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 companies. Fraud is becoming widespread in the online auction world, and you should think twice before giving private information or User IDs and passwords to any third party.
eBay to Acquire FairMarket Auction Company
eBay agreed to acquire former competitor FairMarket Inc. for $4.5 million in cash. eBay had invested $2 million in FairMarket 1 year ago, when FairMarket shifted its strategic focus http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y03/m05/i02/s02. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2003 and is subject to stockholder approval.
Software Creates Thumbnails of Photos
A reader brought an interesting software utility to my attention. For those of you who like to make fast-loading thumbnail images for your Web site or auctions, Easy Thumbnails is a software package that does exactly what the name suggests - it makes creating thumbnail images easy. It also makes them quickly, and best of all, it's FreeWare, which means that you won't get any pop-up screens or registration boxes nagging at you. Easy Thumbnails does a great job of organizing your thumbnail images, and the settings options allow you to make a thumbnail as large or small as you wish. A great little utility! You can download this program (it's 1.1 meg) at http://www.fookes.com/ezthumbs/index.html
Thanks for the tip, F.N.!
AuctionMagnet Management Tool Relaunches
Auctionmagnet.com, a provider of auction management tools, announced it has relaunched its service. AuctionMagnet was started by two eBay PowerSellers and a company called Catalog.com. Delinda Burger and Dana Michaelis were eBay PowerSellers who ran an eBay-selling seminar company called Online Auction Training and Consulting. They joined with Web-hosting company Catalog.com to create AuctionMagnet.com in 2000, and launched the service in 2002. Michaelis and Burger have bought Catalog.com's share of the company and have relaunched the service, which remains eBay API-certified. AuctionMagnet is the only women-owned company in the industry. http://www.auctionmagnet.com
Auctionworks Launches Referral Program
Auctionworks, a provider of online marketplace sales management software, introduced a new program to encourage referrals. The Ambassador Program rewards customers for referring other sellers to Auctionworks. Auctionworks will credit 10% of the new customer's generated revenue to the referring Ambassador's account for a 12-month period. Current and new users may sign up for the program. Any new accounts receive an extra week of Auctionworks free (total of 3 weeks) to try it. (Make sure the new customer references your Auctionworks User ID or email address at the time of registration.)
Follow-up on "Hidden Postage" Features of Electronic Postage Services
Endicia.com and Stamps.com both have "hidden postage" features that I wrote about in May http://tinyurl.com/eygj and were the subject of Letters from Readers in the last issue. I got some clarification from both companies about the labeling on packages sent out using their hidden postage features. Both services include the weight of the package and the method mailed on the label. So if a buyer chose, they could calculate the shipping costs by looking up the rates themselves. Apparently most don't, because sellers who use electronic postage services tell me they have far fewer complaints about the S&H costs when they use the hidden postage features.
Here's what Endicia labels look like: http://tinyurl.com/ejfd
And here's what Stamps.com labels look like: http://tinyurl.com/etn1
eBay Introduces Shipping Calculator
eBay introduced a free, optional shipping calculator for sellers to include in their listings. The calculator allows sellers to enter shipping information such as weight, package size, shipping service, and any handling fees when they list their items. eBay can then calculate USPS and UPS shipping rates based on the buyer's zip code and the service selected. Rates will be displayed in a calculator on the listing page and in the payment process. Currently, the calculator will only support shipments within the United States. Turbo Lister and Seller's Assistant will support the shipping calculator in the near future.
eTail2003 Conference for Internet Retailers
AuctionBytes is a media partner for the eTail2003 conference being held in Boston this August. This year's theme is "Expert Strategies for Delivering a Branded, Personalized & Profitable Multi-Channel Experience." Speakers will present concrete results and expert analysis of current and future projects that are shaping the ecommerce landscape. Lorna Borenstein, Vice President and General Manager of eBay Fashion, will give a presentation entitled, "Maintaining an Effective Balance between Direct Marketing Science and Entrepreneurial Skill within Your E-Commerce Retail Organization." http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y03/m06/i05/s01
Wex Rex Pop-Culture Auction
The Wex Rex Pop Culture Online Catalog Auction is now live online. The auction closes today (June 22, 2003) at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. Register and bid in advance at the Web site. This auction features 25 Lots including: Concert posters from The Woodrose Ballroom of Deerfield and Springfield, Masschusetts, from 1969 and 1970 featuring The Velvet Underground, J. Geils, Allman Brothers, along with posters and tickets from other concerts including those in Wisconsin and Illinois. Wex Rex is operated by Gary Sohmers, host of the nationally syndicated weekly talk radio program "Calling All Collectors." He also appears frequently on the hit PBS TV show "Antiques Roadshow" as an appraiser in Pop Culture Collectibles and Toys. http://www.allcollectors.com
Discuss New Services on the AuctionBytes Forums:
AuctionBytes Forum for Announcements of New Services: http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=29
AuctionBytes Forum to Discuss New Services (no advertising, please) http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=3
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 email@example.com.
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