Tuesday, 18 November 2008 05:29

$1 Flat fee SOC Exchange takes on eBay

Sick of eBay and their PayPal pushing processes?  Now there is another new kid on the block setting up a virtual Lemonade Stand.  The SOC Exchange is distinguishing itself from eBay by offering a flat fee structure, rather than taking a slice of the seller’s profit. 

eBay has a new competitor in SOC Exchange, and the attractive seller costs of $1 per month ($10 per year) is likely to attract a slice of the online garage sale market.

Launched in June this year to the US market by Australian entrepreneur Franco Lagudi, SOC Exchange offers members their own selling space, low fees and alternative to the online auction structure of so many similar sites around the interweb.

According to the press release: Sellers can list literally anything and everything on The SOCExchange.com.au - from video games, scrapbooking and craft materials, real estate, cars, boats, computers, sporting memorabilia, jewellery and much, much more – it’s a virtual shopping arcade!

Unlike eBay, which has born the brunt of negative press for its fee structure, lack of security and unreliable vendors, The SOC Exchange has been greeted with enormous enthusiasm in the US market and looks to offer the same high level of service, variety of goods and ‘positive online experience’ to Australian sellers and buyers alike.

"eBay recently announced its fee restructure, yet its costs still seem too high for many individuals and small businesses," stated Mr Lagudi.

He added, "As noted recently by eBay, a $25 collectable item that sells on eBay USA after being listed three times for up to 21 days costs $3.35 in fees. However, on The SOC Exchange you can list and sell 1000 items or more for just $1 in total."

The SOCExchange.com.au does not charge listing or commission fees, rather, it charges sellers just $1 per month or $10 per year, to sell as many products as they choose, from their very own website.

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“Sellers have their piece of the net and the capacity to run their own e-commerce business for just $1 per month,” Mr Lagudi added.

Moreover, unlike other ‘online sites’ in this space, The SOC Exchange.com provides sellers with their own customisable website - with a unique URL - on which they can list items for sale, add up to seven images per item and even post a blog. All this for the set up fee of $1 per month and no contract period requirements. What’s more, sellers can have their website up and running within minutes.

“By providing sellers with their own site and their own unique URL which they can send as a direct link to customers and potential buyers or use in promotions, we’re helping them to reduce their end costs. Regardless of the online medium a seller is using, The SOC Exchange.com.au is one place where they should be selling. For the fixed cost of $1 per month, the seller is immediately ahead. You can literally sell anything and everything on The SOC Exchange.com.au and one hundred percent of the profit goes to the seller,” Mr Lagudi commented.

Let’s face it, the retail landscape is extremely difficult, internet users are more savvy than they’ve ever been and with the current economic situation, every last cent counts. Our business model enables us to provide all Australians with a superior quality selling platform that offers extensive user-friendly features, guarantees a positive user experience and has none of the complicated fee structures of other sites."

Buyers can register free of charge with The SOC Exchange.com.au and are then able to browse the numerous categories, search by product name, search within a set distance from their location or go directly to a seller’s site. Buyers can also bookmark those sites they want to return to and can register with their favorite sellers for email updates and information on new products. University students can even drill down and search for sale items within their own schools.

The site offers safe buying tips and members are encouraged to use payment systems which offer protection.

“We are incredibly diligent when it comes to ensuring the safety and reputation of the site and will remove the listings and revoke the site membership of anyone found to be acting against our strict terms and conditions. The integrity of our selling platform and the experience of our sellers and buyers is our prime concern,” Mr Lagudi concluded.

Trawling around the site(s) as a casual visitor shows that there is still some work to do.  Firstly in attracting sale items and secondly in the presentation, with sold items flashing up in the individual categories as available items.

The actual website itself is secondary to the process however, with the core technique of email alerts pushed out to interested buyers seeming to be the go.  Check out the new Australian version here, or the original US version here .


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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.



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