cMarket – A Charity Auction Startup

cMarket online auction
cMarket, a online charity auction site, is creating some buzz these days. The venture was recently written about in a Businessweek article detailing the company’s goal:

Having already raised $20 million in venture capital, Carson says the company is out to fine-tune the charity-auction process and develop a “national marketplace.”

The article also delves into some of the challenges that the business faces, most notably, differentiating itself from online auction giant Ebay:

CEO Jon Carson says, is designed to give each group a “walled garden,” as opposed to eBay’s sprawling agora. With more items to choose from on eBay, he says bidders don’t necessarily confine themselves to charity items. He adds that cMarket gives each group its own auction Web page, where it can also gain sponsorship revenue.

How does the site make money? By taking a cut of each sale, just as Ebay does, and also collecting a fee for introducing organizations to vendors that sell discounted products or products tailored for charity “drives”.

So check out cMarket, and buy something to support a charity!

Note: Ebay has a pretty compelling charity offering called Giving Works, where buyers can buy items sellers can sell items to support charity. I’ll write a more detailed about Giving Works next week.

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