eBay has added a business-to-business (B2B) trading facility for smaller companies on its US-based online auction site.
Business Exchange is the provider's first foray into the growing B2B market and is targeted at companies with fewer than 100 staff.
The facility enables users to shop from 34 business-related categories, including computer hardware, software, electronics, industrial and office equipment. This totals nearly 60,000 listings.
An eBay spokesman said any decisions to extend Business Exchange to international sites, such as those in the UK, Canada and Japan, would be up to individual country managers. But he said the company's German website has been operating a portal aimed at medium to large-sized businesses since November.
The spokesman said eBay decided to create Business Exchange when it noticed that businesses were trading networking systems, such as Cisco routers, on the site.
According to researcher GartnerGroup, the worldwide B2B market will increase in revenue from $145bn (£92bn) in 1999 to $3.9 trillion in 2003.
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