Ebay, online auction sites are brilliant

Online auction sites like Ebay provide the online shopper with everything they desire while eliminating the need for any sort of in-house inventory.

These sort of Web sites are set up so that users can sell their own stuff to other users. Basically, people are buying and selling products that are not owned by the Web site itself. So, Ebay doesn’t own the products being sold. Those products are owned by other business who use Ebay or individual users selling personal items.

The system works great. By giving all the buying and selling power to the user, all Ebay has to do is facilitate and keep the structure in place and working efficiently. By having an online auction site, Ebay doesn’t have to order any product or monitor its inventory like other businesses that have actual stores. Ebay doesn’t need to worry about having enough of a popular sports equipment piece or a best selling novel in stock because the users feed the inventory.

Online auction sites are easy to use and full of interactivity. The experience begins with a search, usually typing in what you’re looking for or navigating through the site’s navigation. After that the user sifts through what is usually a large pool of results specific to the search. The user then decides which person they want to buy the product from, using price and the seller as determining factors to make their decision.

A concern for consumers is always the trust factor. Do I trust this person enough to buy their product? Ebay and other auction sites solve this problem by using PayPal’s secure system and by establishing a seller rating system where users can rate and comment on their experience with the seller. The better the experience the higher the seller rating.

I personally use online auction sites a lot. I used sited like half.com to buy text books, eBay to buy golf equipment and ticket sites like Stubhub.com to find tickets to a sporting event. They are convenient and always have the product you are looking for.

How are online auction sites organized?  What elements of interactivity are conducive on the site for browsing and purchasing?

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