Possible Effect on Marketplaces

The NYSE, the Tsukiji Fish Market, Art Basel, the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, the Bharat Diamond Bourse, the Consumer Electronics Show, eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, and so on – the world is full of diverse marketplaces.

What do they do and why do they exist?

Primarily, they enable buyers and sellers to find each other. They also provide communication, trust, and transaction services. They exist because they’re less expensive than the alternatives. If you want to sell 293 shares of IBM stock, you could try to locate people who are interested in buying them, or you could go to the NYSE.

Paybuyer’s technology can affect some marketplaces because it lets sellers hail/find buyers directly, without the need for a central meeting spot. For instance, rather than use Booking.com to find customers and sell rooms, a hotel owner could offer potential customers payments for looking at rooms and rates on his own website. Potential customers could find the owner's payment-for-attention offer via an independent search engine.

Therefore, if it turns out that buyers prefer to be paid for their attention, some marketplaces could become obsolete. For example, if hotel customers prefer to be paid to look at room rates, they’ll migrate away from Booking.com. If book buyers prefer to be paid to read book reviews, they'll go outside Amazon. And so on.

However, electronic marketplaces can adapt by incorporating attention-payment technology, letting sellers pay buyers for viewing product listings and for making contact. Thus, “listings that pay buyers” may become the norm in many electronic marketplaces.