eBay Begins Mobile Auctioning in Korea

Moon Ihlwan

Will wireless auctioning a win-win? Certainly execs at eBay and South Korea’s leading mobile carrier think so. SK Telecom and , eBay’s Korean subsidiary, have forged an alliance to offer consumers an option to take part in open auctions while they are on the go. They will also have an option to buy goods instantly at fixed prices. To promote the use of the mobile commerce service, the two have agreed not to charge listing fees or commissions for concluded deals for a year. The service will begin on July 18.
SK Telecom will benefit from more data traffic generated by the users of the auction service and additional revenues from shared commissions after a year. For eBay’s subsidiary, the alliance means a new powerful tool for users who could outbid the existing highest offer even when they are away from computers. Internet Auction says it expects some 500,000 people to use the mobile service by the end of this year.
Those taking part in auctions through cell phones will get short text messages every step of the way, including one to be sent out if someone outbids their own bids and the notification of the winner. They will also get a message informing them of the highest bid 10 minutes before the close of the auction so that they could make a decision on whether to change their bids. Those who want to list their products on the go can do so by uploading photos and text messages.