by Leena Rao
With the current market fluctuations, some consumers have flocked to bullion (a.k.a. gold) for safer investments. eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) thinks there's potential for its marketplace to be a trusted seller of gold, silver and other precious metals and is making a major bet on this vertical as a sales generator via a new exclusive partnership with AMPEX.
eBay, which offers other specific verticals in fashion, motors, and electronics, debuted the APMEX Bullion Center on eBay Wednesday. There has been increased interest in buying gold and silver, says eBay, and APMEX, one of the world's largest online Precious Metals retailers, was a perfect partner for this vertical.
All of the 200 Precious Metal products in the Bullion Center are backed by eBay Buyer Protection and APMEX satisfaction guarantee, says the marketplace giant, and all purchases are delivered safely to residences and businesses in unmarked packages.
While there are currently sellers of gold and silver on the eBay marketplace, it's tough to apply either the auction or fixed price model to these items because the value is constantly in flux in a given day. With the AMPEX vertical, all prices are up to date, up the minute of purchase.
Gene Cook, manager of emerging verticals at eBay, says that the company highlighted bullion as a category they wanted to go after in more aggressive way. The company felt that partnering with APMEX would bring an element of credibility and trustworthiness to the vertical.
While the price of gold has been dropping of late, the commodity is expected to recover in 2013, which could be good news for eBay.