Press Release

<< Back Auctions Helps Online Sellers Become Effective Marketers

Company brings power of discounting and targeted marketing to sellers with two new features-CrossLinks and First Bidder Discount

Seattle-August 18,1999 --/PRNewswire/-- Auctions has added two new ways to connect buyers and sellers in its rapidly growing online auction business. CrossLinks( and First Bidder Discount( allow any auction seller to become a more effective marketer by sparking bidding activity among all auction users and extending the reach of their auction listings to more than 10.7 million retail customers.

With CrossLinks, sellers can highlight their auctions next to related product listings throughout's book, music and video stores. This tool allows auction sellers to cross-promote their items in the largest online retail marketplace. For example, an individual selling a vintage fishing rod can present his or her auction listing to (NASDAQ: AMZN) customers looking at books or videos about fly fishing. This cross-merchandising significantly increases exposure for sellers' items and makes it easier for customers to discover items of interest.

For the first time in the auction industry, First Bidder Discount enables online auction sellers to provide a promotional incentive that will help garner bids. Available only on Auctions, First Bidder Discount gives the seller the option of rewarding the first person who bids on his or her auction by taking 10 percent off the final bid price, provided the first bidder ultimately wins the auction.

The company developed First Bidder Discount in response to auction-industry research, which indicated that one of the most significant barriers to a successful auction is attracting the first bid. This new tool allows sellers to entice initial bids and reward those who stay in the race to win. For sellers electing to use First Bidder Discount, automatically tracks and applies the discount on auctions displaying the First Bidder Discount icon, eliminating seller hassles.

Preliminary internal data have shown that auctions using CrossLinks were 22 percent more successful and received a 39 percent increase in the number of bids. Auctions using First Bidder Discount were 26 percent more successful, received a 28 percent increase in the number of bids, and garnered their first bids, on average, nearly 10 hours earlier than those without the discount.

"People often don't think of stamps when searching for items related to their favorite celebrity or hobby," said Greg Caron of, a Vacaville, California-based seller of topical postage stamps. " CrossLinks allow me to place my stamps on relevant book, music and video listings, reaching millions of potential customers. I now sell exclusively on Auctions because of the success I've had with this powerful marketing tool."

Said Joel Spiegel, vice president and general manager of Auctions, "These are tactics used by retailers everywhere, but until now they haven't been available to online auction sellers. As a leading online merchandising expert, we're pleased to provide the tools that will help our customers succeed at selling and finding auction items."

About, Inc., Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 video, and No. 1 book retailer, opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest SelectionTM with online auctions, toys, electronics, free electronic greeting cards, and more than 4.7 million book, music-CD, video, DVD, and computer-game titles. seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where people can find and discover anything they may want to buy online. As part of its efforts to provide the best shopping experience for customers, provides secure credit-card payment, personalized recommendations, streamlined ordering through 1-ClickSM technology, and hassle-free auction bidding with Bid-ClickSM. operates two international Web sites: in the United Kingdom and in Germany. also operates PlanetAll (, a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (, the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. also operates (, the sole provider of live-event auctions on the Internet.

In addition, has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient:, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at;, the online leader for pet products, expert information, and services, at;, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service, with operations in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, at; and, which offers brand-name sporting goods at prices from 20 to 90 percent off retail, at

This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others,'s limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction services, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect's financial results is included in's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 1999 and June 30, 1999.

NOTE:, Auctions,,, Internet Movie Database, PlanetAll, Earth's Biggest Selection, Bid-Click, and 1-Click are either registered trademarks or trademarks of, Inc., or its affiliates. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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