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eBay launches $100 million charity auction

In the latest online effort to raise money for disaster relief, the auction giant launches a charity auction that aims to raise $100 million in 100 days.

In the latest online effort to raise money for disaster relief, eBay has launched a charity auction aimed at raising $100 million in 100 days.

eBay's "Auction for America" will benefit United Way's September 11 fund. The entire purchase price of the goods will benefit the fund, and eBay is waiving all of its listing and transaction fees on such charity auctions. Palm has already donated $5 million worth of inventory.

eBay is labeling items sold as part of the charity auction with a United States flag. eBay members can also donate cash directly to the United Way or to the New York Firefighters fund by "purchasing" donations from the charities' eBay's stores.

eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove said they launched the charity auction after New York Governor George Pataki and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani asked eBay for help. He said eBay has received "unprecedented" cooperation from financial institutions such as Visa, Wells Fargo and MasterCard, which agreed to waive their transaction fees for Auction for America items.

The auction comes as eBay's listings are plummeting in the wake of Tuesday's attack. Pursglove said the listings dropped 25 percent after Tuesday and have been slowly coming back. Pacific Crest Securities analyst Steve Weinstein reported Monday that eBay's global auction listings dropped by 1.1 million to about 7 million in the last week.


CNET Networks' Rose Aguilar reports on eBay's "Auction for America." (:44)

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eBay's charity auction is one of several online that are raising money for relief efforts in the wake of last Tuesday's attack. Last week, Yahoo, PayPal and Amazon configured their online payment systems to allow customers to make electronic donations to the Red Cross and other charities. Over the weekend, a hardware glitch caused an outage with Amazon's payment system.

Among those assisting in the charity auction is auction service management company Channel Advisor, formerly GoTo Auctions. Channel Advisor has offered to help people and companies post auctions for free. Among those that have taken it up on its offer is Palm, Channel Advisor Chief Executive Scot Wingo said.

"This is something that we can actually help out with," Wingo said. "We're glad to contribute to the cause."