On reading techcrunch the other day I came across two new website which help people catalogue and value their valuables
Mythings.com is a site which allows users to enter details of their assets to create an online portfolio. Items can be included in the database, with tags and pictures. Once listed users are able to obtain a valuation for the item, warranty and purchase insurance. If you on longer want the item you can post it to eBay (My things is integrated into the eBay API), donate it to charity (there is a list of Oxfams on the site) or recycle it (the site links to a recycling website). Here is the techcrunch post for more information
My things is VC backed in has offices in the US, UK and Israel.
iTaggit is a similar service. It also allows users to build up a portfolio of products and then perform actions like buy accessories and take out insurance.
Unlike MyThings iTaggit is not integrated with eBay and is US only.
Here is the techcrunch post
Do products like these herald the coming on auction culture
Daniel Nissanoff wrote in his book Futureshop that eBay is allowing people to realise the value in their assets, creating a new asset class and leading to a brave new world where people tread their possessions as short term leases auctioning them regularly to release their value – "Auction Culture".
Do these products show that Auction Culture is taking one step closer. Perhaps. What I think it does show is that people are taking more interest in the second hand items as an asset class.
How are these products going to make money? Who is going to use them?
This is more of a mystery to me. Most of the revenue from these products seems to be coming from advertising and affiliate links. Here are the possiblities
- Affilate links from eBay
- Arrangements with auction houses. The experts who value the items offer to auction the items and give the sites a cut.
- Selling assessories and insurance etc
- Providing a marketplace for the items (in the future)
As to who is using these products, that is an even more difficult question. I can’t imagine most people being bothered. However it could be good for collectors who want to compare their collections….