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  • Published : April 18, 2002
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Running head: ECOMMERCE

The Popularity of Online Auctions

The Popularity of Online Auctions
The opportunity to shop from the comfort of ones own home has seen a change like never seen before. Within the span of a few short years, what may have began as an experimental idea has grown to an immensely popular hobby, and in some cases, a means of livelihood, the online auction gathers tremendous response everyday, all day. With the point and click of the mouse, one may bid on an item they may need or just want, and in moments they find that either they are the top bidder or someone else wants it more, and you're outbid! The excitement of an auction all from the comfort of home. With this opportunity to buy sight unseen also comes the opportunity to be scammed sight unseen as well. There are over 30 million ‘hits' each month on the online auction sites, and that is opportunity waiting to be taken for those with the criminal intent of defrauding others. However with a little care and caution, one can have a positive experience doing business on an online auction, and each party can leave satisfied with their ‘deal', whether they are the buyer, the seller, or the conveyance that brought it all together. eCommerce

The Popularity of Online Auctions

"Congratulations! This eBay item has successfully ended." (eBay, retrieved 11 April 2002, Sellers Guide, Many people each day receive this message in their e-mail box, notifying them that they have won the bid on an item listed with eBayâ, for sale to the highest bidder. In fact, online auctions have become so popular, they are gathering multi-billion dollar per year business.

Top auction sites, January 2002
SiteUnique visitorsSiteUnique visitors
eBay28.9 millionMyitem.com860,000
Yahoo! Auctions3.7 612,000
uBid.com3.1 million BuyBidWin.com487,000
Andale sites2.2 millionPhilTanny.com279,000
All auctions 32.3 million
Note: Usage numbers for individual sites exceed total because duplicate users, those visiting more than one site, have been eliminated. The total does not include Auctions. Source: Jupiter Media Metrix

(Mulrean, J., 5 steps to avoiding auction rip-offs,
retrieved 12 April 2002 from MSN Money, ground for fraud.) In 2000, the eBay community transacted more than $5 billion in annualized gross merchandise sales (value of goods traded on the eBay site). (eBay, retrieved 11 April 2002,Company Overview,, and for all of 2001, EBay generated revenue of US$748.8 million, representing a 74 percent annual growth. That is serious money by anyone's standards. "EBay has been profitable nearly since Day One," Morningstar analyst David Kathman told the E-Commerce Times. "It has stayed profitable while expanding margins and maintaining growth." Vigoroso, M., (2002) And the E-Commerce Gold Medal Goes to… retrieved 11 April 2002, from NewsFactorä Network site:

EBay was founded in 1995, and has become a major force in the "online goods and services" marketplace. They are the world's largest online marketplace by their own definition, and with 42.2 million registered users, as measured by Media Metrix, it is not difficult to believe that this is true. (eBay, retrieved 11 April 2002,Company Overview, from, EBay began with a mission to try to help "practically anyone trade practically anything on earth". (eBay, retrieved 11 April 2002,Company Overview, As evidence of the success of this mission, there are millions of items listed each day in thousands of...
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