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Case
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Reference no. 9-599-091
Subject category: Marketing
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Originally published in: 1999
Version: 17 May 1999

Abstract

Onsale has been a pioneer in electronic commerce, offering excess and refurbished goods using an online auction format. The company is now planning to become a player in the highly competitive world of first-run computer merchandise as well. However, unlike other computer resellers whose business models are based on gross margins, the new Onsale model is based around the idea of fixed commissions. The case poses a number of issues raised by the new model, including supplier relationships and brand image management.; To discuss the changing role of intermediaries in a networked economy and consumer dynamics and brand management on the Internet.

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Abstract

Onsale has been a pioneer in electronic commerce, offering excess and refurbished goods using an online auction format. The company is now planning to become a player in the highly competitive world of first-run computer merchandise as well. However, unlike other computer resellers whose business models are based on gross margins, the new Onsale model is based around the idea of fixed commissions. The case poses a number of issues raised by the new model, including supplier relationships and brand image management.; To discuss the changing role of intermediaries in a networked economy and consumer dynamics and brand management on the Internet.

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