’Net News

ONLINE DIAMOND AUCTIONS GET WEB SITE UPGRADES

A “Real Price Guide” and easier access for bidding have been added to the only Internet Web site that auctions certified diamonds (www.teletrade.com). Teletrade Inc., which also handles coins and sports memorabilia, has auctioned high-quality diamonds on the Internet and by phone for a year. Though anyone can access the site, most bidders are jewelers, gem dealers, and coin dealers. Winning bids average $5,000 to $7,000

Teletrade holds two one-day online auctions every week and offers more than 100 diamonds per auction. Each stone comes with a laboratory report, plus a scanned Gemprint image and registration. Bidding can be done via the Internet site or Teletrade’s toll-free “bidding lines” with a touch-tone phone. Use of the site is free (via a personal bidder ID). Bidders pay a fee only if a diamond is bought or sold. The firm also has a “no-questions asked” return guarantee.

One of the site’s unique features is Interphonic auctions—receiving bids simultaneously by Internet and phone, while providing confidential transmissions of bidder and seller information over the Internet. Another upgrade is an online price guide for certified diamonds. It’s updated as soon as an auction ends, and visitors can search it free of charge.

Other online resources include “Track and Bid,” which lets viewers access auctions in progress and track bidding on lots of interest to them; “real time” bidding; “maximum bidding,” in which a bidder enters his highest bid for a lot before an auction and Teletrade bids on his behalf during the auction; and cash advances to a seller on items offered for sale. —William George Shuster

AUCTION SITE SIMPLIFIES LISTING

The auction site uTrade.com (www.utrade.com) has simplified the way merchants list jewelry and gemstones.

Retailers with electronically formatted databases now can e-mail the database to uTrade.com rather than retype the same information in the listings format.

Vendors and businesses wishing to send items in electronic format are requested to call (800) 388-8669 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time to speak with a representative.

The uTrade.com associate program enables Webmaster-merchants to create their own auction sites in conjunction with uTrade.com. Under the program, Webmasters have access to an established database without the need for developing their own programs.