Wilmington, Del. – Reemarkit.com, a new e-commerce business that promotes itself as an “online garage sale,” is trying to reconfigure the booming business of consumers reselling used goods online. While such popular sites as eBay and Amazon allow individuals and businesses to resell used merchandise in exchange for a cut of the profits and/or listing fees, Reemarkit.com is technically free, but is employing a profit model more commonly seen in online video games.
To make a purchase on Reemarkit.com, users must first buy virtual currency known as “reemarks.” Users also can earn reemarks for performing activities, such as initially joining the site and recommending it to others, lending some mild gamification functionality to the site. There is no indication that reemarks can be transferred back to standard currency or used in any venue other than Reemarkit.com.
Reemarkit.com is taking a big gamble by basing its profit margin upon the creation of its own proprietary online currency. Online games that use their own virtual currency and rewards systems, like Second Life, are nowhere near as popular now as they were five or 10 years ago. While listing and selling items is cheaper on Reemarkit.com than on other similar sites, consumers may well prove willing to take a smaller profit in currency they can use anywhere, rather than only on the Reemarkit.com site.
While it’s not hard to envision a core community of “Reemarkiters” forming that could sustain the company enough to keep it going, it’s more difficult to imagine the site having any radical impact on how mainstream consumers buy and sell used goods online.