Imagine a stock market for all your stuff, a place for buying, selling and figuring the value of your car, cellphone, designer handbag or dusty bottle of wine.
Mix in online social networking, product reviews and a whole lot of ambition and you get Wigix: the WantItGotIt Exchange, a new Web marketplace that launched for public testing this week.
A start-up based in Oakland, Calif., Wigix Inc. has venture capital backing and about 40 employees and contractors, many of them in China. Despite its size, Wigix has a daunting goal: Take on the world of online buying and selling ruled by Internet giants such as eBay Inc.
"The online auction industry is still firmly stuck in the 1990s," said Wigix CEO and co-founder James Chong. "Wigix applies lessons from modern financial markets and integrates them with community and social networking technologies."
Chong and the Wigix teamare betting many buyers and sellers tired of eBay's system will be drawn to a marketplace for goods modeled on Nasdaq-style trading. They sense an opening as eBay's growth has slowed.
Wigix interviewed eBay users to find out "what really bugs them," Chong said. The answers included the general auction experience and the complicated fees.
Using the slogan "Keeping Fees at Bay," Wigix charges no commissions for transactions under $25 and no listing fees. Above that, buyers and seller pay $1.50 for items that sell for up to $100. Sellers pay another 2 percent for items of up to $1,000 and another 1 percent after that.
Perusing purchases on Wigix also is very different from eBay, with searches meant to be more focused.