Virtual eBay for virtual world

Of course, eBay is the number one web auction house. Now, there is a company that has taken their style of auctions and applied it inside of a different online context. BidSL launched on Friday, bringing auctions to the virtual world of Second Life.

For anyone not familiar with Second Life, its economy is based on “Linden dollars,” or L$; virtual dollars that can be exchanged for real money (the current exchange rate is L$256 = $1US).

With BidSL, Second Life inhabitants can pay L$1-5 in order to put something up for auction (either a real item or a virtual item). Other SL citizens can then bid on that item in $L, with their money automatically redeposited in their account should they happen to be outbid before the auction deadline is over. BidSL also offers to franchise their auction house system to anyone who wants to run their own in exchange a 5% cut of the auction fees the franchise generates.

This comes just as ICANN CEO Paul Twomey told audience members at the 2007 Influence Forum that virtual worlds are the future of global commerce.

Previously we posted an article discussing the future of virtual worlds, comparing an open world like Second Life with worlds that are closed and privately branded. Perhaps a mix between the two will be what ends up prevailing. Virtual worlds definitely have a place in the internet landscape now, and as they become larger we will see many more services like this on the horizon.

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