Grab A Bargain.com Takes Aim at eBay, Half.com

Aiming to carve out a spot in the peer-to-peer e-commerce space that has been dominated by players like eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) and eBay-owned Half.com, Grab A Bargain.com on Tuesday officially launched its fixed-price bargain marketplace for the buying and selling of books, music and movies.

While notions of David versus Goliath — or Netscape versus Microsoft — may be conjured by some industry observers, Grab A Bargain president and chief executive officer Peter Antunes told the E-Commerce Times that Grab A Bargain.com is confident it can coexist with, if not unseat, competitors eBay and Half.com.

Orlando, Florida-based Grab A Bargain is currently available only to buyers and sellers in the U.S. and to buyers in Canada, but Antunes said that within four months, Canadian sellers will be able to participate. Additionally, Grab A Bargain said it plans to have consumers in the UK and continental Europe buying and selling on the site by first quarter 2002.

The Fix-It Site

Grab A Bargain, which boasts an inventory of more than 2 million items, said it is hoping its relative simplicity will drive it toward success. Unlike online auctions, sellers at Grab A Bargain do not accept competing bids for items. Rather, they offer goods at a fixed discounted rate, sometimes to the tune of 50 to 90 percent off the original price.

Further, sellers pay no listing fees. Whether they are an individual or a corporation, sellers provide basic product information and then pay a commission to Grab A Bargain.com only if the item sells.

“It has been proven that in today’s ‘Internet society’ through the success of online auctions, people are willing to buy and sell almost anything online,” Antunes said. “Our goal is to provide a marketplace where consumers can buy or sell without the listing hassles or financial risks associated with online auctions.”

Individual Tracking

Antunes said that he has spent hours watching online newsgroups looking for clues on how to serve users better.

“I’ve noticed a lot of customers complaining about a lack of customer service at some of the other marketplaces out there,” said Antunes.

His response was to develop an in-house customer relationship management (CRM) system that tracks the activity of every unique buyer and seller in the marketplace. According to Grab A Bargain, the system is always available to its team of customer support representatives.

Who’s Selling?

Sellers on Grab A Bargain.com range from individuals to small mom-and-pop firms to major corporations, and Antunes claims that his firm’s marketplace can accommodate the needs of any size or type of seller.

“Sellers have been extremely responsive,” said Antunes. “Most of them encounter over-saturated venues at sites like Half.com, so now they’re looking for other avenues to sell their products.”

Despite working with a staff of 12 employees, Antunes said that Grab A Bargain hopes to drive its growth with an aggressive marketing campaign, slated for later this month, that will consist of referral programs and sweepstakes, the likes of which have proven successful for players like iWon.com.

“We want to attract useful users,” Antunes said. “People who will bring value to our community by purchasing online, writing reviews, and the like.”

5 Comments

  • I applaud any company that goes up against the likes of eBay and Half.com. eBay is synonymous with online auction, and Half.com is the leader in discounted books, videos, etc. For Grab a Bargain to compete in this market, it has to come up with a different model. In the article it was mentioned that typical Grab a Bargain users are individuals and small mom-and-pop shops to large companies. In other words, DEALERS and a few individuals here and there. Well, it seems that this is the exact same market serviced by eBay and Half!

    I recently came across a peer-to-peer program that seems to be putting a new twist on the auction/consumer marketplace. Just thought it would be worth a mention since I get the feeling they are targeting INDIVIDUAL consumers, not dealers.

    PinPost (www.PinPost.com) is downloadable and includes classifieds listings targeted to specific cities and neighborhoods. For example, I was searching for a bike in Redmond, Washington, so I scrolled down to Redmond, then searched through several categories to get to a listing for a used bike for sale in Redmond. So I sent the guy an instant message through the application, and I’m going over to look at it in the next few days.

    • Hi Rick,
      I know you posted this thread a long time ago, but I AM interested in the questionable practices mentioned with Grab a Bargain.com. I would like to talk to you regarding any follow up related to the possible investigation you mentioned. I’d be happy to explain my interest and the details if you contact me. I’ll give you my phone number if you send me a private message.
      Scott B

  • Your right, I just did a search and the site is farming eBay. We sell at eBay and

    it comes up with our stuff!

    Perhaps they have licensing with eBay to do so????

  • This is very “suspicious”.

    “Grab A Bargain, which boasts an inventory of more than 2 million items”

    In two cases of sellers on EBay, I have found that all of their EBay listings are also

    identical listings (description wise – I don’t/won’t get a bargain.com account – No one

    needs my credit card number to simply become a member) on bargain.com.

    The two cases are Ebay members frenchcab.com and stoutauctions.com. I have

    notified these two as I find it “a little” strange that they are trying to auction the items

    on EBay and simultaneously trying to do a “fixed price” sale on bargain.com.

    SURPRISE !!

    I just received a response from frenchcab.com, and what a surprise – they didn’t know

    anything about bargain.com. They say they aren’t members and don’t have an account

    with them. They are “investigating” further.

    Another small note is that “mysteriously” the bargain.com price quoted is exactly the

    current bid price on EBay.

    I also notified EBay, and I expect that you will be seeing soon

    “Grab Your Socks, eBay Takes Aim at Bargain.com”

    I feel that this “suspicious” behaviour should be an equal subject of an

    http://www.EcommerceTimes.com press release. It looks like bargain.com scammed

    you and Mark W. Vigoroso.

  • I find Swapmonkey.com much more attractive than bargain.com. Swapmonkey.com is just straight forward and it’s very user friendly site. Currently no membership fees, no commission, etc. I use swapmonkey.com for buying, selling and swapping books, dvds and cds. I have no idea why no one have noticed great sites like swapmonkey.com.

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