The Internet is a place of monsters. Every few years, a monster pops up and reigns in our little Online Kingdom, seeming impossible to overthrow. Seeming, in fact, to have no competition at all. eBay is one of these monsters; the reigning site in the kingdom of Internet auctions. Established in 1995, this long-standing giant is a force to be reckoned with, and for many is the only online auction site they trust.
After all… with such a behemoth ruling the kingdom of online auctions, it’s probably not even worth trying some of the smaller, newer auction sites out there.
Actually, it is.
That aura of infinite possibility –the one that makes the Internet so exciting– is all about the little guy, the new guy. The upstart. And though eBay has truly earned its title as the world leader in online auctions, a lot of newer, smaller online auction sites are doing it just as well– and are worth checking out.
eBay’s Large Competitors and “Alternative eBays”
eBay has competition, and lots of it. While there are a wide range of online auctions sites, there are some in particular that pose quite a threat to eBay. These are medium and large auctions sites that appeal to a wide slice of the market, such as Overstock.com, uBid.com, and ePier.com.
Though all are smaller than behemoth eBay, one of the things that makes these upstart auction sites so competitive is the volume of items available. Even with eBay taking up a large slice of the market, these sites have been able to attract enough buyers and sellers to offer a large inventory of auctions. Which, of course, attracts more buyers and sellers. In fact, many upstart auctions sites are twice the size they were a year or two ago, and have plenty of room to grow.
However, more than a large volume of items, what non-eBay internet auction sites do best is… offer an alternative to eBay. Because while “The Behemoth” has its devotees, there is also a large number of Internet users who have had bad experiences with eBay, and are looking for an alternative.
Truth is, eBay’s buying and selling system is generally a good one. But the same system can’t work for everybody– and each user wants something a little different. Alternative-to-eBay online auction sites offer this; each site has a slightly different fee scheme for sellers, auction management system for buyers, and overall registration format for their users.
Product-Specific Auction Sites
As well as large, eBay-comparable marketplaces, there are also plenty of small auction sites out there. Some of these small auction sites actually highlight their differences eBay to attract users. Some focus on local auctions and silent auction ideas searches. Others provide features hard to find elsewhere, such as fee-free selling and the ability to deal with individual companies instead of individual sellers. But the most popular small auction sites on the web deal with product-specific auctions.
There’s an online auction site out there for just about any product available to buy on the web. From boats to jewelery to software, each product has an auction marketplace for buyers and sellers.
Shopping at a product-specific auction site has a lot of obvious advantages. For buyers, sellers at these sites generally specialize in this type of product. It’s also difficult to get side tracked with other items during a search, and there’s no risk of having search results contaminated by inappropriate products that have been placed (intentionally) in the wrong category. For sellers, there’s the obvious advantage of buyer focus. A potential buyer who visits a product-specific auction site is more focused than one simply checking out eBay– and more likely to buy.
In the end, while eBay is a good option for those looking to buy and sell on the Internet, “The Behemoth” isn’t the only worthwhile auction site out there. The truth is, many “Upstart” sites have improved upon what eBay started… and do it even better.