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Half.com opens new retail sites

The eBay-owned online retailer adds four new stores, expanding its marketplace of used goods.

eBay-owned online retailer Half.com opened four new stores Thursday, expanding its marketplace of used goods.

Half.com opened stores for computers, electronics, sporting goods and trading cards. The company, whose other stores focus on media products such as books, music and movies, allows consumers to buy and sell goods through its site at fixed prices.

As with eBay, Half.com does not directly sell the items on its site. Instead, it collects a commission on sales made through its site.

The move marks the first expansion of Half.com's product offerings, but could soon be followed by more, said company President Joshua Kopelman.

"We believe that the Half.com model is extremely extensible to allow sales of any sort of mass market goods," Kopelman said. "This fulfills our vision and our business plan."

W.R. Hambrecht analyst Derek Brown praised the move in a research note on Thursday. Brown reiterated his "strong buy" rating on the auction giant, saying that the move could help draw in new shoppers to Half.com and eBay.

"We view this as an important catalyst for eBay and yet another example of management's ability to deliver on its stated goals," Brown said in his note.

Half.com and eBay representatives were unavailable for comment.

eBay bought Half.com last summer. The site has seen huge growth since then, expanding its listings from 1 million to 15 million items.

eBay's acquisition of Half.com marked its first move away from its auction-based dynamic-pricing format into the market for fixed-price goods. Since then, the company has introduced a "buy it now" feature for its auction sellers and soon plans to offer them fixed-price storefronts to sell through.