eBay Gets New Auto Auctions into Gear

Online auctioneer eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) announced this week that it has added automobiles and everything car-related to its auction lineup. Additionally, a separate section called “The Showroom” will offer collector cars through an alliance with Kruse International, a large collectible auto firm.

eBay is the new official sponsor of Kruse’s 29th annual Auburn Fall Collector Car Auction, being held this week in Auburn, Indiana. The car show puts more than 5,000 collector cars and motorcycles on display each year, including the Batmobile from the movie “Batman Forever,” and the Batcycle used in the 1960s “Batman” television series.

The companies are cross-promoting the online “showroom” and the Indiana auction to build Internet awareness among auto enthusiasts. eBay will get a boost from a 90-minute live broadcast of the auction on ESPN later this week.

eBay No Stranger to Cars

eBay, one of the most popular online auction sites, also added auto parts, accessories, memorabilia and license plates to its dedicated automobile section. eBay users have been offering cars and other automobile parts for sale before this week, which helped the company decide to create a specific auction page for those items. The company estimates sellers are listing 1,500 vehicles per week on eBay, up 40 percent per month since the fourth quarter 1998.

The site also provides information on how to buy and sell a car online, and “The Showroom” offers tips on what to look for in collector vehicles. It will also hold periodic online chats to put visitors in contact with Kruse car experts and post upcoming auto shows on an online calendar.

eBay’s automotive area also offers The Gallery, which allows shoppers to look for items using pictures instead of text, and the Personal Shopper, which provides customized searches of items up for auction and notifies the visitor via email when an item is available.

Among the unique cars headlining “The Showroom” this week is former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 Lincoln Continental Convertible. “The Showroom” and the main auto, truck and motorcycle pages currently combine for more than 25,000 listings.

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