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Sun Dec 4 2005 22:30:51

Auctions vs. Fixed-Price: One perspective

By: Ina Steiner

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Reyne Haines and I got into an email conversation after I received her press release announcing her site was celebrating its 8th birthday. She started in 1997 as an auction site, then turned it into a dealer mall. The article is in Monday's newsletter (preview). Here's an interesting paragraph that didn't make it into the article:

We stopped offering auctions when the auction phenominon was at its height. Do you remember the book I wrote about online auctions? I covered over 1000 auctions in Vol II - and you just couldn't keep up with the number of new ones popping up each day. The problem bidders started to face we felt was there was too much stuff to bid on. And they had limited amounts of money to spend.  What would happen if they bid on 5 things, and ended up with all 5.  That could be a problem.  People weren't really getting things "at a bargain" as they were early on when eBay started and the concept was new.  I figured, go back to the basics of selling. Fixed price sales. Bidders know how much money is in their pocket to spend today. If you are considering a fixed price item, you can get it have the money to pay for it now....problem solved.  We started offering fixed price sales intermixed with our 3-7-10 day auctions.  We called them 30 day classified ads.  It seemed my theory was correct.  People started spending more money buying than bidding.  Eventually we phased out the auction format altogether, and opened dealer shops. It just made sense to us. And now, almost 70 dealers later, and over 13,000 glass items for sale, I guess we are doing something right. - Reyne Haines,

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