Knowing who to trust is crucial to Net trade

Knowing who to trust is crucial to Net trade


By Mark Ward ELECTRONIC commerce is booming, but the trouble with buying and selling on the Net is that you never get to meet the people you do business with. So how do you know whether they will pay up on time? Or if they are charging the going rate for their products? Neal Workman, a former fisheries debt collector, thinks he has the answer: sites that act as trusted third parties can become market moderators, acting as honest brokers. He has turned his knowledge of the financial state of restaurants, supermarkets and food-processing companies into a profitable website called Go-Fish, which allows fishermen working the seas off the coast of Maine to find solvent buyers for their catches. The service is hosted by Workman’s company, SeaFax of Portland, which provides financial and credit information on the food industry. The SeaFax website is also the gateway to several other services. It provides a 24-hour news feed about suppliers and restaurants, lists the credit ratings of these companies and hosts a Java-based market that matches sellers to buyers. As electronic commerce becomes more widespread,
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