Volume 1, Issue 04 - Continued Price Transparency 1999 trend #07: Continued price transparency with auctions and other real-time pricing vehicles...will see prices for scarce items increase and prices for commodities decrease

eCommerce SpeakingInternet Marketing



Subject: 1.04: Continued price transparency with auctions and other real-time pricing vehicles...will see prices for scarce items increase and prices for commodities decrease

Thank you for your comments, suggestions and response to our survey question. Please keep them coming. Let us know what you think by sending e-mail to: Also, if you like what you read, please let your friends know. We currently have over 1,300 subscribers and we'd like to grow this list to 10,000 by year end. The listing in Yahoo will show up any day now, that should help a lot.

Our next issue deals the continued growth of affinity groups (e.g. Chemdex, Metalsite, Rosettanet, etc.). We'd like your opinion on 'What do you think about affinity groups. Is coopetition a common trend of the future'. Please note that your responses will be available for public consumption. To try to allow additional conversation during the month, we're trying's bulletin board.

Please go to to respond to this question.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

This newsletter is 100% opt-in. You are receiving it because you have requested to in the past. If you no longer wish to receive it, please let us know either on-line or via e-mail brought to you by

Your Link to Worldwide eCommerce Developments

April 30, 1999 *Over 1,300 subscribers* Volume 1, No. 04



Theme: Continued Price Transparency trend #07:  Continued price transparency with auctions and other real-time pricing vehicles...will see prices for scarce items increase and prices for commodities decrease.

WELCOME To The Newsletter
View past issues, signup or remove yourself from this distribution list online: or by e-mail


Subject: 1.04:  Continued price transparency

Let me talk a bit about this month's trend. My #7 prediction for 1999 is about "Continued price transparency with auctions and other real-time pricing vehicles...will see prices for scarce items increase and prices for commodities decrease".

The Web-based customer has access to a plethora of information about the product that they want to purchase. This includes product specs, benefits, live demos, customer feedback, price, and the distributor’s cost. Viewing the product cost, or price transparency, allows a customer to make decisions on the value of the services being provided by the seller, who hopes their pricing structure justifies their profit margin.

Services like,, Kelley Blue Book (, which provide the cost that the distributor paid for the car on the lot, provides ammunition for the consumer armed with this information. Taking it a step further, sites like and let the consumer avoid the salesperson by asking for a firm bid from a local dealer. takes it a couple steps further by allowing the consumer to submit a price they want to pay, giving the dealer the opportunity to accept or decline the bid.

On the business-to-business side, has launched Web auctions that allow firms in their vertical markets to auction excess inventory or other merchandise., an affinity group of steel manufacturers (we’ll talk more about affinity groups in next month’s issue) already auctions excess inventory.

There’s no doubt that the stock market believes that companies offering online auctions (e.g., and companies offering real-time pricing (e.g.,, are going to make a huge impact in the way the world purchases goods and services. Forrester Research has estimated that the total value of online auctions will grow from $1.4 billion in 1998 to $19 billion in 2003.

 Market CapitalizationSales $25.3b $47.4m $33.2b $610m $19.6b $35m $2b $3.1m, one of the premier eTailers, plays in the following markets, either directly or through investment: books/music [], drugs [], groceries [], pet supplier []), and recently moved into the auction space and bought online bidding specialists to provide increased functionality to an internally-developed product they rolled out. The current differentiation between them and eBay in the auction space is that is targeting the business-to-consumer space while eBay is still targeting the consumer-to-consumer space. There is concern in the analyst community that eBay needs to play in the business-to-consumer in order to stay competitive.

eBay is not sitting on its tale. In about a month, it will start testing a regional version of its popular auction site beginning with the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The 44-month-old company valued at $25.3b, just purchased the 134 year-old Upscale Auction House Butterfield & Butterfield for $260m. Not a bad move to obtain credibility in the high-end auction space at a non-Internet hyped price.

