Virtual goods CSE

September 6, 2007

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

File this under free ideas.

We talk all the time about material goods & merchandise on this blog, but one emerging market opportunity is in virtual goods.

The virtual goods opportunity — buying and “gifting” symbolic objects like flower or 8-ball icons — is only about $1.5 billion right now, but as virtual worlds, social networks and online gaming becomes more widespread, the opportunity will become more mainstream and much bigger.

Susan Wu of CRV cites a whole host of businesses that are making HUGE cash off of virtual goods.


  • Neopets users have created over 206 million virtual pets
  • Tencent has over 250 million active users in China and generated
    $100+ million in Q1 2007, 65% of their revenue comes from virtual goods
    and services
  • Nexon generated $230 million in 2005, 85% of which came from virtual item sales
  • Habbo Hotel has over 75 million registered avatars in 29 countries,
    90% of their $60 million+ yearly revenue comes from virtual goods
  • Gaia Online does over 50,000 person to person auctions a day –
    making them the 3rd largest auction site on the Internet.  Their
    average user consumes 1200 page views a month.



My idea: build a virtual goods CSE that centralizes every form of virtual good across all online communities.  World of Warcraft.  Second Life.  Facebook. Hot or Not.  Dogster. Do a rev split, take business away from eBay, strike partnerships with key distributors. Perhaps offer your own line of goods that are platform agnostic and portable to your world / network of choice.

Free idea provided by Scott Hurff — scott.hurff at channeladvisor………..