Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Buy a boat on eBay?

I've never bought or sold anything on eBay. I actually tried to sell some extra Jimmy Buffett tickets once, but nobody wanted them, and I ended up giving them away to a co-worker.

But people really use the site, obviously, or it wouldn't be where it is today. Did you know that eBay is a Fortune 500 company with over $4.5 Billion in annual revenue? I knew it was big, but didn't realize it was that big until I just googled ebay financials.

Based on my experience with my Jimmy Buffett tickets, I never would have thought people actually buy and sell items as big as boats on eBay. But they do. Big ones.

As the publisher of FirstBoat.com, I see some of the details of transactions on eBay that originate on FirstBoat's boat auction page. Of course, I don't see any personal information about the boat buyer (or even about the seller), but I do see when a boat sells to a winning bidder, how many bids there were, and how much the boat sold for.

And last month, a buyer who started browsing on FirstBoat's boat auction page, clicked through to eBay and had the winning bid on a boat to the tune of $176,000. In fact, I was surprised to learn that during the month of August 2006, over a quarter million dollars in boats were sold on eBay to buyers originating from FirstBoat.com's auction page alone. And I'm sure that doesn't even represent 10% of the boats sold on eBay each month. Are there millions of dollars of boats being sold on eBay each month? Who knows?

Boats are being bought and sold sight-unseen over the Internet via an online auction. How cool is that? I guess if you know what you're looking for, and what the market price is for a specific model of boat, AND if the buyer seems trustworthy (their customer feedback and prior customer experience helps!), then it is the wave of the future.

Actually, it seems like it may be the wave of the present. I'm totally buying my next boat from FirstBoat auctions on eBay.

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