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Brokerage

Expedia website screenshot

The brokerage model makes use of third parties known as brokers, who bring buyers and sellers together to engage in transactions. Brokers usually charge a fee to either the buyer or the seller, or sometimes to both. Some brokers specialise in connecting customers with businesses, while other specialise in connecting businesses together.

Many different types of businesses can be classified under the brokerage umbrella. These range from simple classified ad sites, like Craigslist or Gumtree to Internet shopping malls, like iMall, online marketplaces, like Seatwave, where fans can buy and sell tickets for concerts, theatre, sport, attractions and special events. Online auctions (like Ebay) and aggregators can also be regarded as brokers.

Aggregators are brokers that bring business owners and customers together to get better pricing for goods and services. They leverage group purchasing to give businesses or customers access to get better rates than they could obtain on their own. One example is demandline.com.

Some brokers, such as expedia.com, an Internet-based travel agency with sites for 15 different countries, focus simply on connecting buyers with sellers. Expedia, which was initially founded by Microsoft, books airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals, cruises, package holidays and various attractions via the World Wide Web and telephone travel agents.

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