At conventional auctions, prices start low and are bid up. At “reverse” auctions run online by Trading Partners, prices are bid down. The company, co-founded by Chirag Shah, takes a guide price and invites companies to supply goods at a lower price. The products can range from surgical instruments to steel for making earthmoving machines. Customers such as JCB are charged a commission on sales. Turnover at Trading Partners has increased 124% a year from £750,000 in 2002 to £3.8m in 2004.
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