[Sponsored Report] Auction makes tigers of start-ups
Korea’s most famous on-line market place, Auction, is working hard to increase the Internet smarts of its merchants. Since its business education program began in 2001, it has expanded to include training for novices and professionals alike, and is available in all parts of the country, partly thanks to the help of the government and professional educational organizations.
The training now reaches about 50,000 people per year, and Auction estimates that about 190,000 persons have taken its courses. Most online sellers, both past and present, have been through at least one of the Auction courses.
In this way, Auction’s online sales facility has become a new growth path for start-ups and other small companies that have struggled to develop a market base. It also has created an equal-opportunity market for people with big hopes but modest means -- graduates who want to become entrepreneurs, housewives looking for extra income, or disabled people with limited mobility.
The help from Auction also includes practical training and consulting for those seeking to expand beyond the domestic online market. Auction’s Cross Border Trade program, started in 2009, supports exports of the products of small and medium companies. The program directs budding exporters to Auction’s parent company, eBay, which is the world’s largest online mall. It is helping Korean small and medium companies to expand their markets to the world. Not only is it helping them enter the world market, but through connections between sellers, it provides more opportunities for supplier and buyer relationships to develop among those sellers. Through eBay’s CBT program connections, exports by these small Korean entrepreneurs increased from 40 billion won in 2009 to more than 100 billion won last year. Auction’s eBay selling support site (www.ebay.co.kr) offers video courses, on-line selling practice programs and overseas sales education. It also translates eBay’s site policies into Korean to ease the process of going global.
Finally, as of December, Auction and the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry have stepped in to sell competitive wares of small entrepreneurs on behalf of those companies. A Los Angeles warehouse fulfills U.S. orders for those goods.