March 29, 2002, 12:00 AM

AuctionWatch recovers from its move to fee-based services

The customer base at AuctionWatch, a 3-year-old provider of online auction software and services that helps small businesses list inventory for online auctions, has grown to 80,000 from 50,000 in the past six months.

 

The customer base at AuctionWatch, a 3-year-old provider of online auction software and services that helps small businesses list inventory for online auctions, has grown to 80,000 from 50,000 in the past six months, Rodrigo Sales, CEO, tells InternetRetailer.com. AuctionWatch lost about 30% of its customer base when it switched from an ad-based revenue model to fee-based, Sales says.

AuctionWatch built its business model on selling ad space on its site to marketers who wanted to reach small businesses who would come to AuctionWatch to sell items or to find items to buy. When the online advertising market tanked,. AuctionWatch switched to a fee service. Its standard fee schedule is 10 cents to list each of the first 50 items, 5 cents per item after that and 1% of every sale. AuctionWatch also offers subscription services to accommodate sellers with high volume/low margin items or low volume/high margin items. Those plans range from $12.95 per month to $39.95 per month without the 1% transaction fee.

Sales says AuctionWatch is driving about 8.5% of eBay’s 6 million U.S.-based listings. "We attribute our growth to the trend among retail businesses to use online auctions as a viable sales channel,” he says. “There’s been a shift on auction sites like eBay from collectible-oriented listings to business listings." Overall AuctionWatch customers list more than 2 million items per month using AuctionWatch and are successfully selling $500 million in merchandise per year through eBay, Yahoo Auctions and other auction sites, he says.

AuctionWatch provides services to help small retailers sell online, including selecting photos and product descriptions, listing items on auction sites and providing marketing support.

 

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