Since the birth of eBay in 1995, the online auction industry has seen phenomenal growth. While it is dominated by a few giants, hundreds of smaller full service and niche auction sites continue to compete for their piece of the ever growing auction sales pie, which is estimated by Forrester Research to reach $54 billion in sales by 2007.
ShopGoodwill.com http://shopgoodwill.com, one of the smaller full service auction sites, got its start in August 1999, when a group of entrepreneurs from Goodwill Industries of Orange County, California, decided to take the Internet plunge and open up an auction site to serve their local population.
The results were so successful that they decided to open up the auction to Goodwill organizations throughout the United States. Today, there are about ninety-one participating Goodwills utilizing the site.
According to Joan M. Dornbach, Vice President for Marketing & Public Relations at Goodwill Industries of Orange County, "Shopgoodwill.com provides an online retail venue for Goodwills to expand their retail markets, thus increasing revenues in support of mission-based services." Dornbach said over $9 million in sales has been generated through the site since January 1, 2002.
At any one time, Shopgoodwill.com lists over five thousand items in one of seventeen categories: Antiques; Art; Books & Records; Cameras & Electronic Equipment; Clothing; Collectibles; Collector Plates; Figurines; Glass; Home Decor; Jewelry & Gemstones; Musical Instruments; Pottery; Seasonal & Holiday; Sports; Tableware & Kitchenware; Toys & Dolls.
By far the collectibles category is the largest, offering the gamut of items desired by all who consider themselves collectors. Anything, from antique bulldog postcards to stamps, can be found there. The breadth of listed items is limited only by the donations received by Goodwills throughout the country.
Perhaps the greatest strength of ShopGoodwill.com is its integrity. In fact, integrity is one of Goodwill Industries core values. While the business pages of newspapers and magazines regularly print stories of scams associated with many online auction sites, exacerbating already uneasy customer feelings about online shopping, ShopGoodwill.com stands on a pledge of integrity. The email to each of the participating Goodwills is posted next to their auction items for any questions. Customers are invited to contact the system administrator should any sales issues arise that can not be dealt with on an individual basis.
Registration is free, and shopping is open to the public. If you are in the market for almost anything and are tired of clicking through thousands of eBay pages, you will want to check out the site. All proceeds go to Goodwill Industries, one of the country's top charities.