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uBid Teams Up With Surplus Record For Business Auctions

By Robert Conlin & James Hollander
Jul 23, 1999 12:00 AM PT

In announcing that it will team up with a leading directory of heavy equipment for sale, Online auction house uBid, Inc. (Nasdaq: UBID) is hoping to do for turbines and lathes what eBay did for Beanie Babies and blue porcelain jugs.

uBid Teams Up With Surplus Record For Business Auctions

Elk Grove Village, Illinois-based uBid said Friday that it formed an alliance with leading heavy equipment sales directory Surplus Record, Inc. to form a new auction site at srauction.com. The site, which will launch today, can also be accessed through a link on uBid's site.

Surplus Record has what it calls the Internet's largest online used machinery and equipment classified ad site. Launched in 1995, the site lists some 50,000 pieces of equipment on a daily basis -- equipment valued in excess of $500 million (US$). It includes everything from printing presses to giant steam turbines, lathes, grinders and much more.

"Our reputation and 75 years of experience in the surplus and used capital equipment industry, combined with the high quality of uBid's Internet auction expertise, will provide buyers and sellers with a trustworthy, liquid, dynamic marketplace in which to buy and sell machinery," said Surplus Auction CEO, Tom Scanlan.

Talking Business About Business

uBid CEO Greg Jones said the company sees the business-to-business market as having the same potential as the consumer auction market. To date, he claims, the business auction industry -- in particular the industrial equipment sector -- has been left out of the online auction bonanza.

Surplus Auction's Scanlan agrees, saying that there have been few alternatives to the traditional time-consuming on-site auction. With businesses becoming acclimated to doing business online, however, the mentality of buyers and sellers will change, he predicts.

Scanlan says that, in addition to drawing a much larger audience, online auctions will alleviate the need to drive long distances to a fixed-site auction and come away empty-handed.

Making A Business Move

uBid is clearly intent on establishing itself as kingpin in the business-to-business auction business. Last week the company formed an alliance with Cahners Publishing to offer auctions to readers of four of Cahners' magazines aimed at the printing, packaging, food service and paper conversion industries.

The agreement calls for Cahners to promote uBid's auctions across its range of print and Web products. The country's largest business publisher, Cahners has 128 titles with a combined readership of 6.5 million. uBid says it has the possibility of expanding its auctions to cover eight more Cahners-targeted industries.

uBid said Friday that it has produced revenues of $79.9 million in the six months ending June 30, up from $48.2 million it produced all of last year. The company's first auction was in December 1997. It has auctioned over 785,000 items, registered over 500,000 users and recorded over 50 million visits since then.


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