EBay Launches Japan Service

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (03/01/2000) - After months of planning, online auction site eBay Inc. has launched a Japanese version of its popular Web site.

The new site offers local users two main benefits over the existing U.S.-based service. It is entirely in Japanese and also offers users the ability to buy and sell online in yen. Previously, eBay offered several pages of basic explanations and rules in Japanese on its U.S. site but, once in the auction area, users were operating in English and U.S. dollars.

Following the business model adopted for its main site, the Japanese service charges a basic fee for listing an item and a commission fee based on the size of the sale. In Japan, the listing charge ranges from 30 to 240 yen (US$0.27 to $2.18), and the commission runs from 1.25 to 5 percent -- close to the charges it levies on its main U.S. site.

In addition, the company is also launching a new shopping area where businesses can offer merchandise online for auction. eBay said it has already signed up several Japanese companies to participate in the service, including Mitsui Real Estate, Sofmap, Aucnet, Kinkou, Culture Convenience Club, @Venture, Murauchi, and Marubeni.

The launch of eBay Japan comes two weeks after the company announced investment from NEC Corp. and plans for the two to work together in promoting the new service. [See "EBay to Partner with NEC in Japan," Feb 17.]EBay Japan, in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.ebayjapan.co.jp/.

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