The internet has no shortage of online stores. There are millions of websites that cater to online shopping, designed for anybody and everybody who may be interested in what they’re offering. Shops and clearing houses usually represent businesses: big name retailers, wholesalers and vendors. But what about typical users like you and me – isn’t there a way we can get in on buying, selling and trading without having to, ya know, own a business?
Even if you aren’t set up to move volume and even if you don’t have a website of your own, you can still use the Internet to move your goods and get things from other people. Sure, sites like eBay come to mind, and that particular site is a big part of the the peer-to-peer market system. But thanks to the sharing economy, eBay has become a forerunner in what is now a spectrum of options that let you sell, trade, and even loan out money from your hand to the hand of another person, all thanks to the cloud.
Bidding isn’t a new concept for the internet, but it has created a special niche for buyers and sellers. eBay is easily the biggest of the bunch, and it also stands alone as a peer-to-peer site. The rundown (in case you aren’t familiar with online auctions) is straightforward: anyone with things to sell can set up an account on eBay, take some pictures of the item and list it.
Another user can find the item, bid for it and/or buy directly from you. Even if you don’t want to list the item yourself, you can use the eBay service (now called Valet) that allows you to mail the item to an eBay processing center so that they can list it for you. Continue reading