|New Website Aims to become eBay of Yacht Charter|
|Written by Kim Kavin|
|Tuesday, 25 September 2012 00:00|
Chaterbid.com has just launched in an effort to become the first-ever eBay of crewed yacht charter vacations.
"With the increasing number of yachts hitting the oceans each year, many end up sitting idle well beyond the wishes of owners, brokers and crew," the company stated in a press release. "There is currently no repository or mechanism to attract marginal income into the charter market. Charterbid.com has developed a completely new way to charter. Their online auction house will allow prospective customers the opportunity to bid for yacht charters, bringing yacht charter to a more affordable place to attract new entrants globally."
Charterbid.com will let yacht owners and managers list available charter dates, and then let website users bid on them. There will be a minimum reserve rate that must be met, just as on eBay, as well as a "buy it now" option modeled after that site's click-to-purchase choice. In some auctions, bidders will be able to see the current bid. In other auctions, bidders will be able to see only their name on a list, with the actual bid amounts remaining private.
The site also will allow winners to write reviews of charter yachts and give ratings, much as eBay allows buyers to rate the sellers of goods and services.
This is not the first attempt to combine online bidding with luxury yacht charter. Back in late 2007, a site called eYachtCharter.com was among the first to try to eliminate charter brokers from the booking process. While that site does still appear to be in business, its news page hasn't been updated since soon after its launch, and its website doesn't appear to include yachts from leading management companies.
By contrast, Charterbid.com is heralding the support of leading industry players. The website's launch announcement includes quotes from key people at Edmiston & Co., International Yacht Register, OceanStyle by Burgess, YPI Group, and YCO Yacht. Perhaps the most supportive blurb is from YCO's Group CEO, Charlie Birkett, who is quoted as stating, "We consider Charterbid.com to be an innovative way to gain access to new markets, and increase charter revenue."
It will be interesting to see how Charterbid.com fares during the next six months throughout the Caribbean season. Stay tuned.
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