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Internet

Soda gets bids on auction site

Visitors to Net auction site Onsale are proving they will bid on anything--even cans of Coke or Pepsi.

A Cola War has broken out on the Internet.

Auction site Onsale reported today that a bidding war for cans of Coke and Pepsi has erupted its site. (Coke is winning.) While trivial, it shows that people are turning to online auctions to sell anything--and Netizens are even getting emotional about it.

Onsale is far from alone in the Net auction space. Ebay, First Auction, and the Times Mirror media giant (through its Auction Universe unit) have been expanding their online auction businesses.

The businesses face stiff competition, however, and they likely will have to sell more than soda on their sites to boost profits and stock prices. But the concept, previously limited to classified ads--or garage sales, for that matter--is catching on.

Earlier this week, a single can of Pepsi was put up for auction on the Onsale Exchange, a site where Netizens buy and sell products through a bidding process. Nobody has yet bid for the Pepsi, but a can of Coke has attracted a bid of 75 cents.

The incident has attracted a flurry of email to the Onsale Web site--so much, in fact, that a link on the site's front door now draws attention to the bidding. The Pepsi seller wrote: "It is a 12 fl oz can. The color is blue. Yes, it is carbonated. Never opened. Best if drank by 10-05-98. No dents or scratches."

A Coke seller countered with a can of his own, "just recently bought, like new." It received a 75-cent bid, but some users were not biting. "Do you think Coke is better? Do you believe a can of coke is worth 75 cents, and shipping is also worth $20? Maybe I should sell one can of 7-UP for $100?"