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Inside-IT Hogs limelight with auction launch

Surplus inventory disposal heralds the return of George's Harley

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Funny thing deja vu - as we shall see. Making Markets, the channel sales initiative run by one time Datrontech sales supremo George Evans, has set up a trade-only auction Web site for the UK channel through its Inside-IT.com portal. The idea is a simple one - as are most of the best business ideas. Working on the principle that one man's meat is another man's murder, it provides a platform for resellers, system builders, distributors and manufacturers to buy and sell surplus inventory. There are 28 product categories in the auction site and successful bidders will receive email notification of their purchases, their details then get forwarded to the seller and they do the business. Details of the auction site were first revealed at trade show CTS 2000 in January of this year. Back then, The Register's Linda Harrison said of the impending auction launch: "Apparently, the launch is gimmick-free, so there's no chance of riding off into the sunset on Evans’ Harley Davidson like last year (or not, as the case may be)." So, imagine our surprise when we read the following on the Inside-IT auction announcement: "Bidding has already started on an introductory auction of a weekend for two in Paris while a Harley Davidson will also go under the hammer in two weeks time courtesy of MakingMarkets.com Managing Director George Evans." There's more to this than meets the eye (isn't there always with you - Ed). We started to get the feeling we'd been here before. Evans, like a lot of channel fellas, likes fast cars and motor bikes, and the Great Harley Davidson Giveaway has figured before in the history of Making Markets. Back in November 1998, Evans announced he was going to put up his Hog (that's a Harley Davidson, if you didn't know) as the star prize in a scratch card competition. The limited edition Heritage Springer had been a gift from his girlfriend, but a sanguine Evans said at the time: "My girlfriend wants me to be successful. Anyway, I'll probably buy another one next year." But no one won the Hog. Back in May 1999, The Register revealed that the winning scratch card was never presented. So the prize went unclaimed. Now Evans is sharing the limelight with the Hog once again. This time it's up for auction though, so perhaps there will be a different outcome. Or perhaps not, the Hog will be withdrawn from the sale at midnight on 31 March. Bidding starts at £8,000. So get bidding - eight measly grand for a Harley Davidson? The man's practically giving the thing away. "It's a great bike and someone will have a lot of fun this summer," said Evans. "Auctions are a really important part of creating an e-marketplace for the channel. Vendors and distributors are now driving the channel to use the Web more to source products. Our Trade-IT auction site will be the perfect vehicle to help facilitate this trend." You'll find the auction facility under the Trade-IT banner on the Inside-IT.com site, which is here. ® Related stories: Inside-IT opens channel portal Hog tied at Making Markets over Harley competition Ex-Datrontech top salesman to flog girlfriend gift

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