R/GA Interactive Relaunches Auction Universe Site

Auction Universe
introduced its redesigned Web site, created by R/GA Interactive and featuring improved
graphics, easier navigation and new information for collectors.

The site expands the number of categories on Auction Universe to over 6,000
and adds content-rich collector “hubs,” the companies said. Billings for the
redesign were not disclosed.

“In our first year of operation, we conducted extensive market research with
NFO Interactive among both online e-commerce and auction users to really
understand and get to know online auction users’ needs and interests,” said
Larry Schwartz, president and CEO of Auction Universe, a Times Mirror company. “The new site
listens to those needs
and, along with the innovative new anti-fraud Bid$afe feature, will solidify
Auction Universe’s position as the place for informed and safe online

The testing by NFO Interactive, which included multiple focus groups and
questionnaires, found that trust, credibility and ease of use were among the
most important factors to online users.

Hence Auction Universe created Bid$afe, a new feature that promises to
increase security by providing a money back guarantee for every trade between
Bid$afe users.

There will initially be 10 “Collector’s Hubs” where buyers and sellers of a
certain interest category can get the latest news and ask the Auction Universe
experts about items. The Collector’s Hubs will include categories such as
autographs, action figures, trading cards and comics.

R/GA’s other recent projects include a series of kiosks for the flagship
Discovery Destination Store, interactive in-store demos for the launch of
Compaq Computer’s new Presario line, and the design of the prototype of
Ticketmaster’s new content management venture with Intel. Additional R/GA
clients include Mercedes Benz, Kodak, IBM, Met
Life, Novartis, Disney and Microsoft.

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