This and That: Online Auction Roundup
By Ina Steiner
Reminder: AuctionBytes does not endorse the products and services featured in the "This & That" column, which often features new Web sites. (Anyone can set up a Web site.) Fraud has become widespread in the online auction world, and you should think twice before giving private information or User IDs and passwords to any third party.
MightyBids.com Unveils New Design
MightyBids.com unveiled a new design on its online auction site this past week and announced they have reached more than 3 million visits per month. According to the press release, MightyBids.com has seen steady growth in the marketplace since the site went live in December 2002. http://www.mightybids.com
Wholesale Site Liquidation.com Gets Makeover
Liquidity Services Inc. launched its Liquidation.com site with a new look and more features, more merchandise, and enhanced search capabilities to make it easier and quicker to find and bid on wholesale merchandise. LSI said it completes over 14,000 bulk sale transactions monthly through the Liquidation.com marketplace. http://www.liquidation.com
MastroNet Nets $11 Million in Recent Auction
MastroNet, an auction house specializing in sports and Americana collectibles, said its most recent three-day phone/internet auction event netted over $11 million. The April auction featured over 1,900 items. The next Premier auction event is scheduled for August 2005, and MastroNet will conduct its third Classic Collector auction in June 2005. http://www.mastronet.com
News Service for Antiques & Collectibles Market
News-Antique.com launched last week and is the first news service online specifically designed to serve the antiques and collectibles trade. The site will allow businesses, show promoters, auctioneers, appraisers, publishers, clubs, trade groups, authors and others to publish news stories related to antiques and collectibles. There is no charge. http://www.news-antique.com
eBay-Related Blog of the Month
More and more people are creating eBay-related blogs, here's the latest one worth noting: http://sellathon.typepad.com
Opinity Launches Reputation Service
Here's an AuctionBytes Newsflash article about an interesting new service called Opinity: http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y05/m05/i02/s04
eBay Adds USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Box Labels
eBay will soon begin offering the option to purchase and print USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Box labels. The postage for the flat rate boxes is $7.70 for delivery to all U.S. addresses, including PO boxes. Sellers will be able to purchase and print Priority Mail Flat Rate Box labels directly through eBay or PayPal, and will be able to order free eBay-USPS co-branded Priority Mail Flat Rate shipping boxes beginning in mid-May from http://ebaysupplies.usps.com. http://pages.ebay.com/usps/shippingitems/labels.html
Window Book Announces International Modules
Window Book has released the updated Spring 2005 version of Postal Package Partner (PPP) to include expanded, user-friendly International Modules, which support Global Express Mail, Global Priority Mail, Global Airmail Parcel & Letter-Post, and Global Economy Parcel & Letter-Post (http://digbig.com/4dhxs). In March, Window Book released the Your First Priority Package (YFPP) mailer. The company said the patent-pending solution is the only 3/4-inch thick bubble mailer specially designed to meet the U.S. Postal Service's First-Class Mail Delivery & Signature Confirmation requirements (http://digbig.com/4dhxt).
Paid Inc. Gives eBay Sellers Ability to Offer Discounted Shipping
Paid Inc. added a new feature in its ShopCart ecommerce solution. eBay sellers will be able to run promotions offering discounted shipping to buyers called the ShopCart Discounted Shipping Promotion feature. Online retailers will be able to offer their customers discounted or free shipping based on various situations, such rates based on certain thresholds for the value of the order. Merchants can configure the feature to discount shipping by percentage or absolute dollar amount in relation to promotions they are offering. The Discounted Shipping feature will be rolled out in three phases. Phase 1, threshold-based discounts, is available immediately. Phase 2 and 3, for shipping discounts based upon item quantity or a specified item being purchased and site wide order discounts, (e.g. 20% off entire purchase) are expected to be available in the next few months. http://www.auctioninc.com/info/page/shopping_cart
RainWorx Releases New Version of Auction Software
RainWorx introduced the latest version of rwAuction Pro, an auction software package for running your own auction website. Version 4.0 includes features such as CMS, Reporting, Advanced Search, and Message System. A new Membership System allows for monthly, annual, and lifetime memberships. Options include many discount levels, item limits, and pricing. The new version costs $795. http://www.rainworx.com/auction_software.asp
Using eBay to Help Determine Value
The online appraisal service WhatsItWorthtoYou.com has published an article, "Using eBay to Help Determine Value: Valuation Perspectives by Erik Kafrissen and the online appraisers at wiw2u.com." It makes a very interesting read for those interested in art, antiques and collectibles. http://digbig.com/4dhwh
PayPal Shopping Cart
Dave Taylor writes an interesting how-to article on setting up a PayPal shopping cart on your site. http://digbig.com/4dhwt
TV Show on Pop-Culture Collecting
Discovery Channel has a new series, Pop Nation, which "celebrates America's love affair with pop culture. In the course of eight one-hour programs and culminating in a grand finale, you'll hear the fascinating stories and meet the colorful characters of pop-culture collecting. At the same time, you'll not only relive the days of your youth, but get insight into the world of collecting and the money that can be made from the stuff in your own home." http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/popnation/popnation.html
Antiques Roadshow Airs ''Wild Things''
Antiques Roadshow will air a special show called "Wild Things" featuring animal-themed appraisals from nearly a decade of the show. Among the items featured: an Egyptian falcon mummy sarcophagus ($12,000 - $18,000); a jewel-encrusted dragonfly brooch complete with flappable wings ($20,000-$25,000); and a sculpture depicting the elusive "kangaroo bird" as dreamed up and sculpted by the legendary Dr. Seuss in the 1930s ($25,000). The show airs Monday, May 9 at 8pm on PBS (check local listings).
Setting Up Retirement Plans for Employees
The IRS is giving away a CD-ROM that shows small business owners how to set up and maintain IRA-based retirement plans for their employees. The CD contains information about both traditional and Roth IRAs and covers IRA-based retirement plans for employers, including simplified employee pensions (SEPs), SIMPLE IRAs, and payroll deduction IRA plans. Call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-TAX-FORM (829-3676) and ask for Publication 4395. An online version is available on the newly-revamped "Retirement Plans" section on IRS.gov.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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