Compared to a lot of industries, you could argue that the solar industry is still in its infancy, but the growing pains it experiences now could be the path to great success later on. Gary Mull writes about the buyer and seller challenges and a shared solution. For buyers, sourcing products for inventory is “time-intensive and expensive.” Large buyers seeking oversea suppliers need to send someone to travel and hire translators and do inspections, etc., whereas small buyers may have difficulty finding a supplier who will cater to them at all. Sellers meanwhile need to extremely minimize overhead costs and focus on emerging markets like Japan and US states like California. Mull believes that e-commerce is the solution on both ends, as:
… e-commerce has tremendous merit because online auctions can eliminate much of the work needed to identify potential trading partners, bringing deal reality and price transparency to the marketplace. For suppliers, it identifies real buyers through the auction process, while it enables the sourcing of products at a lower cost for installers.