New BID NOW Button Appears on eBay Live Auctions

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What's up with the big red BID NOW button on eBay Live Auctions? Who is AuctionFloor.com? Why is Heritage Auction Galleries (Dallas) moving auctions away from i-collector.com? New bidder tools, an advanced bidding platform? What is eBay Live Auctions up to?

Bidders on eBay.com understand that most bidders find items when only a few hours remain, the day of the auction. With live auctions however, the day of the auction means all absentee bids are halted and bidders are forced to sit through the entire auction to bid on their favorite item using a live java bidding template, which can take all day. This could be the reason why only a fraction of eBay bidders have even tried live auctions. "Those bidders are missing the boat", offered Andy Stone, CEO with AuctionFloor.com, "the live auction business is a $256 billion dollar business selling millions of items from box lots to large estates internationally, items not found in timed auctions"

On Oct 25-26 Heritage's Marketplace auction has a big red BID NOW button on each lot posted on eBay.com. Bidders for the first time are allowed to just leave a bid within a few minutes of the item selling. "This is just the tip of the iceberg", stated Michael Whelchel, CTO and co-founder of the company which started all this back in 2001, with CatBecca Auctions".

CatBecca was created when Whelchel's two girls (Catherine and Rebecca) purchased an estate item from a garage sale for $40 and made a large profit, then continued to auction over 100,000 lots sold on eBay Live Auctions over the period of 2001 – 2005 gaining national attention with an amazing online selling rate (75%). CatBecca learned early on however that eBay Live Auctions was not the core business of eBay.com. They experienced the growing pains of this developing technology along with other auctioneers. What many bidders do not understand is that while eBay has thousands of engineers and employees, eBay Live Auctions has only a handful. eBay is basically a marketing company where they are the middleman allowing the buyers and sellers to transact business. The live auction business requires specialized knowledge and has to deal with floor, online and phone bidders and complex licensing issues. eBay Live Auctions decided early on to use companies such as ArtFact.com, liveauctioneers.com and i-collector.com to "hand hold" the auctioneers.

CatBecca started to work closely with eBay Live Auctions back in 2004 and then the IT group associated with CatBecca, left and formed CBTechnologies Inc. and focused solely on providing a better bidding platform for all auctioneers. Known today as AuctionFloor.com, the goals are to engineer ways to make the platform on eBay more stable, fast and bidder friendly. Even companies such as liveauctioneers.com are completely at the mercy of the java platform provided by eBay Live Auctions. If it fails or operates slowly, then the auctioneers and bidder suffer losses, no fancy reports will fix that issue.

"Now it is up to the bidders and auctioneers to evaluate this new platform and send a message to eBay that this is the direction they want", commented James Paden, senior programmer with AuctionFloor.com. AuctionFloor has the ONLY connection to eBay Live Auctions and provides the only alternative bidding platform. "We are willing to bring live auctions to the next level", stated Michael, "now it is up to the auctioneers to sign up and decide". The auctioneer can now choose to take advantage of these tools when they create a new online catalog.

NEW Bidder tools now available when auctioneers opt in:

  •      Find live auctions worldwide by category, keyword or location
  •      Place absentee bids, even after the auction has started
  •      Request phone bids, even after the auction has started
  •      Get time estimates of when a lot will be auctioned
  •      Bid on lots live in real time (fast) (under 200ms)
  •      Web Based live bidding platform supports Macs & without plug-ins or Java
  •      Bid on multiple live auctions at the same time
  •      Filter / Search lots of interest, then bid exclusively on just those lots
  •      Snipe bid (November)

NEW platform for auctioneers (connected to eBay Servers):

  •      Supports an amazing 300 lot per hour bidding rate
  •     Bids are processed in under 200ms
  •     Stable fast direct connection to eBay Servers ( by-passing Java issues )
  •     Auctioneers only need one computer to place and accept bids
  •     Re-routes automatically an auction to another server within 200ms if the auction server goes down, fail safe stay alive feature
  •     Constantly pings a users connection and auto-restarts if they become disconnected
  •     Fraud vetting system connected to credit cards, banks, Paypal, eBay and other DB's, ensuring people are who they say they are (Dec)
  •     Supports all bidders, (online, floor, phone) with custom reports

Can AuctionFloor.com help eBay Live Auctions bring $256 billion worth of items to live auctions? Will the bidders from the timed model start to use these tools and move over to live auctions? Will live auctioneers accept the changes needed to work with online bidders?

AuctionFloor.com is banking on it. Imagine having access to items worth billions at one location and with the click of a mouse!

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MICHAEL WHELCHEL
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