The company also wants to attract more advertisers in order to expand its revenue stream and build its business, and as a means to that end will focus on platform, not product.
"Our customers are omnivores," said Onsale CEO and cofounder Jerry Kaplan, noting that the company has a reputation for selling products ranging from home office supplies and housewares to consumer electronics accessories and computer peripherals. He joked that Onsale customers will buy whatever kinds of products are auctioned, referring to the success of a recent auction that saw bids on gourmet foods, including Ostrich burgers.
Kaplan said Onsale sees future opportunities in real estate, third-party auction classifieds, vacations and travel packages, events tickets, high-end computers, and charity auctions.
He said that 100,000 people visit the Onsale auction site every day, and that some 73 percent of those making purchases are repeat customers, up from two-thirds representing repeat sales at the end of last year.
At year-end, Onsale reported $41.1 million in merchandise sales, on 333,000 units sold.
Kaplan said he believes there is a certain psychology at work behind each purchase. "Customers don?t just buy," he said, "they win."