The AuctionBytes TV News
Channel provides video newscasts featuring online-auction and ecommerce news important to
online sellers and merchants. The AuctionBytes News in Review program
features reporter Ina Steiner and can be found on the News Channel. The news show is
produced twice a month and features news culled from the popular AuctionBytes Newsflash
I'm Ina Steiner.
Auction Site Bidville is reorganizing after disclosing financial problems. President and CEO Michael Palandro resigned September 21, one day after the company filed its 10-QSB with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing showed Bidville experienced a significant loss from operations, and has working capital and stockholder deficits. The company told customers on September 23 the site would suspend all billing processes until "billing, FSF Refunds, and Customer Service issues have been corrected."
Kenneth Walton, who pled guilty to fraud in the infamous Diebenkorn art case involving forged art and shill bidding on eBay, will be recounting his exploits in a tell-all tale due out next Spring. The book is called, "Fake: Forgery, Lies, And Ebay - How one man's con game created an international scandal and triggered a nationwide FBI manhunt." Three men were involved in the eBay shill-bidding scandal in which one eBay user was induced to bid over $135,000 dollars for a fake Richard Diebenkorn painting.
eBay users will be able to place bids over the telephone thanks to a new service from gNumber. UnWired Buyer lets users bid on eBay listings with a mobile or landline phone during the last minutes of the auction. The company said research shows over 50 percent of bids are placed in the last 5 minutes of an eBay auction, a practice called sniping by eBay users. UnWired Buyer is free because the company is an affiliate and gets paid to drive traffic to eBay.
Next month CheckFree will discontinue its Auction Payments Service, which had been targeted at eBay sellers. While it was well received, CheckFree found the service offered little incremental benefit to buyers and sellers who can already settle auction purchases using CheckFree's existing "pay anyone" bill payment services. I'll be back with more news after this message.
Auction management service Andale accidentally billed some customers in September for services they did not order. On September 1, the company combined two of its research services into one. The company then accidentally charged over 2,000 customers $7-dollars-and-95-cents by "grabbing" a wrong data-set in their customer database. After a few customers contacted the company, it realized its mistake and began issuing refunds.
eBay UK said it will soon be launching a feature called Business Identification that will let buyers know they are buying from a business seller. Sellers who use the feature must register with eBay and must adhere to certain practices. No word on whether the feature will be launched on the U.S. site.
In a surprising reversal, eBay has given the green light to Ethical Technologies' Sell-Through tool. In August, eBay said the tool violated the spirit of its search manipulation rules and changed the buyer experience. Ethical pitches the tool, also known as the Extender tool, as a marketing device to increase sales by up to 50 percent on a sustainable basis. The Sell-Through tool automatically extends eBay auctions if the item receives no bids more than 12 hours before the listing is scheduled to end. The seller only pays one listing fee, but the listing appears on eBay's highly-trafficked "Ending First" pages up to four times in a 7-day period instead of once. When asked about the change of heart, an eBay spokesperson said, "We jumped the gun," and said Ethical's clients are allowed to use the Sell-Through Tool "to the extent they choose to use it."
And on the lighter side.
This winter, you'll be able to learn to sell on eBay aboard a cruise ship as it sails the Caribbean. PlatinumPowerSeller.com is offering a 1-week eBay training course where three instructors will share their knowledge of eBay selling. Tuition starts at $395 and cruise fees start at $819 dollars. No word on whether dramamine is included.
That's it for this edition of AuctionBytes News in Review. For the latest online-auction industry news, visit AuctionBytes.com.
I'm Ina Steiner, See you next time.