Essentially eBay and other auction sites have benefited by allowing consumers to find scarce products. It’s interesting to review the feedback from the readers this month. It was split down the line on the direction of prices for scarce goods. The author and fifty-percent of the responders believe in the law of economics, e.g., prices for scarce items will increase as more consumers are fighting for the same scarce product. The remaining fifty-percent felt that the price of scarce items would decrease as consumers have access to more and more choices.

Talk about missed investment opportunities. I missed eBay, even though I was talking about them well before they went public and it looks like I missed the first big rise in I was looking at 2 weeks ago with a stock price of ~65. Today, their price is at $140. Bummer., the paradigm shifting real-time pricing company lets customers name their price for a popular item. They announced that more than one million users have tried their services in the company’s first year of operation, and another 300,000 new customers use their services each quarter. They have sold 330,000 leisure airline tickets and booked 75,000 hotel nights since that feature launched in October.

Just like caused Barnes and Noble to react, has caused Budget Rent-a-Car to react. Budget announced that they would offer the ability in May for consumers to name the price they will pay to rent a car. I like the trend. Now that my son is 17 years away from going to college, I’m hoping by then that the Universities will allow us to name the price we’ll pay for a degree.

I hope you enjoy this newsletter.

See you in cyberspace,

Mitchell Levy
President, <>
Publisher, <>

Mitchell Levy is President, <> and Publisher, of <> a monthly eCommerce newsletter that focuses on strategy, trends and news. Please go to their home page to sign up or send e-mail to


Here's some comments from our readers:

PLEASE NOTE: We’re starting a bulletin board ( to allow the readers of the newsletter to comment on trends, and other issues, throughout the month. Please stop by and add your comments.


Auction popularity is a natural extension of the Just in Time models that have been percolating for the last umpteen years. With the Internet, we are finally at a stage where information flows freely enough for prices to shift with little or no friction. We've seen supply lines and production move more and more toward just in time models and now we've begun seeing pricing move toward just in time models. What is next?

First: There are a number of just in time pricing models that people have not yet leveraged.

Then there is the whole idea of "just in time commerce" where companies offer to execute commerce transactions at times that are most opportune. This can be envisioned as the ultimate in marketing intimacy. Instead of getting a phone call asking you to subscribe to the newspaper while you're eating dinner it will come while you're at a Web site looking for local news.
My immediate impressions are that developments regarding eCommerce (business-to-consumer) will have the most impact on the way businesses operate. More and more businesses will have to become acquainted with the net, analyze what products and services make sense, learn all the issues they’re good at, and how to revamp their internal organizational -- all issues we're starting to deal with at the company I work at.

Obviously more and more consumers will attempt to buy online and it will be a period or trial and error. (The smart companies will be monitoring all this intently and will quickly revamp what they're doing wrong based on the feedback they're getting.) In my opinion, it will be another 2-4 years until eCommerce is a common experience among the majority of consumers, i.e., commonplace like CDs or e-mail.

The process of consumer-oriented companies learning how to use the web to improve their businesses will be very dynamic, creative and lots of fun. As a marketer, I look forward to more and more creativity in using the web as part of the traditional marketing mix, as well as growing web-sector business.
The fears that prices for most goods sold via online auctions and online communities will reduce down to zero or negative profits are overblown. For the Internet has the ability to provide a much larger pool of suppliers that may engage in stiff price competition, it also enables access to a larger pool of buyers. Following classic supply and demand theories, the net effect may be a much larger market for goods and services with prices not much different than today.
My first thought is that the ability to deliver real-time price competition will likely give rise to a whole new industry of "watchers". Just like Wall Street they will be paid by their clients to keep an eye on the value of holdings and have standing orders to buy or sell when prices reach certain levels.


Commodity items are going to get less expensive due to more competition. It's getting easier & easier to comparison shop. This is going to create challenges for the retail industry. In my case, I want something when I want it. If a store I'm in is out of something, I just write down the brand/item and search on the web. I end up buying there due to convenience. It saves me having to wait & then go back to the store when the item comes in.
I foresee commodity prices being forced downward, but a few things have to change first.

Currently, there seems to be no easy, efficient way to compare prices of many different suppliers, but as soon as there is, the low bidders will win more often, forcing everyone else to shave margins.

