by Andy

Estates On Line Interview

We talk to Marv Eisen, President of Estates On Line, LLC about about the company's services for eBay sellers. Click here for details of their auction management solution.

Tags: Interviews

WR: Estates On Line is focused on consignment services, appraisals, and art and antiques. Is your background in traditional live auctions?
ME: My background was more technical in nature, but my interest in auctions and consignments specifically grew out of how the internet was reshaping traditional auctions as a means of enabling people to sell their property.
WR: Why did you become interested in eBay?

I became interested in 1997 when I sold some personal items, but in particular, I liked the after-sale contact with buyers, as eBay was a far smaller community, and it was a novelty for buyers and sellers to interact in the atmosphere that eBay created.

Conversations with friends about this new means of exchange nearly always lead to a request that I sell items on their behalf. After having done so, it became apparent that a means of managing the details of selling on consignment was needed, and with my business, engineering, and software background, I set out to tackle the job.

It is worthwhile to note that in the late nineties, there was a rush by eBay wannabe's to establish auction sites - and I had to stay close to one type of auction method. I took an educated guess that one auction site, eBay, was all that was needed on the web. History proved me correct on this and I've stayed with eBay and their auction marketplace, and eBay's API's are an integral part of

WR: You use eBay Live auctions. How do they work exactly, and why do you use them?

Live auctions have a special place on eBay, as they are the venue of well-established auction houses with exclusive items to promote and sell. For example, Sotheby's, Philips de Pury & Co., and Swann Galleries (to name a few well-knowns) utilize eBay's Live Auction platform for some of their auction events.

Live Auctions tend to be themed events which are advertised and announced in the appropriate press, websites, and newsgroups, and as such contain items of high interest and (in most cases) value. This makes Live Auctions far different "animals" than merely placing an item up for auction on eBay at random. Live Auction sales also require far more administration on the part of the auction house, in terms of running the auction, bookkeeping, and fulfillment.

Estates On Line has experience with conducting Live Auctions, and we have the means of aggregating items from a variety of sellers into Live Auction catalogues, advertising the auction on behalf of our users, and conducting the sale on their behalf. Sellers utilizing Live Auctions have the benefit of receiving higher prices than are normally realized on eBay. This means that sellers of high value items seeking an exclusive platform now have that available through

We are selective and vet all items consigned to our Live Auctions to ensure they are appropriate, as we want to earn the confidence of our consignors that their items will appear with similar, appropriate items from other sellers.

WR: What kind of services do you offer eBay sellers?

Our basic service to to allow sellers to list their items free for a two week period. Each listing appears on and includes the seller's description, photos, payment methods accepted, and return policy, if any. Sellers can launch their items to eBay directly from our site, using our Speedloader™ bulk listing tool, and our user Control Panel reports all eBay sales and funds due from buyers. It also reports when PayPal payments are received from eBay sales.

As you can see, we heavily support eBay, (but we also give our sellers the rest of the world wide web by uploading their listings to Froogle). At the end of two weeks, an email automatically goes out if the item is not sold, reminding the seller to renew their listing, which they can do by simply clicking a checkbox. The free listing service does not include consignment management.

Our next service level removes the two week expiration from a seller's listings, and also gives full access to our consignment management and book keeping tools. Of course, all services are included. This costs only $12.95 per month via PayPal and is a real value and time saver.

Our highest level of service, at $49.95 per month (PayPal), allows sellers to include their logo on each of their listing pages, and also cross-promotes each of the seller's listings across the platform.

WR: Visitors to your site can search for local consignment sellers. Does that help your sellers get new customers?

I'm happy to report that we have an active zip-code locator service on our site, whereby people can find consignment sellers, eBay Trading Assistants, appraisers, and auction galleries who register with us.

People are always seeking help selling online, and this is a great, no-cost service to sellers. Sellers who register on can elect to be included, and it's totally free. We are proud to be able to deliver a broadening base of new customers to our users.

WR: What's next for Estates On Line?

Right now, we're about to roll out a new interface for our Live Auction service, and that will be evident on our home page soon, but to give you a hint at our longer term plans — it has something to do with real estate.

I don't want to get too far ahead of things, but you can count on to be at the forefront of our field.

WR: Thank you for your time, and best of luck for the future.
ME: Thank you Andy, and Web Retailer.

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Article Added: 28 November 2005
Last Updated: 28 November 2005

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