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Online Auction Popularity Surges as Traditional Auctioneers Take to the Web with OpenSite Auction.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 13, 1998--

Web Auctions Now Provide Global Reach 24 Hours a Day

OpenSite Technologies, Inc., the number one provider of Internet auction software, is enabling traditional auctioneers to maximize the business opportunities available on the Internet. With billions of dollars traded each year on the Web, more and more well-established auctioneers are trading in the gavel for a mouse and relying on OpenSite Auction to get a piece of the Internet pie.

"Many of our customers are building e-commerce sites for business-to-business auction transactions. But, recently we've been getting a lot of interest from the traditional auction community as they look to extend their reach with online auctions," said Michael Brader-Araje, chief executive officer, OpenSite Technologies, Inc. "The unprecedented popularity of this new form of e-commerce makes it a natural extension for established auctioneers, opening up significant new channels for distributing their products into the broadest possible marketplaces."

Chris Rasmus, president of R.L. Rasmus Auctioneers, Inc. in northern Virginia, is one auctioneer that sees the new business opportunity offered by the Internet. Rasmus is also a member of the Auction Marketing Institute's (AMI) Board of Governors and the chairman of AMI's Technology Committee. Rasmus recently launched his first Internet auction, and predicts that more traditional auctioneers will follow his lead. "I think there has been a wake-up call for traditional auctioneers who may have been reluctant to go online," said Rasmus. "When you see billions of dollars being made on the Internet, and you don't have a piece of it, that's a problem."

Rasmus says his customers are receptive to having auctions online and like the idea of "exposing their assets to the world." They also like the convenience that an online auction offers. "As people face more constraints on their time, it is becoming less convenient to attend a physical auction. Internet auctions eliminate the time barrier, and let people `go to an auction' when it is convenient for them," added Rasmus.

Dargate Auction Galleries, purchased in 1989 by Carol and Larry Farley, has been a well respected auction gallery in the Pittsburgh area. The Farleys are members of the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association, and started their entree on the Web with a homepage that featured an online catalog just for browsing. This resulted in several email bids, which led to the creation of

their first Internet auction, using OpenSite Auction, in May of this year. They have since had thousands of hits on the site.

"Although there has been some reluctance by traditional auctioneers to go online, I feel this venture has opened up an entirely new channel for us," said Farley. "This Internet auction has given us a global reach that we did not have before."

Another traditional auctioneer that has ventured onto the Web, using OpenSite Auction, is Neil Bentley of Bentley's & Associates. Since 1979, Bentley's has generated millions of dollars for clients through traditional onsite auctions. Bentley's has offices in Texas, Colorado and Alabama and boasts an impressive client list that includes NASA.

Neil Bentley is using OpenSite Auction to develop a premier auction site where buyers and sellers can come together to buy and/or sell just about anything - ranging from antiques and collectibles to computer and industrial equipment. This site, NetGavel, will not only open a new channel for existing clients, but it will bring sellers and buyers together from all over the US and even the world.

"By creating this one-stop auction site we are taking the lead in bringing buyers and sellers together," said Bentley. "What better way to do that than with the industry's leading online auction software provider."

About OpenSite Technologies, Inc. and OpenSite Auction

OpenSite Technologies, Inc. was the first company to offer a comprehensive solution for hosting online, interactive Internet auctions on your own Web site. Founded in February 1996, in Research Triangle Park, NC and with an office in Buffalo, NY, OpenSite Technologies' mission is to provide sophisticated Web-based auctioning solutions that are easy to use for bidders and administrators alike. With more than 125 independent auction sites currently using OpenSite Auction, the company is dedicated to evolving the online auction market with continuous innovation and forward-thinking solutions to meet the needs of real world online auctions.

OpenSite Auction offers customers a proven and profitable alternative to "renting a stall in an online auction mall" or developing and maintaining their own auction software from scratch. This scalable, flexible and easily customizable family of software products meets a wide range of auction needs. OpenSite Auction automates the entire process of setting up, running and maintaining re
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Publication:Business Wire
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 13, 1998
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