Your Business Online | Professional Jeweler

September 26, 2001
Auction for America
eBay starts a charity auction for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., businesses from every industry have rallied to support the victims of the tragic events. In the jewelry industry, businesses have donated money and proceeds from sales and even offered housing and pet sitting. Many businesses still want to do more, and one way they can help is to donate items to eBay's "Auction for America."

Last week, eBay, the online auction site, started "Auction for America," where eBay users can buy and sell items to raise money for the victims and families. Items for the charity auction are highlighted and clearly marked throughout the site, and 100% of the money raised by every transaction will go to charity. EBay and its partners – Visa USA, MasterCard International, Wells Fargo Bank and Discover Financial Services Inc. – have even waived their customary fees for the charity auctions. In addition, AOL Time Warner agreed to provide marketing support and products for the auction.

EBay set a goal for "Auction for America" to raise $100 million in 100 days. To start that off, eBay donated the first $1 million. Within the first three days, more than 30,000 items had been listed for the auction. Individual sellers, including New York Gov. George E. Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and companies, including the Gemological Institute of America, have donated items.

If you are interested in donating items to "Auction for America," visit and click on the huge flag logo to get started. EBay has set up a toll-free number to help new users participate in the charity auction. Beginners will be paired with experienced eBay members who volunteered to help with the effort. The number – (866) 272-1053 – is staffed from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Pacific Time seven days a week.

"This is something we have to do," says Meg Whitman, president and CEO of eBay. "The people affected by the horrible attacks in New York and Washington, DC, need our help. The creative and entrepreneurial spirit of eBay's community is unstoppable and can do tremendous good in this time of great need."

- by Julia M. Duncan