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Seller's Market

Online sales made easy

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This story appears in the December 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It takes more than passion and an HTML editor to be an e-tailer. Entrepreneurs face high costs in getting stores up and running online. However, a June 2000 survey by SmartAge.com and Intelliquest showed that 77 percent of businesses spent less than $5,000 to build their Web sites and that 76 percent of respondents found "expert advice" to be the most valuable information online. That's where "e-marketplaces" come in to fill the needs of tech-inexperienced entrepreneurs.

IDC defines an e-marketplace as "a third party that establishes itself as a community builder where buyers, suppliers and third parties can exchange information and conduct business via a shared catalog, an open auction site or an exchange." IDC predicts e-marketplaces will become major points of entry into online commerce for entrepreneurs.

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