Online retailers eBay and Yahoo Japan are tying up to make it easier for their respective users to bid on and buy goods available on each other''''s sites. The deal brings the world leader in Internet auctions together with the largest player in the Japanese market.
A website called ''Sekaimon'', whose name in Japanese means ''''gateway to the world'''', will allow Yahoo Japan users to bid on items listed on eBay''''s US site using their Yahoo Japan ID. It kicked off on Tuesday 4 December.
The second phase of the alliance will see eBay items listed within Yahoo Japan''''s auction site. This service is scheduled to begin by the end of March 2008. Around the end of 2008, items from Yahoo Japan will be listed on eBay''''s US site, so that eBay users can bid for and buy the items.
The companies say that this way, sellers get a wider audience for their goods, while buyers see a richer selection of products on offer. For example, US music fans will be able to pick up limited edition CDs that Western artists release in Japan, while Japanese movie buffs will find a wider array of DVDs than available locally.
With Tuesday''s deal eBay returns to a Japan market it exited in 2002 after two years of unsuccessfully trying to compete with Yahoo Japan, which is Japan''''s number one portal. Yahoo holds a one-third stake in Yahoo Japan. Softbank holds the largest stake, at 41 per cent.