Focusing on Business in the U.S. Means TWay Doesn’t Have to Worry About the Consequences of World Events

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Wars, earthquakes, civil strife, politics – they all are factors for companies that try to find profits in foreign countries.

TWay.Com limits its online auction business to the U.S., and President Dean Burnetti says that’s the way it is going to stay – at least for the foreseeable future.

There are a number of good reasons to limit TWay’s vision to a domestically-focused business model, Burnetti said today. But world politics may be the biggest reason to stay focused on business at home.

“When you do business in foreign lands, you have to play by their rules,” Burnetti said. “And that can mean all kinds of unexpected situations – everything from terrorism to war to unexpected acts of nature such as hurricanes.”

The biggest player in the online auction industry, EBay, has been expanding rapidly into countries in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. But the company does worry about factors that can negatively impact its business in foreign lands, according to a recent EBay filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

“Anything that diverts our users from their customary level of usage of our websites could adversely affect our business,” EBay said in its filing. “We would therefore be adversely affected by geopolitical events such as war, the threat of war, or terrorist activity, and natural disasters, such as hurricanes or earthquakes.”

Burnetti also said the cost of developing business in foreign lands can be astronomical. EBay, he said, has spent many millions of dollars trying to maintain high growth rates by opening up new foreign markets. EBay said last year that it would spend $100 million in China alone in 2005, and it also announced plans for a new $200 million headquarters building in that country.

Sometimes those efforts have failed – EBay decided to pull out of the Japan market entirely in 2004 after spending millions in up-front and development costs.

“The money to cover those extraordinary costs must ultimately come from the customers – customers who get nothing out of foreign expansions,” Burnetti said. “We’re content to focus on our domestic customers, keep costs and fees to a minimum, and provide a very high level of customer service.”

For example, Burnetti said, TWay recently announced a complete overhaul of its website. It now offers such new features as customer forums, a new color scheme, and a split-view approach, with half the page devoted to auctions and the other half devoted to TWay “stores.”

ABOUT TWAY.COM: TWay.com moves online buying and selling to the next level with unparalleled flexibility, options and service. It also offers marketing partnership opportunities to savvy entrepreneurs. To learn more, visit the website at http://www.TWay.com.

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