Most consumers would agree that Internet commerce is a revolutionary economic phenomenon. But the “e-tailing” sites of which they’re thinking — like Amazon.com or eBay — represent only a fraction of the total business occurring online. Although few consumers have heard of them, the majority of Internet sales transactions now go through “B2B” (business-to-business) sites, such as Agex.com and Metalsite.net.

In fact, Agex and Metalsite are just two of an estimated 500 B2B exchanges that have emerged on the Internet over the past year. Recently, the three major automakers announced such a site, as have four of the major defense contractors. Both developments made headlines.

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