AuctionShipper will be going after two distinct market segments for their business: new eBay users and advanced eBayers. eBay is a fairly new eBay users online auction which has created its own market by developing a huge, successful, online auction. Starting from nothing, eBay has developed a site where millions upon millions of users buy and sell new eBay users and used items online. Suddenly, with the creation of eBay, there is a wonderful market where almost anything can be bought or sold. Looking for a bike part, a piece of Nambe sculpture, a Patagonia jacket, whatever, it is available to be bought or sold on eBay.
AuctionShipper will service three different customer groups, new eBay users, advanced eBay users, and a catch all category of general customers. AuctionShipper will be a convenient service for new eBay users. For the advanced user, it will offer a fast solution that is cost effective and allows advanced users to sell more items on eBay since their time is freed up from the packaging chores. AuctionShipper will also service non-auction walk-in customers.
The market for auction shipping is huge. There are millions of active members of eBay and 99% of all transactions are exchanged through some sort of shipping service. The ability to tap into this huge market is a wonderful market opportunity.
AuctionShipper will use a grassroots approach to segmenting the market. AuctionShipper will be active in the different usergroups and bulletin boards that are quite active within the eBay community. By being active on these communication systems specific to eBay, AuctionShipper will generate awareness among the perspective customers. AuctionShipper will also segment its customers through local advertising that will be aimed more at the beginner users who are less active on the bulletin boards, etc.
The general packaging/shipping industry is composed of both mom/pop stores as well as franchises. The mom and pop outfits often offer other services beyond shipping, packaging and shipping are offered as a value-added proposition. Also participating in the industry are the franchises like Mail Boxes Plus and MailBox, Etc. These retail organizations offer general packaging and shipping services, they do not cater to auctions specifically. Currently, there is no other organization that is going after auction-specific packaging and shipping.
The competition comes in two general forms:
The buying patterns of customers are based on convenience. Convenience is based on services offered such as packaging in addition to shipping, hours of operation, etc. Price is a factor to some degree, however most of the businesses charge a premium. AuctionShipper believes that customers will become more price sensitive when a realistic option becomes available that is significantly cheaper than the current competition.