eBay’s warm and fuzzy idea

eBay is planning to enter a partnership for the creation of an online market place for the buying and selling of fair-trade products, CNet reports.

The online auction giant has already built a community site for people who are interested in fair-trade called worldofgood.com in partnership with a fair-trade company of the same name, and eBay now reportedly plans to build that site into a fully-blown marketplace.

eBay general manager Robert Chatwani told a conference this week that the site will be targeted at “social change consumers” who like to achieve their political/social justice goals by exercising their purchasing power.

And they are an increasingly significant market. Chatwani says those consumers spend as much as $45 billion on fair-trade products each year – often goods produced in an environmentally friendly way or according to decent labour standards.

“Those people aren’t on eBay. We believe only between 7% and 12% of these social change consumers are eBay users now… so this could be accretive to the business,” Chatwani said.

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