UK channel players are keeping a watchful eye on auction web site eBay, as the firm launched its first VAR programme in the US last week and has refused to rule out extending it to the UK.
EBay, which sells $2.4bn worth of IT and networking equipment a year and has claimed to sell a laptop every three minutes, is aiming its new Asset Recovery Center at resellers that are considering IT product disposal.
The Center will offer profiles of IT asset recovery sellers that can be linked with buyers. EBay's resource directory will provide VARs with local, regional and national partners with which they can affiliate to get rid of old IT assets. A representative of eBay told CRN the firm may extend this scheme to the UK.
Figures from online intelligence service Hitwise found that eBay UK accounted for 78 per cent of visits made to all auction web sites throughout July 2004.
Dave Flack, director at distributor Amplio Technology, was sceptical about the programme.
"I think most resellers already sell on a third-party site of their own, and I would be wary of this if I were a VAR," he said.
"Many corporates would look at this and wonder why they should go through eBay and a VAR and pay twice, when they can employ someone to sell old kit through the site themselves."
"Although it is initially asking VARs to sign up, it won't be long before it starts letting other firms sign up, just to boost business."
But Paul Musgrove, managing director of VAR PS Office Supplies, was more positive. "I would get involved, but it doesn't necessarily mean I would like using it. Using eBay would be another opportunity to sell to people I wouldn't normally reach," he said.
"This is one of those things that is just going to happen, like e-commerce and web-trading, and we have to embrace it."
Security firm set to become part of acquisitive Shearwater Group
Distributor merges three northern sites into one new hub in Warrington
Activist investor puts forward five director candidates as turmoil continues at security giant
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany