Celebrity Auction Site Raises Money for Charity
The site, which is supported by Sony Broadbrand Entertainment, raises donations for nonprofits by having consumers bid on items given to the site by actors, musicians and athletes. The celebrities choose which nonprofit will get the money raised from their item.
"We are not charging anyone for any types of cost or listing fee or administration fees," said Xandra LeCarner, director at AllStarCharity.com. She noted that the site is working with more than 200 celebrities and has more than 300 items available.
"We bought all of the URLs, so whether they type in dot-org or dot-net, they will be taken directly to AllStarCharity.com," LeCarner said.
Items fall into two categories: All Star Experiences and All Star Treasures.
The All Star Experiences have a live component and range from tap dance lessons with Gregory Hines and working with the pit crew for a car race, to a walk-on appearance on the TV show "Dharma & Greg" and magic lessons from David Copperfield. The All Star Treasures range from a guitar signed by rock 'n' roll legend Eric Clapton and a "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" script signed by the show's star, Sarah Michelle Gellar, to a Doonesbury comic strip signed by its creator, Garry Trudeau, and a tour and song book signed by singer Tori Amos.
Visitors to the site are not bombarded with every item up for bid. Approximately 10 items are highlighted on the home page. Under them is a real-time countdown of how much time remains to bid. Items are up for bid for an average of 2 1/2 weeks.
Users can click on an item to get background information on the celebrity and the item as well as the charity it will benefit. Once a bid is placed, an e-mail dialogue will begin that will update the status of the bid and the time remaining.
"Users can tell us what type of products they are interested in and let us know to contact them when an item of interest goes up for bid," LeCarner said. "We will not be using the names we get for any type of marketing campaigns or anything like that."
A prospective bidder can search the site by charity or celebrity.
The charities are divided into five categories: animals and environment; celebrity foundations; children and education; health and medical research; and social causes.
LeCarner said no numbers were available regarding the dollar amounts raised or the number of items purchased.