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 auctions.”

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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