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Yahoo! Opens Merchant Auctions

In an attempt to bring its popular auction services to businesses, Yahoo! Inc. Wednesday debuted Merchant Auctions, designed specifically for retailers and power sellers to use a variable-price format for their auctions.

Yahoo! (YHOO) Merchant Auction is available to those vendors already registered with Yahoo!'s storefront utility, Yahoo! Store. Merchants can then move inventory from their Yahoo! Store Manager directly into Yahoo! Auctions.

The service features an order manager designed for sellers with a lot of volume to process an unlimited number of orders each month for a flat fee. Also included in the Merchant Auction service is customizable billing and shipping information as well as payment methods and personalized e-mail order confirmations. Merchants are given a manager tool, which allows multiple users to access orders as well as view, sort, summarize and export order information in multiple formats.

Tony Surtees, vice president and general manager of Yahoo!'s Commerce Group, said that the launch of Merchant Auctions is part of its strategy to attract business customers.

"Yahoo! Merchant Auctions are part of Yahoo!'s integrated commerce strategy to be the one centralized place people can come to build a business online and reach millions of qualified consumers," Surtees said.

Businesses of any size can realize the power of marketing products using an auction-model without investing in complicated or costly technology or staff to support a 24-hour, seven-day a week auction presence."