Another factor creating inertia is cost of delivery; you don't have to pay shipping charges when you buy at Crown Books, but you do with Amazon. The first company to figure out how to provide Internet commodity shopping without requiring customers to tack on extra for shipping will have a big advantage over both direct retailers and other Internet-based business. Nevertheless, the "in-store shopping experience" will never be fully replaced by virtual shopping (e.g., you can't feel that lambswool scarf from your PC), so there will always be a significant proportion of people who will prefer to go to the physical store. (This explains why shopping mall stores can stay in business even though their prices are higher than those of discount stores.)
In my opinion, I think both commodities AND scarce items will find their prices drop.

Commodities, consumables, always decrease in price as other replacement items are found. The "new and improved" versions always leave their predecessors in the bargain bin.
Since prices get more and more comparable because of many, easy to reach offerings, prices are going to become lower. Service offerings and other benefits will eventually be the reason for making the deal. This trend is supported by intelligent pricing agents like Acses. This is true for Europe as well: With the advent of the Euro, cross-european arbitrage will diminish - at least for eCommerce.
Commodity prices on the internet will have to be lower than dept. store prices. As far as clothing, furniture, household wares, there is still a need to try on, go look at, see if the color will match, hands and eyes on experience. It's hard to gage on your monitor if the item will fit or match. But, if a consumer can feel like they are paying less than what they would in a store they might be willing to take the risk and utilize a return policy if that item does not work in their house of fit their body etc.


I'm not so sure. Scarce often means handmade, unique, costly, etc. On those types of purchases it seems like people want to "see/experience" the item first hand before they purchase. I'm referring to art/collectible items, very high end furniture, fine jewelry, high fashion, etc. I'm not sure that the Internet demand will be that high in this area.
Prices of scarce items are likely to increase, because sellers can advertise to a wider audience at much lower cost, increasing the likelihood of finding a buyer willing to pay a premium.
Scarce items, however, are only scarce because they are hard to find. Without the internet and groups like eBay or other online auctions, a consumer might have to wait for letters to be written and replied to, phone calls to be returned, or trips to be arranged before they could find a particular item.
My opinion is that the ubiquitous nature of the Internet, combined with the ability to selectively search and target across a wide range of options (sites, etc.) will cause scarce commodities to become less scarce, thus dropping the price, and will increase the competition for sales of commodities, thus decreasing those prices as well.
When an item becomes easier to find the price drops since there may be a choice of where to purchase this scarce item.
Some will rise as the real value of scarce products is captured by producers who find buyers through online marketplaces rather than letting brokers find buyers and take a hefty commission on information arbitrage



WorkWorld IT and E-Commerce Career Fair
Monday May 3rd and Tuesday May 4th
10 am to 6pm Monday and til 7 on Tuesday.

100 companies including: AOL, INFORMIX, Sybase, PlanetRX, eBay, E*TRADE, WebTV, INTEL, Red Herring, Ask Jeeves, @Home, Excite!, FORD, and Genentech to name a few!

Bring lots of resumes. Must have 2 years experience to attend please.

Co-located at the Ad-Tech eCommerce trade show in the SAN FRANCISCO EMBARCADERO HYATT. See you there! Log in your resume for early consideration at Or log it in at the show at our WebTV sponsored WorkWorld WebStations !!


RealNetworks Conference & Exhibition '99

  • You're invited to attend the RealNetworks Conference & Exhibition '99
  • May 5-7 at the San Francisco Marriott.
  • Hear from Rob Glaser, CNNfn's Lou Dobbs, MTV's Tom Freston and visit with more than 80 streaming media suppliers. For information or to register, visit today


Great free service for Marketing Professionals doing business
in Silicon Valley -

This Virtual Community & Vertical Portal for Marketing Professionals is a one-stop resource center containing many directories of products & services required by marketing professionals.

Currently serving 2,000 Silicon Valley marketing professionals from 500 high-tech, low-tech & no-tech firms with the following responsibilities: Advertising, brand management, business development, channel management, competitive analysis, corporate marketing, e-marketing, marketing communications, marketing managers, market research, product management, public & press relations, strategic planning & trade shows. It also provides business opportunities for the providers of these marketing products & services.


