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Since their introduction several years ago, online auctions, such as eBay, have been one of the hottest destinations on the World Wide Web. Auction sellers are attracted by the prospect of a broad venue for their products and the possibility of high profits. Bidders on online auction sites are drawn to the unique shopping opportunities and potential to purchase hard-to-find items at low prices.
One such website in Mauritius is www.mauritiantrader.com . As an online marketplace, MauritianTrader offers a window of opportunities to businesses and individuals by allowing them to buy and sell almost anything online. It even gives buyers the opportunity to request a specific item from sellers (reverse auction). Items sold can be new or used ones and they cover all categories from electronics, fashion items, books, cars, antiques, furniture etc.
What makes online auctions so attractive to businesses is the number of people bidding against each other. It provides an instant audience that secures the seller the best price. As for the buyer, the speed, simplicity and variety of goods on offer can vastly speed up procurement.
Benefits of buying on auction websites
Bidding for products has advantages over traditional purchasing for both buyer and supplier. Businesses save time spent on procurement by finding, comparing, ordering and paying for products in one sitting. Repeat orders can also usually be made quickly and cheaply. Experienced bidders save time by using software to keep track of several auctions at once, setting up automated searches and bid alerts.
Many businesses use online auctions for buying items that are non-critical to their business such as office furniture, or to track down specialist equipment, that can be picked up second-hand at a keener price.
As for individuals, the convenience of sitting at home and shop for something is thrilling. Just a few clicks and you can find what you are looking for at great prices in a matter of seconds.
Benefits of selling on auction websites
Businesses selling products or services at an online auction are likely to see reduced marketing costs, as they are tapping into a ready-made community of buyers at a well-established auction. Moreover, they get access to a much wider market - small suppliers gain a worldwide audience.
Many companies find selling at auctions gives them useful feedback on their products and services - they treat it as an opportunity to test products and gauge value. Another key benefit is being able to offload excess stock quickly and cheaply. It can also help cut out the middle man.
Some individuals go for auction websites simply because they want to make some extra money. So, they buy products on sale and sell them at a slightly higher price but lower than the regular market price. Other people may just want to clear up clutter around the house by selling second hand items or even may want to start their own business by advertise their products online.
Mauritians have been lagging behind on online trading mainly because there was no local auction website in the past. Moreover Mauritians still hold on to their traditional ways of doing business. They feel the need to see-touch-feel a product before buying. However, with a local website like MauritianTrader, where users are mostly Mauritians, they can arrange to meet and view the item before making any payment.
Mauritians may feel skeptical at first to adopt this new way of doing business. Just like millions of people around the world buying and selling online, Mauritians will quickly realise the benefits they would derive from online trading. The uncertainty of a buyer's or seller's reliability may be another cause for not choosing online auctions. However, like eBay, MauritianTrader has a feedback feature. The buyer/seller gets a feedback at the end of each transaction. The more transactions, the more feedback and therefore the more a buyer/seller's "reputation" can be evaluated accurately.
It is high time Mauritians make use of this service, especially small businesses that do not necessarily have the powerful tools for effective marketing. Not only will they be selling to Mauritians but also obtain global exposure. Mauritius should make the next step and catch up with the latest methods of doing business effectively.
Z.Khan Economic Analyst
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