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Bidder's Edge Certifies Auction Sites

Online auction aggregator Bidder's Edge Inc. Tuesday moved to expand its presence in the online auction marketplace with the creation of Trusted Auction certification.

Bidder's Edge said the certification will help protect consumers against fraud. Bidder's Edge will evaluate the retail auction sites it searches and indicate to consumers -- through a special Trusted Auction icon -- those sites that provide a safe, quality auction service. The company has already awarded certification to a number of sites, including aCargo, Autobytel, Autoweb, Bid.com, DealDeal, Egghead, First Auction, GavelNet, Live2Play, Mountainzone, Sharper Image, SkyAuction and uBid.

James Carney, president and chief executive officer of Bidder's Edge, said credibility and safety are important factors hindering the growth of online auctions.

"By giving a seal of approval to select retail auction sites, we will help eradicate consumers' fear and anxiety of purchasing items at online auctions.

Bidder's Edge criteria for Trusted Auction certification include:

  • Warranty policy: All products sold are covered by a manufacturer's warranty
  • Return policy: An explicit, written return policy for purchased products
  • Privacy protection policy: All users must be covered by a written privacy protection policy that does not allow the sharing of user information without prior approval from the user
  • Product condition policy: All sales are new or refurbished products; if not, the items must be clearly labeled as such
  • Receipt of purchase: A receipt of purchase must accompany all purchased products
  • Security policy: A comprehensive security policy must be in place to protect the consumer's purchasing and credit card information
  • Customer service representation: A living person must be available by either e-mail or telephone to help with questions, concerns and resolving issues.

The company said it will expand its own customer service department with the launch of Trusted Auction, adding that it will intervene on a customer's behalf if the customer is not satisfied with service provided by a Trusted Auction certified site. In addition, the company said it would remove a site's Trusted Auction certification if the site fails to meet the outlined standards.