  *************************** is your source of
professionally designed graphics for Print, Video
and the World Wide Web

  • Banners
  • Buttons
  • Animation
  • Posters
  • Hi Res photographic Retouching
  • 3-D
  • Quicktime Presentations with computer or Video output

Visit to view a online portfolio for some of our samples



Now Wants Fido's Business, Too continues to be an Internet commerce trailblazer. The company this week announced a new auction service that allows its 8 million members to buy and sell to each other, as well as its acquisition of a 50 percent stake in a potential category-killer retail site offering pet supplies.

Online Retail, Pt. 2: Do Portal Deals Work?
Meanwhile on the online retailing front, enterprising readers who wanted to dig for analytical stories this morning could find plenty of skepticism about the whole sector.

Mail-Order Legend Masters E-Commerce
Anticipating the changing nature of how people will shop going forward--specifically, how they will use and intertwine different mediums--Lands' End has devised a Web site that works as an adjunct to its well-known mail-order catalog, and also as an independent entity. The company uses the Internet to expand its brand identity by promoting travel and lifestyle resources of interest to its customer base.

ATM Cards: Coming Soon to Your Favorite Online Store?
On Monday, Cash Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: CHNG) announced a system that could, in theory, allow customers to pay for online purchases with their ATM cards.  The company reports that its new EMMA e-commerce transaction processing system will allow millions of Web users without a credit card an easy
and secure way to shop online.

Heavy Lifters May Win Next e-Tail Round
Internet-only retailers like won the first round of e-tailing with goods like books and CDs, but in markets just now coming online, traditional retailers may have the upper hand.

The barriers to entry into the online retail market for small, easy-to-ship goods were low compared to the kinds of goods consumers increasingly will be buying online, entrepreneurs and analysts say. Shipping bulky items like appliances, consumer electronics equipment, and furniture can be costly and difficult.

eBay to Take Auctions Local
eBay will begin testing a regional version of its popular auction site later this month to facilitate trading of larger items that can't easily be shipped through the mail, chief executive Meg Whitman said today.

Shopping for Antiques Online
Mary Fuller of Minneapolis has the world at her fingertips. Anytime she wants to, the free-lance writer and longtime antiques collector can log on to the Internet and, within a few minutes, be bidding on a piece of Rookwood pottery offered in Alabama or a set of flow blue porcelain in Amsterdam.

Like thousands, perhaps millions, of other collectors, Fuller has discovered the ease and excitement of antiquing online.

Online Shoppers Want To Speak To CSRs
Online consumers say they'd be likely to buy more online if they could speak with a customer service representative when placing an order, according to a study by market research firm NFO Interactive. The study found that nearly 35% of 2,321 online shoppers would buy more if they could interact with a sales rep from an e-commerce site while they were shopping online. Of those online vistors who have not purchased products online, 14% said they would if real-time customer service was an option.

EU Moves Forward On Two Electronic Commerce Laws
The European Union will move forward this week on two long-awaited measures to make it easier to do business over the Internet. One is legislation designed to give legal status to "electronic signatures," used to ensure that online transactions are authentic and confidential.

Bank of America Preps "all-in-one" Billing
Bank of America today announced it has begun a pilot project for viewing and paying bills online that will be expanded by year's end to include Californians who use BofA's online banking services.

Internet Escrow Services Are Catching On
Internet auctions are promoted for their ability to rid the world of middlemen and let buyers and sellers strike deals in free-market harmony. But as auction sites look to cash in on the trend by selling more costly
goods, this Internet utopia is coming under threat. Higher prices can mean lower levels of trust.

Merrill Lynch: E-Commerce "Cannibalizes" Retail Sales
A new study by Merrill Lynch analysts calls electronic commerce a far-reaching business concept that is revolutionizing global corporate strategies.

Merrill Lynch spokeswoman Susan McCabe told the E-Commerce Times that, in essence, every business, whether currently engaged in e-commerce or not, needs to seriously re-evaluate their strategies to decide whether to enter the sector, or if already there, how to position themselves amongst booming e-competition...

