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Had enough of auctions? Fixed pricing could be just the thing your business craves.

By Mark Henricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Online auctions aren't for everyone. "If you have rareand collectible items, auctions seem to be the way to go,"says Brian Schell, president and owner of Replay Media Inc., athree-employee seller of second-hand books and recordings."But for things we sell that aren't rare but may not beavailable locally, fixed pricing seems to be the way to go,"adds the 35-year-old Dayton, Ohio, entrepreneur.

Fixed-price marketplaces, where all kinds of pre-owned,overstocked and clearance items are listed and sold at pricesdetermined by sellers instead of bidders, haven't gotten muchattention compared to that given to eBay's auction action. Buttoday, 60 percent of items on eBay are noncollectibles such as carsand even real estate. In addition, 40 percent of eBay'stransactions have started taking place at fixed prices, eitherthrough auctions featuring the "Buy It Now" option topurchase something at a set price without bidding, or viaeBay's all-fixed-price subsidiary, Half.com. Driving the growthof fixed price is the fact that these markets have special appealsto both buyers and sellers.

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