Your Business Online | Professional Jeweler

October 31, 2001
All for One Dollar
A new eBay page features jewelry auctions with low starting bids

Step right up and start the bidding. All items start at $1. It's not a joke or a one-time special auction. It's eBay's new $1 jewelry page.

In early October, eBay launched "Bidding Starts at $1" with the goal to increase sell-through rates for its jewelry and watch merchants and to create a more exciting bidding environment for buyers. eBay's reports said merchants who sold jewelry items with starting prices of $1 or less with no reserve had significantly higher sell-through rates. In fact, most sold 100% of their listings. With that in mind, eBay pushed forward with the $1 jewelry page.

"For retailers, this is an incredibly lucrative selling opportunity, especially for those merchants with excess inventory," says Jewelry Category Manager Shira Levine. "Buyers are intrigued with the opportunity to bid only dollars for fine jewelry, and it's proven that the bidding activity heats up on these auctions."

The $1 jewelry page can be found online at eBay is promoting it throughout the eBay site and is sending direct mail advertisements to 1.3 million U.S. households. The page provides links to the different categories of $1 jewelry and watches and features some of the spectacular deals. Currently one of the features is pearls starting at $1. Some of the auctions in this section include: 14k gold pearl and diamond earrings, a rose quartz necklace with 14k gold and pearls and a blue pearl bracelet.

Though Zales and Ashford start auctions at $1, it may not be a good idea for all sellers and for all items. It's a good way to get interest in closeout auctions or blow out overstock, but it could also mean you'll sell some items below cost.

- by Julia M. Duncan