K-Tel Enters Auction Game
And the hits just keep on coming.  In the online auction business, at least.  Online music distributor K-Tel International (Nasdaq: KTEL) announced today that it has added an auction house on its Web site. The auction service means that K-Tel is branching out into other categories...

Customization Leads to E-Commerce
Research done in the UK found that Web users who configure, personalize or register on Web sites are more than twice as likely to buy online than those that do not.

The research was done by Fletcher Research, which found that 68 percent of Web users that personalized a site had made a purchase online, compared to 28 percent that had not used personalization features.

China Opens the Door to E-Commerce...Slowly
Several Chinese and American business leaders are hoping that a newly announced Web portal will heat up business relations between the two nations.

On Tuesday, Chinese government officials and leaders of the U.S. Internet industry announced -- the officially sanctioned e-commerce portal of China...

Starbucks Plans Net Venture, Sans Coffee
Starbucks, which yesterday reported a hefty 29-percent rise in second quarter earnings, said it was expanding online into a new "multibillion-dollar" category and would use its chain of 2,200 coffee bars to promote the undisclosed Internet venture.

NetMind, eBay Create Personal Shopper
NetMind Technologies, Inc. announced it is powering online auction giant eBay's new Personal Shopper service, released Friday.

The eBay Personal Shopper solution will enable eBay users to create personal searches and be notified via e-mail when specific items become available for sale on eBay, instead of manually repeating searches for the goods.

Portal for Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment Launches
San Antonio TX-based Inc. launched a preview version of, an Internet portal where consumers will be able to pay all their bills online at no charge.

When launched later this year, also will enable billers to present electronic bills for payment for little or no cost, unlike other bill presentment sites, the company said. is a wholly owned subsidiary of

On the Net, Everyone Can Be a Scalper
You can auction off extra tickets to a Broadway show or a Yankees game on the Web at a fat profit. Will performers soon follow? Blends Community and Commerce
Unique mix of content and commerce makes shopping  an interactive experience for teenagers, and offers parentally controlled shopping capabilities powered through a distribution partnership with iCanBuy, the critically acclaimed GenX themed shopping Directory, today announced the launch of at

Microsoft, MyPoints Team Up To Reward Customers
Microsoft is taking its first steps into online reward marketing. The software giant today said it is teaming with direct marketing firm - integrating promotion of MyPoints' marketing program into Microsoft's Outlook Express electronic mail management program, which is bundled with the most recent version of the Internet Explorer browser. Launches 'Vertical' Auction is in the online auction business with a music-oriented sales site. In partnership with CityAuction, the streaming music Web service said today it is providing a venue for people to sell vinyl albums, CDs, tapes and music memorabilia . CityAuction is a subsidiary of USA (USAI) Networks' TicketMaster-CitySearch.

Online Sales to Boom in Latin America
Online sales in Latin America could soar to $8 billion by 2003, up from just $170 million last year, according to a report due later this month from market research firm International Data Corp. The expected growth will be part of a pattern in which non-U.S. countries command an increasingly large share of the world's e-commerce.

Battle for the Fridge
You're about to pour the last ounce of milk into your late-night bowl of cereal. Oops -- looks like there'll be none left for your morning coffee! All the stores are closed. What's a hungry night owl to do?

Pour away. By 6 a.m., a new gallon will be on your doorstep, thanks to a microchip sensor embedded in the milk carton and transmitted to an Internet device on your kitchen counter.

"Tax-free Internet" -- a Seductively Simplistic Slogan
"Tax-free Internet." It has the ring of a brilliant, forward-thinking public policy. And it should be especially appealing to me, a free-market elected Republican whose recent term as president of the National Association of Counties (NACo) focused on the need for counties to become "digital"
and "global."

Cash Flies on all Sides of Auction Roll-Up Frenzy
With every company in America tripping over its own legal department in a desperate race to get into the online-auction game, it's not surprising today's news sites are full of online-auction stories and features.

