New online auction site aims at resellers

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Online auction site OZtion has pitched its service to computer resellers, claiming that the eight-month-old site will save the channel money and marketing resources.

Online auction site OZtion has pitched its service to computer resellers, claiming that the eight-month-old site will save the channel money and marketing resources.

Philip Druce, general manager of online auction upstart OZtion, said OZtion let resellers list items online to broaden their reach. Listing an item cost nothing, but a successful sale would attract a fee of up to $30, he said.

OZtion had found that MP3 and computer-related products were popular categories and specifically wanted to attract retailers and IT resellers to the site, he said.

"We have specifically tailored our online auction service to attract businesses selling high value products," Druce said. "The hardest part about selling things online is attracting buyers to your own website."

Melbourne-based OZtion had around 100,000 visits to the site a month. "Because the listing costs nothing, businesses selling technology products have nothing to lose," Druce said.

As with eBay, resellers would have to enter details of the product and could also include photographs. The OZtion site started in January, he said.

GraysOnline auction website charged fees to buyers and sellers. Meanwhile, eBay harvested listing fees and selling fees as well, Druce said.

OZtion let resellers use multiple photographs and html formatting for product descriptions. Items could be fixed price or auctioned with any starting price, he said.

The site had credit card and address verification and used a Paymate payment system. Customer service for sellers was provided by OZtion staff in Melbourne, Druce said.

Druce and technical manager Kelvin Yip were major shareholders of OZtion. "There are several other Australian investors," Druce added.

So far, the auction site had attracted about 1000 "regular" sellers. It expected to win another 3000 over the next year, he said.

"Marketing activities have focused around targeted online campaigns to increase website traffic, and recruit both buyers and sellers," Druce said.

Druce said he also ran a reseller called Datalink Solutions that specialised in database software design and development. That company was still operating, he said.

He claimed to have "extensive" previous experience selling and using online auctions and had developed software, dubbed AuctionEzy, to make managing items sold on eBay easier for sellers, he said.

Meanwhile, Yip had previously run his own business. Dubbed i3 Web Solution, it was a website development firm, Druce said.

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