Portal pretender Excite Inc has added online auctions to its array of tempting baits for netizens. Run in conjunction with Excite’s recent acquisition Classifieds2000 (CI No 3,384), the auctions are open to individuals and business to offer computers, collectibles, toys and stereo equipment for sale. Items may be new or used. The auctions last 24 hours a day and can run from three days to two weeks. If a bid is taken in the last ten minutes, the auction is extended for another ten minutes – Excite’s electronic translation of Going, going, gone. The portal offers a third- party transaction service for settlement and says it invites both positive and negative feedback on the auction site. The amount of sweetener thrown in – ads free to sellers for the first two months with guaranteed prominent placement, a sweepstakes for a Pentium 166 MMX laptop for all buyers and sellers in June – makes you wonder just how confident Excite is about pulling the crowds. It’s not exactly virgin territory, either. Rival eBay (http://www.ebay.com) already hosts one million auctions per month in 400 categories. á
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