DubLi Versus eBay

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Online auctioning has changed the way people shop online. With so many shopping portals available to consumers, each marketplace tries to separate themselves from the others: eBay has been the online shopping giant for years.

Offering users the chance to buy and sell via conventional auctions, but with the introduction of DubLi, a new online reverse auction shopping portal, could eBay's tried and true methods be in trouble?

Auction, Flip It and Reverse It:

eBay provides three ways to shop: Auction-style listings, which allow the seller to offer items for sale for a specific number of days with the option of establishing a reserve price; a fixed price format, which offers a "Buy It Now" price that buyers can agree to immediately.

They can win the auction without having to submit a bid; and a fixed price format with best offer, in which the seller can submit a counter offer for the buyer if they are not satisfied with the initial bid. Best offer auctions are not available in every category or in auction-style listings.

DubLi auctions, like eBay, are set for a pre-determined period of time, but with an opposite approach. Instead of buyers attempting to outbid another by raising the price, the goal is to find the lowest unique bid to win. Buyers can make bids in $0.25 increments, and will know as soon as they place their bid whether it is the lowest unique bid at the time.

As long as the auction continues, bidders will be notified by e-mail if someone else has bid at their amount, cancelling their current status as the lowest unique bidder. Bidders can actually bid over a range of prices during the duration of the auction.

For example, a user could bid across the price range of $3.00 to $5.50, until the last 5 minutes, where only single bids will be allowed. In order to place a bid, DubLi credits are required, which cost $0.80 a piece.

DubLi also has something similar to eBay's "Buy It Now" button, except the price of the item is constantly decreasing. A pre-determined maximum sale price is listed - the reverse of a reserve price on eBay, and in order to see the current price, users must use a credit.

Each time someone uses a credit to view the current sale price, the price is reduced by $0.25. The key to this style of bidding is for the buyer to judge when they believe the price is low enough, but not too low that someone else will buy it before them.

Shopping With Scruples:

Both eBay and DubLi have held charity auctions in the past. A furniture manufacturer once raised over $35,000 for Ronald McDonald House by auctioning off furniture signed by celebrities. DubLi has dabbled in charity recently by partnering with American Idol Jordin Sparks, auctioning off a prize package of Sparks merchandise in order to raise a total of $5,000 for Sparks' Charities.

Spending Money and Making Money:

While eBay offers users the chance to sell their own merchandise through the website, DubLi offers its users a chance to sell name brand merchandise through their own DubLi storefront instead. The downside is that sellers can't post any personal items to offer buyers; however, they also don't have to worry about shipping and handling.

Owning an eBay account can be a really easy way for anyone to get rid of something around their house, while DubLi's seller program requires branding and marketing strategies in order for a user's particular store to be successful.

While eCommerce becomes more and more prominent, it can be crucial for both buyers and sellers online to pay close attention to the similarities, differences, and constant changes in the online shopping world. For more information on reverse auctioning, visit http://us.dubli.com.

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