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Infopia to Offer Overstock.com Online Auctions
By Christopher Saunders

Online merchants using Infopia's hosted storefront now will gain a new outlet for marketing their products: Overstock.com Auctions.

The agreement between Salt Lake City-based Infopia and Overstock.com enables clients of Infopia's Marketplace Manager solution to simultaneously sell items on their own sites while listing available inventory on Overstock's recently launched auctions site.

Similarly to storefronts that provide merchants with the ability to also list products on eBay, the Infopia-Overstock solution (which relies on an add-on module to Marketplace Manager) automates the process of creating Overstock Auctions listings based on e-tailers' existing inventory and using a pre-set seller profile.

The solution also helps merchants track auction activity and payments, which are tied into Infopia's shopping cart system.

However, merchants will be required to pay the usual fees associated with placing an item up for auction, of course.

"Our clients have been asking for a seamless integration with Overstock.com Auctions since its launch in September," said Infopia Chief Executive Bjorn Espenes. "This integration provides high-volume sellers with an auction-listing and management system for Overstock Auctions that ensures a high-quality buying experience for consumers."

The move makes Infopia the first major storefront vendor to integrate Overstock.com's new auctions -- which it accesses via Overstock's API -- into its solution. Infopia already enables its merchants to list products and track auctions and fixed-price sales on eBay, Yahoo! and Amazon. Additionally, the e-commerce platform offers feeds to aggregators like BizRate.com and Shopping.com.

The move also is a boost for Overstock Auctions, which is positioning itself as an alternative to eBay and other established auction players.

"Overtock.com Auctions' lower fees, volume discounts, and high number of visitors per auction are proving attractive to online sellers looking for better returns," said Holly MacDonald-Korth, Overstock.com's vice president of auctions. "Infopia offers a powerful platform that makes it vastly easier to list inventory. I hope the community will take full advantage of it."

Overstock Auctions also hopes to differentiate itself by integrating personal ratings and other elements of social networking -- a concept popularized by sites like Friendster, MySpace, Orkut, and others.

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