total payment due them.

Circuit City spokesperson Steve Mullen said Trading Circuit is a test business. They got "somewhat uneven results," he reported, and decided to close the four Atlanta centers to control costs and focus their efforts on the Pittsburgh centers. "We are learning lots of lessons," Mullen said.

The drop-off center in each store does its own listing on eBay. They use the extra warehouse space that was freed up when Circuit City stopped selling appliances. Consumers access drop-off areas from where they used to pick up appliances at separate entrances in the stores.

The first Trading Circuit opened in the Atlanta suburb of Morrow, Georgia, on May 15. The remaining three from Atlanta as well as all four Pittsburgh stores opened on June 21. The four Georgia locations closed on September 24.

Circuit City competitor Best Buy is rolling out a test program today. Four stores in Northern California will act as drop-off points for the AuctionDrop consignment service.


About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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