(Note: this has nothing to do with wine... working on helping a friend through this. This has more to do with excess inventory - situations that occur sporadically, but in aggregate are ridiculously huge).
Raem, there is probably a viable service model - some sort of private deal room where a few percent can be clawed out. Looking into that. Most of these entities are large and have well-established reputations, especially on the buyer side and 30 day terms tend to provide the risk management for buyers. In any case, I'm definitely looking at a service-only possibility. But the current offline business is transaction-based and they are quite large and wildly inefficient transactions so they're attractive.
Ryan, supply-side absolutely want efficiencies as you can see the same deal go for X to 3X, depending upon sophistication of seller, timing, sales tactics, etc. Today's model is offline and based on a broker-type model... but once a deal or two is done, then the broker may get disintermediated because the buyer can move fast the next time a deal comes up. Of course they're likely paying less than the seller could otherwise get, but there's no efficient way for them to test that.
Just thinking aloud:
* Maybe market intelligence to sellers based on actual retail prices of comparable products and understanding of buyer's margin requirements, logistics costs, etc.
* Maybe the "marketplace" is simply a reseller that uses the above intelligence to buy direct and mitigate selling risk.