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Open Sesame!

Got a hankering for a bargain? Check out this sprawling cyber B2B flea market.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba.com, wants to turn his China-based company into one of the globe's biggest Web sites-and users are flocking to what he styles a "global B2B e-marketplace." Alibaba is a sprawling cyber flea market where businesses can put their merchandise up for sale and perhaps find buyers-from Argentina to Vietnam. A casual surf through the site turns up a mind-boggling collection of offers from manufacturers of children's toys, food, auto parts and even "excess inventory" (a grab bag of deals). The site is designed for easy searching-it will show only buyers or only sellers, and can also be toggled to display offers from the countries you choose. Want to post your own stuff for sale? At press time, postings were still free, as was membership at Alibaba.


Robert McGarvey is the author of How to Dotcom (Entrepreneur Press). To reach him online, e-mail rjm@mcgarvey.net.

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This article was originally published in the December 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Open Sesame!.

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