Companies piggyback on eBay success
EBay has spawned a range of new successful companies.
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SILICON VALLEY, California (CNN) -- Not just a success story in its own right, eBay is also giving rise to start-up businesses, spawned off the back of the online trader and piggybacking off its good fortune.
The world's biggest auctioneer, which trades everything from Pez candy dispensers to forklifts, turns 10 this year.
EBay has more than 150 million registered users throughout the globe who look set to trade goods worth about $40 billion this year.
The U.S. firm earlier this month announced that profits for the three months to June had risen to a record $291.6m, up 53 percent from $190.4m a year earlier. (Full story)
But companies like Bonfire Media are also enjoying success.
The Silicon Valley-based software developer has launched a program whereby eBay users can access the site via their mobile telephone.
Company cofounder Alex Poon said essentially Bonfire had created eBay for users' cell phones.
"No longer tied to their PCs, our users can now search on eBay, look at pictures of items for sale, bid on items, and check My eBay at a moment's notice, whether they are waiting in line at the post office, at a baseball game, or walking to work," he said.
"Pocket Auctions for eBay also alerts the user through their phone when they've been outbid or when an auction has ended, enabling users to respond immediately to real time events."
Bonfire co-founder Rich Chen said: "By making eBay mobile, we are enabling users to integrate eBay into the flow of their daily lives and use eBay in new, creative ways."
Auctiondrop is also trading on eBay's success -- if you want to sell something without the hassle of logging on, the company will do all the selling for you.
Auctiondrop CEO George Northup told CNN that his company sold nearly 40,000 items and handed out more than $2 million to sellers last year, taking a third of all sales as commission.
"Essentially (the item to be sold) will come here to our location in Fremont. We authenticate it. List it and photograph it. And run the auction. Collect the money and send you the proceeds," he told CNN.
"We think it's a great value. It costs roughly 33% of the proceeds."
He said eBay's commitment to focus on its core business meant the door was open for companies like Auctiondrop to tap into other markets.
"The philosophy of eBay has been to specialize in being the marketplace itself. So I think all indications are that they'll focus on their core specialty."
EBay senior vice president Michael Dearing told CNN there was a strong symbiosis at play, with eBay giving companies like Auctiondrop a vast market place, while Auctiondrop brings more buyers to the eBay fold.
"These businesses exist because there's demand for their services. And to the extent that the free market is working that way," he said.
"Creating opportunities not just for eBay employees and not just for sellers, but for people in the middle, is a great thing and we want to celebrate it."
CNN's Kristie Lu Stout contributed to this report
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