eBay Proxy Firms

By Deane Barker on May 3, 2004

Firms jump on the eBay wagon: Here’s an article about eBay proxy companies — outfits that take your merchandise and sell it on eBay for you, taking a commission off the top.

We’ve talked about these before. This article explains how eBay is really working to help these firms instead of squashing them, which is what I thought they’d try to do. A good example of a company knowing a strategic resource when it sees one, instead of trying to kill anything that touches any part of their enterprise.

ISold It may be just the beginning. Scores of companies are springing up to do everything from helping computer neophytes sell the dusty Tonka trucks piled in their basements to assisting Best Buy auction its surplus DVD players and laptops. There are even companies whose only function is to help eBay buyers and sellers get better prices.

Hello, eBay economy.

I was interested in this quote as well about the power of the purchasing model that eBay has created:

This is what usually happens with most good business ideas. The invention of the automobile spawned industries such as oil, auto-parts stores, car washes and even drive-in theaters. Kodak’s invention of low-cost photography gave rise to one-hour photo developers and even photos of the kids with Santa Claus at the mall. Each was a phenomenon in itself, but all were tied to the growth of the underlying industry.

EBay is proving to be the first invention of such importance in decades. More than $894 worth of goods were sold through eBay every second during the fourth quarter of 2003. There are about 95 million registered users, which is larger than the population of France, Italy or Germany.

I’m inclined to agree. A very wealthy Internet entrepenuer I spoke with a few months ago told me that eBay was the single best way he knew of making a million dollars in two years (interestingly, he made his millions in an entirely different method — he was just an armchair eBayer).

On a more personal level, my wife went on an eBay selling binge earlier this year. She offloaded scads of stuff I didn’t even know we still owned, and has pocketed close to $1,000 to date. A thousand bucks for…nothing.

eBay is rapidly becoming the manifestation of the “global marketplace” cliche.



  1. “A thousand bucks for…nothing.” what about ebays commission, what about these proxy company commissions, what about the time and effort to shit. they’re not much, but they’re not nothing.

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