By Ina Steiner
November 27, 2008
A number of auction sites and marketplaces issued announcements this week, here is a look at some of the news coming out of eBay-alternative sites, including new features, promotions and milestones.
Alibris Celebrates 10 Years of Supporting Independent Booksellers
Alibris, an independently owned online global marketplace for new, rare, and used books, CDs, and DVDs, announced its 10-year anniversary. Over 12,000 independent sellers around the world offer more than 100 million items on the site. Alibris has partnerships with leading media retailers including Barnes & Noble, Borders and Amazon.com and has sold more than 35 million books, music items, and movies.
Bonanzle Tops 10,000 Users, Overhauls Search and Category
Bonanzle reached 10,000 registered users on November 23, 2008, and is close to reaching 400,000 listings. Bonanzle said over 1,000 new buyers and sellers register each week. The auction site recently overhauled its search and category structure, adding a new search and about 26,700 additional categories, up from 300 categories when the site initially launched earlier this year. Search results now display more items per page (48 instead of 20), and the default listing format has been changed from the small-pictured list to the item gallery used everywhere else on the site. The complete list is found on the category list page. The company said the focus of November improvements was on "features that increase sales."
cMarket Raises $50 Million for Nonprofits
cMarket recently topped $50 million raised for nonprofits through over 5,000 online fundraising auctions to over 250,000 consumers. A spokesperson said the model has gotten increasingly sophisticated, bringing nonprofits, consumers and product/service marketers together in a self-propelling network. "The company and the CEO have received numerous awards and now offer a Holiday Gift Guide of thousands of items in 200 + charity auctions." Also of note, CEO Jon Carson recently blogged about the impact the economy is having on fundraising.
eBid Hosts Happy Hour Auctions, Runs $2500 Promo
In the run up to the holidays, eBid.net is increasing listings on their Happy Hour Auctions where bids start at $10 with no reserve. From November 24 - December 31, Happy Hour auctions will be held daily between 6pm - 10pm EST. eBid.net also announced it is awarding a cash bonus of $2,500 to the successful seller that lists the 2 millionth item on its site. Co-founder Mark Wilkinson said, "I am delighted with the pace of our growth and this promotion is our way of thanking customers who are joining us in substantial and consistent numbers enabling us to record double digital monthly growth ahead of the market." The promotion is part of eBid�s marketing strategy to drive new customers to its site and create a buzz about its business.
eCrater Strengthens Backend, Launches New Features in '08
eCrater has 1.5 million listings and 89,653 registered sellers. It recently strengthened its back-end to make sure it can sustain the load during the upcoming holiday shopping season. A recent AuctionBytes articles summarizes new features added over the past year.
GoAntiques Launches Live Auctions Powered by Proxibid
GoAntiques is now running live auctions on its site powered by Proxibid. The online antiques mall had been running "live," online-only auctions through eBay Live Auctions platform, which is closing on December 31, 2008. GoAntiques also reduced the buyer's premium fee from 17.5 percent to 15 percent. The GoAntiques auctions are conducted through Proxibid, a competitor to eBay Live Auctions that was profiled in AuctionBytes in the spring. GoAntiques will be hosting, on average, 40 to 50 live auctions a month. The current calendar of auctions is available online, with the first one scheduled for December 1st.
OnlineAuction.com Clears out Data, Holds Black Friday Sale
OnlineAuction.com (OLA) announced it is clearing out old data on December 1, 2008, and warned users to print out any needed documents (including invoices, sold auctions, and O-Mail) as soon as possible. Templates and Current & Auto listings will not be affected by this process. In the future, all data 90 days and older will be archived. OnlineAuction.com sellers have also organized a Black Friday sale from November 28 through December 1, 2008. Sellers are running promotions to attract shoppers, including free shipping, big discounts and mystery gifts with orders. More than 50 OLA sellers have already signed up for the event.
Australia's OZtion Auction Site Reaches 350,000 Members
OZtion, Australia's second-largest online auction service, announced its membership now exceeds 350,000, with 800,000 items listed for sale. OZtion General Manager, Phillip Druce attributes the success of the company to having a unique understanding of Australian online shoppers. "We have experienced a nice steady growth in our member numbers during 2008, along with some larger migrations to our site during periods when our rivals have experienced problems, like eBay's PayPal situation. Our success and excellent growth in Australia can be attributed to our unique value proposition for sellers, our commitment to customer care and providing a great experience for all members."
Ruby Lane Helps Online Shoppers Gear-up for Cyber Monday
Ruby Lane, an online antiques mall, launched a new lane format and new features this year to make searching and shopping on the site even easier. Ruby Lane allows shoppers to search for a specific item within their budget. The company said it saw trends in the fall season that showed the most popular price points were $25, $50 and $75. Rubylane.com has more than 360,000 antiques, art, vintage collectibles, and jewelry items from over 2,000 individually owned shops.