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Source: www.springwise.com

UPDATE | DECEMBER 2004

With eBay Nation now boasting more than 125 million citizens and doing tens of billions of dollars in gross merchandise sales, an entire eco-system has sprung up to facilitate sellers and bidders. Remember drop-off shops like DropShopStore and AuctionDrop where consumers and businesses can drop off items they want to auction? The stores handle all listing, shipping and payment settlements with buyers, then forward a check to the seller for the final selling price minus commissions and listing fees. There are now more than 20 companies in this space, but the opportunities still seem borderless. In the US, check out players like NuMarkets, PostNet, QuikDrop, and ExpressDrop.

Meanwhile, pioneer AuctionDrop signed a deal with UPS turning 3,400 UPS stores into drop-off locations and shipping centers. iSold, one of the other first players in this space, plans to have over 300 stores under contract nationwide soon, aggressively pursuing a franchise formula. In Germany, Dropshop.de recently secured EUR 9 million from venture capitalists like Benchmark Capital and Index. The money will be used to open up more stores in Germany and the UK. They'll no doubt end up competing with London based SellStuffEasy and Auctioning4u. Sellstuffeasy stays true to its name by offering an item-pick up service for GBP 15.

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