Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Choosing an Online B-to-B Site

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Choosing an Online B-to-B Site

Article excerpt

E-commerce sites for business-to-business (B-to-B) shopping abound, and their numbers are growing exponentially. How do you know which are the good ones where you can get both good prices and good service? After all, you're no longer meeting face to face with buyers or sellers: It's all virtual. Most of the B-to-B sites look alike, but beneath the snappy Web page design there may be differences that come back to bite you after you've made a purchase.

Some things to watch out for:

* To assess the site's customer service, check whether it has an easy way for you to contact a real person who has in-depth knowledge of what you are looking for. Will he or she help you find the best vendors so you can make the right decision to meet your purchasing needs?

* Find out how the site's managers select vendors. Do they post just anyone or are potential vendors checked beforehand? Often this information is available in the site's help section or can be obtained by a telephone call Or e-mail.

* Does the site provide detailed profiles of all its vendors? …

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