B2B marketplace WeMarket launches for global companies
WeMarket, a Netherlands-based e-marketplace that connects global suppliers with business buyers, launched last week after two and a half years of development, says Gijs van den Broek, company chief operating officer.
In the week since the company’s launch, 125 sellers have created accounts on the site, including Koninklijke Phillips N.V., a diversified electronics and technology distributor, and T-Mobile International AG, the operator of mobile phone networks. Van den Broek says approximately 30 new sellers are creating profiles on the marketplace every day. He declines to comment on the number of buyers.
Sellers on WeMarket.com offer overstock products, returned merchandise, and refurbished or used products. Items featured range from apparel to consumer electronics to oil drums. Van den Broek says the average transaction size for smaller retailers is $3,000, and for larger, bulk lots the average sale is $300,000.
Once a seller has created a user profile, it can upload as many pictures as it wants for each product. Sellers can also stipulate which geographic regions their products are offered in. If, for example, a product is illegal to sell in the United States, but can be sold in the United Kingdom, only U.K. members will be able to see the product. After including item information, the seller can offer wholesale prices in U.S. dollars, euros or pounds.
Buyers and sellers can exchange invoices through WeMarket, then arrange for payment terms outside of the marketplace. Buyers can also receive email alerts and follow sales by their favorite sellers on WeMarket.
“We personalize our search results based on members’ profiles and past search behavior, and then push relevant insights,” Van den Broek says. “If you’re a high-end retailer searching for apparel, you will only see the top selling products in the top markets for high-end apparel.”
For sellers, WeMarket offers insights on which global markets have the highest demand for their products. The company also suggests niche markets where the buyer may not be currently active, but where WeMarket forecasts high demand from buyers. Bird & Bird, an international law firm based in London, is available through WeMarket to develop traders’ contracts; its services include checking that transactions abide by laws affecting cross-border transactions.
All members must be approved by Dun & Bradstreet, a business data firm that verifies new members’ business identity and credit score. This information is used to calculate sellers’ WeMarket Karma, a reliability ranking based on a user’s profile, trader reviews and trade analytics that measure how often the member logs in and how quickly she responds to questions. The company also works with IDchecker, an online identity verification agency that approves members’ identity. Members’ WeMarket Karma score is available for all to see, and adds credibility and transparency to the online trading process, Van den Broek says.
Membership on WeMarket is free during the first month for both buyers and sellers. Once the trial period is over, both buyers and sellers pay a $500 annual membership fee to participate in unlimited trading on the site. Members can pay their marketplace fees online with Visa or MasterCard payment credit cards or through PayPal, the online escrow payment service.