Tue, Dec 30, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Ruten.com auction site thrives despite dismal economy

By Elizabeth Tchii  /  STAFF REPORTER

Ruten.com (露天拍賣), an auction Web site created by PC Home Online (網路家庭) and eBay Inc, defied the current dismal economic climate to increase its gross merchandise value (GMV) by 25 percent in the second half of this year compared with results for the first half, the company reported yesterday.

GMV refers to the total value of the goods and services transacted on a Web site.

The online auctioneer attributed its booming business to a 30 percent growth in the number of buyers and sellers on its site from July through this month and their increased activities.

Given such strong momentum in the second half, Ruten forecast a positive year ahead, saying it aims for 100 percent growth in GMV, the number of transactions and the number of goods listed on its site in the upcoming fiscal year.

“Out of all the auction Web sites available in the nation, Ruten currently lists the largest number of goods. Given this advantage, as well as our proprietary Buyrank smart search engine, buyers can find whatever they are looking for at the best price possible,” Vincent Hsieh (謝振豊), Ruten’s chief operating officer, said of the company’s success in a statement yesterday.

Since the beginning of July, the auctioneer has noticed a steady growth in the number of sellers registered on its site. It attributed the rise in membership to increased worker layoffs, employees working without pay and hobbyists nationwide.

In internal research conducted by the auction portal, users said they chose Ruten as a zero-money-down way to start a business to supplement their incomes or provide full-time income. Of the sellers polled in the fourth quarter, 15 percent said they were willing to change career paths and sell online full-time.

Retail figures from the Department of Statistics indicated negative growth for traditional retail businesses across the board, with online auction portals being the only exception.

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