Auction Fever Spreads Among Newspapers

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By: E&P Staff

Online auctions are becoming more popular at newspapers, as evidenced by the news this week that Knight Ridder has partnered with auction company CityXpress Corp. of Vancouver, British Columbia.

CityXpress also announced this week that it has signed agreements with 65 newspapers to stage event auctions during the first six months of 2004. Half of those are repeat auctions for existing clients, the company said. To date, CityXpress said it has staged over 130 auctions generating over $27 million in revenue.

Launching their first auctions in the first half of ’04 are the Houston Chronicle, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., and The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee.

For event auctions, newspapers typically promote the items to be auctioned in a printed insert, with all auctions closing at the same time. The paper gets the proceeds from the auction, and the advertisers get ad credits equal to the retail value of items sold.

Similar services are offered by Auction Media Inc. of Reston, Va.

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