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Chapter 23. Creating Online Auction Stor... > Auctions: from Sideshow to Mainstrea...

Auctions: from Sideshow to Mainstream

The Internet has taken auctions from a sideshow where people drove to barns in the backwoods of Maine or took their limos down to Sotheby's on Park Avenue, to a full-fledge economic force. The basic ability of the Internet to gather large pools of customers, and for computer technology to create an automated auctioneer system, has created a strong e-commerce opportunity for merchants.

At the same time, auctions are not for everyone—the merchandise must be right, and you need a good group of bidders to gain the advantage of demand to drive up pricing. For many, the best model is a combination of the two basic commerce types. You can offer dynamic pricing via online auctions for unique goods that have an undetermined final value. And you can use traditional fixed pricing for more standard items.


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