The market leader in Germany and claiming half a million registered
users, Ricardo plans to launch in the Netherlands, France and Italy
within the next three months.
“There has already been a tremendous response from traders throughout
the U.K. and thousands of retailers have input product for auction,”
said Joe Wilson, managing director of goricardo.co.uk.
Wilson added that private individuals would be encouraged to participate
from early February. He said that goricardo.co.uk had divided the UK
into six main geographic regions, each with a dedicated Regional Trading
Manager who would approach local businesses directly.
“goricardo.co.uk will demonstrate that the trading of goods over the
Internet is not something for ‘other people’, it is a reality now,”
Looking to its global future, Ricardo has bought the top Dutch auction
site Veiling.com, and taken a 17.5
per cent stake in Singapore’s online auction channel,
Similan.com, with an option to
increase its stake.
Eckhard Pfeiffer, chairman of the board of Ricardo, said that companies
that positioned themselves at the forefront of Internet commerce today
would grow to become as powerful as the top hardware and software firms.
In the U.K., Ricardo will be starting a multi-million-pound advertising
campaign in February, with extensive radio advertising to capture
Stefan Wiskemann, one of the co-founder’s of ricardo.de, explained the
company’s whole philosophy as “thinking globally but acting locally.”
“We believe that winning Europe is winning country by country and we are
confident that this strategy will ensure our global success,” said
The news of Ricardo’s launch follows a shake-up in the U.K. Internet
auction market this week, with Newsquest
dropping its AuctionHunter brand in favor of making an investment in
Freeserve Auctions Limited.