At a conventional auction, prices start low and are bid up. At auctions run by Trading Partners prices are bid down. Customers such as JCB and Focus Wickes use its online auctions to get the lowest prices from their suppliers. Trading Partners takes a guide price, then invites lower bids to supply the commodity, be it surgical instruments for the NHS or steel for making JCB earthmoving machines. The customer is charged commission on sales. The company was founded in 2000 by Chirag Shah, now director, and Sirish Reddi, who left in 2003. Its sales have risen 272% a year from an annualised £113,000 in 2001 to £1.6m in 2003.
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