May 24, 1999
With all the companies getting into the Web auction game these days, it should be no surprise that luxury jewelry chain Mayor's Jewelers has introduced a site where customers can bid on and "win" jewelry. What is unusual is the store has created a Web site entity for auctions that is separate from its on-line store, which is still under construction at www.mayors.com.
The site is different than eBay, perhaps the most famous of on-line auction sites, because there isn't a free interaction of buyers and sellers. Mayor's actually provides the jewelry and watches for sale, offering up several pieces in diamond jewelry, gemstone jewelry, estate and period jewelry, and watch categories. Like in most auctions, there is a reserve, or minimum price Mayor's will take for the piece. Once a bidder has met the reserve, the highest bid is listed and other bidders can submit their maximum bids.
Once you register for a password and undergo a credit check (to make sure you're good for the money if you win an auction), you can check in at User Services to see current and past bids, call up a certain lot or change you user profile. One remarkable feature is the site's live agents. You can either call a toll-free number to speak with a customer service representative, or you can submit a form requesting an agent call you. The request is e-mailed to AT&T interactiveAnswers, a service that intercepts the message, calls you, then calls Mayor's and connects you with a representative.
The site's registration is also unusual: if you register during business hours, a representative will call you almost right away to verify your information.
- by Stacey King