In just 72 hours, the eBay community has responded enthusiastically to “Auction for America,” eBay’s online charity effort to raise funds for those affected by the horrific events of September 11. There are already more than 30,000 items listed on the site and more are added every minute.
The majority of the items in “Auction for America” come from private citizens throughout the country and represent almost every popular category on the site. Items currently up for bid include: an 1835 US gold coin; a 1958 Mickey Mantle trading card; a 25th anniversary basket from Longaberger; an American flag raised by Senator John Glenn that flew over the US Capitol; a black saltwater pearl necklace; a 1997 Superman comic book signed by the character’s co-creator Jerry Siegel; and six tickets to the February 12 Lakers vs. Wizards basketball game. Perhaps the most inventive idea to date is from an 8-year old Houston girl and her mother who have set up a “virtual soft drink stand” to sell “virtual beverages” and the girl’s own artwork to aid the effort.
New York Governor George E. Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani both announced that they would sell items on eBay as part of “Auction for America.” Pataki is offering a photograph of himself and Joe DiMaggio riding together in a convertible during the 1999 ticker tape parade honoring the New York Yankees. Giuliani is providing from his own collection a baseball autographed by Yogi Berra and given to the Mayor at Yankee Stadium on “Yogi Berra Day.”
In addition, organizations across the country are also beginning to participate in “Auction for America”:
— Premiere Props and Universal Studios are listing key hero props and wardrobe used in the filming of the movies “American Pie 2,” “The Mummy Returns” and “Josie & the Pussycats.”
— Club Med is listing 50 travel packages at its Club Med Villages Turkoise, in Turks and Caicos, and Columbus Isle in the Bahamas.
— Palm is offering 100 handheld computers including 50 of the newly unveiled Palm m125 Handhelds.
— Professional women’s tennis Sanex WTA Tour is providing authorized memorabilia including Jennifer Capriati’s autographed shirt and baseball cap, and the ATP, the governing body of men’s professional tennis, is offering a tennis racquet autographed by Andre Agassi among other items.
— Tiger Woods Foundation is offering a 2001 US Open flag autographed by Tiger Woods.
In addition to eBay’s customer support available online, the company has set up a toll-free number to help new users who may not be familiar with the site to participate in “Auction for America.” Beginners will be paired with experienced eBay community members who have volunteered to help the effort. The number, 866-272-1053, is staffed from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Pacific Time, seven days a week.
Announced by Governor Pataki and Mayor Giuliani on September 17, “Auction for America” is eBay’s online charity effort that allows people around the world to buy and sell goods online to raise money for the victims, their families and communities affected by the horrific events of September 11. The company has challenged itself, through its community of 34 million registered users, to raise $100 million in 100 days.
One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to charity, including the September 11th Fund and the Twin Towers Fund. Billpoint, eBay’s online payment solution, and its partners, Visa USA, MasterCard International, Wells Fargo Bank and Discover Financial Services Inc. are waiving their customary fees for “Auction for America.”
The eBay Foundation has donated the first $1 million.
eBay is the world’s online marketplace(TM). Founded in 1995, eBay created a powerful platform for the sale of goods and services by a passionate community of individuals and businesses. On any given day, there are millions of items across thousands of categories for sale on eBay, as well as on Half.com, eBay’s site dedicated to fixed price trading. eBay enables trade on a local, national and international basis with customized sites in markets around the world.