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Thursday, September 3, 1998 Published at 23:44 GMT 00:44 UK


Auctions raise Net bid

Everything's coming up roses for online auctions

By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall

Online auctions on BBC News 24
24Auction became the latest online auction site to bid for a share of a booming market when it launched in London on Thursday.

The brainchild of the Swedish electronic commerce group, Infinicom, the site claims to be Europe's first Internet auction service provider.

Chris Nuttall reports for Radio 5 Live
Director Donald Bent told a news conference this meant it would act as an auctioneer for companies, supplying lists of buyers to match lists of stock, it would host auctions for companies or it could set up the service on their own sites under licence.

He quoted research predicting auctions would become half of the e-commerce market by 2002, rising from $5bn to $52bn.

Quick growth for Quixell

[ image: Quixell founder Tim Jackson]
Quixell founder Tim Jackson
Meanwhile, the first online auction site in Europe, West London based Quixell, is planning to expand its range of products.

It has specialised in computer equipment and consumer electronics but intends to start bids for jewellery and holidays.

Tim Jackson on Quixell's experience
Quixell launched in January and founder Tim Jackson says the company is growing at between 30% and 50% a month, with currently 10,000 registered users.

Traditional auctioneers hammer advantages

Traditional auctioneers are starting to respond to the Internet challenge.

Bonhams' Internet site informs buyers and sellers about successful bids and IT director Rod Funston says live online bidding will come.

[ image: Bonhams will target online auctions]
Bonhams will target online auctions
"Customer service is what we're trying to deliver and I think that's what sets apart the fine auction house from some of the ones that are coming up on the Internet now," he says.

The company is putting most of its faith in interactive TV at present, linking up with The Auction Channel, which is launched on Saturday.

Bonhams insists it will concentrate on the top end of the market. But it admits its first interactive auction is featuring the charity sale of the All Saints pop group's knickers.

Trade in the United States dwarfs the rest of the world. The largest company,, is one of the most visited sites on the Internet, has more than half a million people registered to bid and holds some 200,000 auctions a day.

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