After years of dissatisfaction with paying above-market prices for used media in auctions (primarily books and vinyl in my case), I’ve discovered that a couple of the used retail networks are growing up. Both GEMM (used music/books) and Abebooks (antiquarian booksellers) are quickly establishing themselves as standards in my consumer repertoire.
These sites, along with others like them, could also become consumer pricepoint guides for online auctions. In most auction situations, buyers are unaware of the value outside the immediate moment, allowing bids to exceed market value final second fever. Analogous to the Bluebook in the automotive world, used media retailers could begin provide buyers with an informed appraisal for rare stuff.
Furthermore, both sites are taking steps toward complete integration, taking care of the entire search, order, and shipping processes. As their systems continue to expand, I assume it will get easier and easier for media collectors (like myself) to begin listing items within their database. I know that the GEMM database already includes a number of individual sellers that don’t even have a storefront.
It’s nice to see an alternative to the ebay hegemony. Did anyone see where the classifieds went?