The eBay Equipment Boom

In recent years, eBay has exploded as “the world's online marketplace.” Online shoppers can browse thousands of categories and make bids on everything from antique bookcases to toys. Now, small businesses are turning to eBay to save money purchasing new and used equipment. In March, eBay announced an equipment financing service to help sellers move more equipment and to help buyers spread out payments over time.

The equipment financing option, made available by Direct Capital Corp., offers business buyers financing options for industrial equipment and information technology priced at $2,000 or higher. Direct Capital will also provide inspection checks to ensure the quality of the products being sold. The equipment financing option applies to business purchases across a broad range of eBay categories, including computers, construction, agriculture and telecom equipment.

Use of the equipment financing program is streamlined for both sellers and buyers. Sellers enroll in the program and include a link to the financing service within their eBay item listings. Buyers complete an online application and, once approved, are able to purchase items on eBay up to a specified financing amount.

“eBay wanted to create affordable payment options for buyers of higher-ticket commercial equipment that would in turn help eBay sellers move more products on the site,” says Steve Lankler, director of business development for Direct Capital. Lankler says most online applicants receive approval within 30 to 40 minutes.

“It's much faster than I think buyers and sellers are used to getting approved,” says Ben Hanna, senior manager of construction for eBay.

Once a transaction is completed on eBay, Direct Capital will remit to the seller, via PayPal, the purchase price of the item, the eBay final value fee, and any associated PayPal fees. PayPal is an online payment service that can be used to send and receive payments over the Internet. Once a user signs up with PayPal, he or she can send money to anyone with an email address using a credit or debit card, bank account or PayPal balance.

The eBay Financing Program can be accessed from the Equipment Financing link at The eBay Business site incorporates all business-related listings in one destination, allowing small businesses access to more than 500,000 listings of business items every week.

With categories such as Agriculture, Construction and Retail Equipment, rental companies can purchase a range of equipment they need. More than 16,000 construction category listings are posted at any given time, with 218 sub-categories available within the construction category. Skid steers, wheel loaders, and backhoes are just a few items posted and available for bidding.

eBay makes transactions possible that might not otherwise occur. One woman who runs a rental company in Hawaii bought and financed a $50,000 excavator from an eBay seller in Florida, Lankler says. “We included the shipping costs in her financing agreement and arranged everything for her,” he says. “She was thrilled. We will bend over backwards for eBay buyers and sellers because we know that's what it takes to drive success.”

For potential buyers and sellers new to eBay, it takes just a few minutes to register for an account, and a user can be bidding on equipment in no time. For those concerned with making an equipment purchase online, Hanna says it's like any other purchase: eBay is just a platform to help buyers and sellers connect with each other. He recommends reading the product descriptions online, looking at the pictures provided, and asking the seller questions. Buyers should also look at the seller's information, including the feedback score, which is a rating given by those who have done business with the seller. The score and comments from others give an indication of this person's eBay business history.

“It's a very, very safe marketplace and we work very hard to keep it that way,” Hanna says.

New eBayers need not be intimidated: The eBay site is easy to navigate, and help is just a click away for the 105 million people who already use this auction site. The Help link takes the user to a page filled with helpful eBay resources. The Learning Center takes the user on an audio tour of the site, which answers common questions and gives a basic eBay overview.

TAGS: Ar Features
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