Cyberian Outpost Announces Free Overnight Shipping on All Products
Cyberian Outpost (Nasdaq: COOL), an Internet-based retailer of computer products reported a new, broad-based customer-oriented initiative that may raise the stakes in the intensely competitive e-commerce market.

E-commerce Comes Home
A new generation of e-commerce start-ups is moving beyond commodity retail goods to capitalize on the home market. Emblematic of the trend is Sears' new PartsDirect site, which contains a catalog of 4.2 million parts for appliances and other home products that were previously available only through a toll-free number. Sears has also said it plans to make appliances available on its Web site by mid-year.


Creating Value-Add Pricing Strategies by Bill Rusitzky (

The Internet has already--and will continue to--effect consumer prices. A good deal has been written about how the Internet will drive prices down to zero and sub-zero margins.  Auction sites have become one of the most popular consumer destinations on the Internet and many retailers are, for the first time, augmenting their revenue with advertising.

For scarce goods it is still too early to determine if prices will increase due to more buyers, or decrease due to goods flooding the market. The Internet continues to drive down the cost of implementing an electronic commerce network, to the point where most anything can be priced in "real-time". eBay's ability to sell millions of items for less than the cost of taking a family to the movies, and OnSale's business customers who purchase millions of dollars worth of computer equipment, clearly demonstrates that an opportunity exists for innovative sellers and eMarketers.

Today eBay has over 60,000 used books for sale. In the past, many of these books might have collected dust on shelves or wound up in the trash. The next few years should see the Internet's commerce network allow more buyers and sellers to connect, thereby providing people with more vehicles to get the goods they want. Only time will tell if this causes prices to dramatically shift, or whether we will just see an increase in the velocity with which merchandise changes hands.

The last several decades have seen retail business grow in size by following a low price/high-volume strategy. These retailers have leveraged available technologies to manage their supply chain, while managing to keep consumer prices low. But we need to keep in mind that value seekers--those motivated by low price alone--are only one segment of the buying audience.

Ultimately, each consumer is motivated by a variety of factors.  A merchant's ability to offer valuable services will create much needed pricing flexibility. Unique or valuable services allow a retailer to differentiate its products, un-commoditize its pricing structure, and potentially create loyalty among its buyers.

Once a merchant understands how the Internet can effect its ability to price products, the retailer must look at how this will effect its ability to support and service their customers. The Internet allows merchants the ability to customize interaction with their consumers in ways that were not cost-effective in the past.

We've seen a rise in the value-add services made available to consumers online; community sites that allow customers to work together, enhanced customer service programs, such as live chat with customer service reps, and loyalty programs. Many of these programs support the sense of comfort online surfers feel when they begin to shop.

A 1998 Forrester Research study concluded that almost 66 percent of web sites will have some form of membership-based program installed within the year. This study and many other indicators suggest that the next few years will see companies differentiate themselves with special membership benefits and loyalty programs. These programs, while not inexpensive, will allow merchants to engender loyalty among their customers, which is a powerful threat against commodity pricing. Ultimately these types of value added programs are the only way to manage an on-going profitable business either on-line or off-line.

Every new entry in this area has started with lower prices, E*TRADE and Amazon being two very good examples. Once established, nearly all businesses determine that they must implement value-added services in order to retain customers, and to grow out of the low-cost death spiral.  We'll likely see 1999 and 2000 as the years when value-added programs will drive customer loyalty. Don't doubt that your competition is putting their plans in place today. 

Bill Rusitzky is Director of Enterprise Incentives and International Strategies at Netcentives, Inc., a provider of online promotions, direct marketing, and loyalty programs.




N.Y. Times Looks at Online B-to-B Commerce
It's well known among Net insiders that the biggest chunk of the e-commerce involves business-to-business transactions.

But the mainstream business press has had little to say about the b-to-b economy. Let's face it: Selling roofing supplies online to the local roofer just ain't a sexy story. But it is an important one. That's why it was great to see Bob Tedeschi's D1 story on b-to-b e-commerce in the New York Times this morning.

IT Managers Push For Better Online Security
Senior managers remain blissfully ignorant of the external security risks businesses are exposed to through e-commerce applications, choosing instead to believe firewalls alone will provide adequate protection, said network and security managers.

