Reverse Auctions in the Service Sector: The Case of LetsWorkIt.de

Reverse Auctions in the Service Sector: The Case of LetsWorkIt.de

Tobias Kollmann (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany) and Matthias Häsel (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/jebr.2007070105
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Abstract

LetsWorkIt.de is a German B2C platform for different kinds of service and handcraft orders. Based on the concept of reverse auctions, demanders compose descriptions of the required services to place orders on the platform. The supplier bidding lowest at the end of the auction obtains the right to carry out the order. Drawing upon and widely confirming existing theories on e-marketplaces, this article examines the underlying electronic business model and the competitive strategy of LetsWorkIt. The case provides evidence that the reverse auction-based intermediation of handcraft and service orders is suitable to form the basis of an e-marketplace and points out that for such ventures a combination of public relations, performance marketing and cooperation represents an ideal strategy to increase the number of demanders and suppliers. Moreover, the case suggests that, depending on the business model, it may be feasible to concentrate marketing activities on one of these two customer groups, since LetsWorkIt has managed to achieve a significant number of successful, high-quality auctions by primarily aligning its competitive strategy with the demand side.

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