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Dell's online auctions go live next week

The computer maker will launch the new site next week, an element in its far-ranging strategy to diversify.

Dell Computer will launch its online auctions next week, an element in its far-ranging strategy to diversify.

Like other PC makers, Dell is experimenting with its traditional business model in an effort to expand what it sells and where it sells it.

Earlier this year, the company opened Gigabuys, an online store featuring products from other manufacturers, and it started to pre-load the Linux operating system on it computers. Internet services under the Dell name launched in Europe this summer and will come to America soon.

Dell's auction site will be associated with Gigabuys. It will likely offer third-party computer products through the site, including desktop and notebook systems, software, and peripherals. The company will likely take a commission from each sale, much in the same way popular auction site eBay operates, sources said.

Products at auction will also in all likelihood be made by Dell itself.,, as well as have been registered by Dell over the last few months. The company, however, has not commented on the eventual name of the auction service.

Dell makes about $18 million a day in online revenue selling new computer systems on the Net. Auctioning computer equipment could further add to the company's status on the Web and help meet CEO Michael Dell's goal of boosting revenue by $40 billion in the next several years.

Dell's sales for the year ended in January were $18.24 billion.