The Rebirth of E-Commerce:


Your family is sitting on a gold mine and one new Web site wants to help you cash in.

According to one 2007 Nielsen survey, the average American family has more than $3,000 worth of unused goods in their house. Rather than capitalize on these goods, most people either donate them or let their impulse buys sit in the attic for decades, depreciating in value.

Over the years, several sites like eBay (Stock Quote: EBAY) and Amazon (Stock Quote: AMZN) have moved in to fill this niche. These sites provide a means to buy and sell other peoples’ goods online, a system known as e-commerce. But last month, a new Web site called launched, which will take e-commerce to the next level.

“We’re targeting people who have been alienated from e-commerce,” said Simon Rothman, the founder of Glyde. Rothman, who previously worked at eBay, did some research and found that many people refuse to buy and sell their goods online because it’s just too complicated. “I’d assumed the entire world was buying their stuff online. Turns out they’re not. “

Rothman wanted to create a system that even your grandmother could use to sell her vintage goods, so he set out to revolutionize the system, a task that might sound laughable if it were undertaken by almost anyone else. But Rothman had worked at eBay for seven years, rising up in the ranks, eventually leading the company’s eBay Motors site.

So what makes his final product different?

Glyde lets users sell their books, CDs, DVDs and games through a quick and simple process. Rothman’s team found that eBay users had to spend at least 10 to 15 minutes on average making dozens of decisions (setting the price, determining the postage, etc.) before they could even put a single item up for sale. Glyde, on the other hand, takes 10 seconds or less.

Once you become a member, you just type in the name of your product, check off what condition your item is in and put it up for sale. If someone does buy your item, Glyde will send you pre-stamped packaging. In return, Glyde takes a 10% commission on the sale. Rothman describes this experience as “frictionless.”

The site is already being praised by many critics. called Glyde “a game changer” and PC Magazine declared Glyde the “eBay killer.” eBay, on the other hand, has seen its traffic decline in recent years.

Rothman left eBay on good terms and certainly doesn’t want to take down the company, but even he admits it’s time for a change. “eBay is a great company, as is Amazon, but there really haven’t been any dramatic changes in their models,” he said. “There are so many people who aren’t served that there are opportunities for new players like ourselves, with a new approach.”

For the time being, he says Glyde’s biggest obstacle is just inertia. “We are competing against you throwing it away or doing nothing,” he said. I urge you to do something and sell your goods, unless the only goods you have are copies of The Notebook on DVD. You’re better off just throwing those away.

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