Consumers and businesses in Germany and the US can now drop off items they want sold on eBay. How's that for re-intermediation?
Leave it to auction juggernaut eBay to single-handedly inspire thousands of entrepreneurs to launch complementary services catering to eBay’s 95 million or so registered users. Our favorite new eBay feeder business? Auction drop-off shops! At DropShop in Munich, Germany and AuctionDrop, iSoldIt, AuctionWagon, and Quikdrop.com in the US, consumers and businesses can now drop off items they want to sell. Staff will evaluate the goods, take professional photographs, and prepare an attractive, detailed listing on eBay. They’ll then track the auction, answer questions from prospective buyers, and process payment when the auction closes. Once an item has been sold, they’ll ship it to the winner, and send their customer a check minus the shop’s commission, which ranges from 20 to 40% of the final selling price. Items that don’t sell are returned. Benefits for consumers and businesses extend beyond just saving precious time and hassle: selling on Ebay these days is quite an endeavour (feedback ratings, ad and price strategies, PayPal accounts!), so what started out as the ultimate do-it-yourself service has turned into something better left to professionals. This latter also explains the massive growth of eBay’s Trading Assistants Program, which allows individuals to leverage their eBay selling experience, sell and buy on behalf of others, and basically function as one-man drop-off stores. More than 21,000 people worldwide have registered. To qualify, a seller must have a minimum of 50 feedback comments from previous eBay sales, at least one transaction in the previous 30 days and a positive rating from at least 98 percent of his/her customers. How’s that for re-intermediation?!