E-commerce vs. Culture: Europe Needs a Jolt, Says Report
In order to succeed with e-commerce, European IT managers need to react in an un-European manner. That's the apparent finding of a report released Tuesday by Forrester Research in Amsterdam if you accept the premise that European businesses don't like to make rapid decisions or quick changes in strategy.

VerticalNet Launches Business Auctions
VerticalNet today said it has launched business-to-business Web auctions, a service it hopes will gain the same popularity as online consumer auctions.

AltaVista Puts Price On Search Results
With the launch of its AV Relevant Paid Placement on Monday, AltaVista has become the first search-engine company to open its portals to paying advertisers. Vendors can bid auction-style for one of two paid ads that will appear at the top of the list of results each time users deploy the search engine.

Privacy At Risk In eCommerce Rush
As small businesses rush to sell on the Internet, many shop owners lacking technical expertise--and the Web developers and hosting services that create their sites--have unwittingly exposed customer information, including names, addresses, and full credit-card numbers.

Hyundai Polishes Customer Services
You are about to get to know your vehicle identification number a whole lot better. Automakers are quickly moving to use the vehicle identification number (VIN) on cars, trucks, vans and just about any other vehicle as a key link between their online electronic commerce efforts, consumers and third-party repair shops.

Enterprise Planning Goes 'E'
The competitive landscape for Internet applications is expected to change dramatically this week as some of the giant enterprise resource planning companies are set to make their first serious forays into electronic commerce.

Small is big at Internet World
Getting small businesses into e-commerce is emerging as a major theme at the Internet World trade show in Los Angeles, where a slew of startups will join industry heavyweights like Intel in targeting small companies.
"It's a huge, huge business opportunity," said Laurie McCabe, small-business analyst at Summit Strategies. "Finally, the big vendors are waking up."

Internet Fulfillment: The Missing Link?
Although most catalogers on the Internet claim to be transactional, several industry professionals believe that more than 90% of Internet marketers do not have fully integrated ordering and fulfillment systems. As a result, the overwhelming majority are handicapped when it comes to growing their electronic marketing channel.



RealNetwork Buys MP3 Company Xing
Talk about streaming media software company RealNetworks (Nasdaq: RNWK) being acquired by another company has been rampant recently, with Yahoo!'s (Nasdaq: YHOO) $6 billion purchase of (Nasdaq: BCST) fueling more speculation about the next power play in the industry.  But RealNetworks executives have insisted the company isn't looking to be bought, and for now, the company seems to be concentrating on buying on other companies...

Internet Math: No Money Down on CBS Net Acquisitons
For an old media dinosaur who's not supposed to "get the Web," CBS sure knows how to get a lot without putting up any cash. On Monday, the network announced it would acquire equity in two Net companies, Storerunner and, with $200 million worth of marketing, promotion and branding - sorry, no cash or stock. It's a Net acquisition model pioneered by rival NBC. and Ink Promotion Deal
Online travel wholesaler and leading Web mapping site are teaming up to help get consumers wherever they want to go.

Under the terms of a deal announced Tuesday, will become a premier provider of hotel and travel packages on

eToys to acquire BabyCenter
Online toy store eToys said today it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire BabyCenter, a community site focused on young families. Under the agreement, eToys, which has filed for an initial public offering, will issue shares of its common stock to BabyCenter stockholders, who will own about 15 percent of the combined company when the deal closes in June or earlier.

National Discount Brokers Signs Deal with
Shares of online broker National Discount Brokers (NYSE: NDB) were up sharply in early trading today after the company announced an agreement with, a leading site for financial markets analysis.  The deal will give customers of National Discount Brokers free access to much of's proprietary financial information, analysis and commentary...

uBid Makes Deal To Offer Downloadable Software
As the online auction battles continue to heat up, uBid (Nasdaq: UBID) has taken a major step forward with a deal that will make it the first auction site to offer its customers the opportunity to bid on downloadable software. Today, uBid and Digital River (Nasdaq: DRIV), a leading online software
distribution company, announced a deal that will give uBid customers the opportunity to bid on Digital River's catalog of software titles...

