I just spoke with Keith Mancuso, who runs the tech side of Housing Works online auctions. He gave me some interesting stats:
- 25% of the people who purchase from the online auctions live outside the city. "There are a lot [of bidders] coming from New Jersey and Connecticut, and then there are [bidders] from pockets around other major metropolitan areas. They come visit the city and find the store and then go back home and keep bidding," Mancuso says.
- They sell 80-85% of the items that they put up for auction. The eBay model of purchasing has definitely greased these skids. "Had we tried to do this even five years ago wouldn’t have the success we had," he says.
- They get 1200-1500 hits a day, and 20 to 30 bids a day.and this with no advertising, save a free Google ad.
- 3 people run the entire auction operation–which raised more than a half million dollars since it went live in February of 2005. "If we had another 3 people, we could double and if not triple that amount [of money]," he says.