Inktomi buys Impulse Buy
Inktomi today said it will buy online merchandising software developer Impulse Buy Network in an effort to bring the "best of real-world merchandising to the Internet."

Inktomi, the search technology and software provider, said it will acquire 100 percent of Impulse Buy's outstanding stock and assume all the company's stock options in exchange for 900,000 shares of Inktomi common stock. Shares of Inktomi closed yesterday at 125.5, making the deal worth about $113

eBay Makes $260 Million Deal to Buy High-End Auction House
Online auction leader eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) made a major move into the high-end auction market today when it announced an agreement to purchase upscale brick-and-mortar auction house Butterfield & Butterfield.  The $260 million (US$) deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Verio Expands Global Reach of E-Commerce
Verio (Nasdaq: VRIO), the world's largest domain-based Web-hosting company and a provider of e-commerce services for small businesses, is taking e-commerce global in a major way.  Today, Verio announced an agreement with Cybersource, a leading supplier of e-commerce transaction services, to offer businesses the ability to process and settle online transactions in 29 currencies...

Tribune Invests in Online Coupons
One of the nation's most well-known media companies is getting into online coupons.  Tribune Ventures, the strategic investment unit of Tribune, (NYSE: TRB) announced Thursday that it has invested in SuperMarkets Online...

Amazon Agrees to Purchase
In a move to expand its recently launched online auction service, (NASDAQ:AMZN), has agreed to purchase, which produces Internet-based auction software.  LiveBid's technology
enables brick-and-mortar auction houses to "broadcast" their auctions simultaneously over the Internet, and for online bidders to participate in the offline auctions.

According to Amazon, LiveBid's software is the only one of its kind...

AOL Teams Up With Major Partners For Business Travel Center
In an attempt to grab an even bigger share of a rapidly growing market, America Online (NYSE: AOL) has teamed up with four new major partners to streamline business travel.

Today, American Online announced the launch of its business travel center and agreements totaling more than $20 million with American Airlines (NYSE: AMR), Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAIB), Avis (NYSE: AVI) and Hertz (NYSE: HRZ)...

eBay Plans Industry's First Online Auction Shipping Services with Mail Boxes Etc.
There was good news for online auction buyers and sellers on Monday, as eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) announced plans for two new deals which will integrate product shipping capabilities directly into eBay's popular Internet-based auction Web site.



Check out our sponsor information page at


Please feel free to call (408-257-3000) or e-mail us ( with your questions, comments or suggestions for the next issue.


Here an ezine swap we've made this month.

INTERESTED IN THE INTERNET NEWS FROM OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD? The "Global Reach Express" provides news about Internet developments on a global level, the use of e-commerce in other countries, and advice on where to target one's advertising outside the English-speaking world. Obtain a sample copy by sending a blank email to or subscribe NOW! at

Exerpts from a Wall Street Journal article...

  1. Compaq is considering changing the instruction "Press Any Key" to "Press Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the "Any" key is.
  2. AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the plastic bag the mouse was packed in.
  3. Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along with photocopies of the floppies.
  4. A Dell customer called to say he couldn't get his computer to FAX anything. After 40 minutes of troubleshooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to FAX a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor's screen and pressing the "Send" key.
  5. A confused caller to IBM was having troubles printing documents. He told the technician that the computer had said it "couldn't find the printer." The user had also turned the computer screen to face the printer but that his computer still couldn't see the printer.

Please forward's to friends and colleagues who will find it valuable. For copyright purposes we must ask that only be distributed in its complete form. View past issues and signup to receive it at this location: or

Publisher, Mitchell Levy (
Editor, Dee McCrorey (


Copyright © 1999-2009 by, Inc., All rights reserved (
21265 Stevens Creek Blvd., Suite 205
Cupertino, CA 95014


Back to the main Page (

Home | Express Your View | eZine Signup | About
eCommerce Resources | eCommerce Examples | Internet Marketing Tactics is produced by (
408-257-3000 (Phone)
E-mail: General (, Webmaster (
Copyright © 1999-2012 by, Inc., All rights reserved.