Startup plans launch of e-commerce, auction site

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Startup CBN Inc. is planning to launch, an auction and e-commerce site, within the next week. The site will feature live home-shopping broadcasts and penny auctions of consumer electronics devices.

To register for auctions, consumers must sign up for an account and buy a bid package. At registration, each user gets three free bids. Once a consumer has an account and a bid package — bids cost 60 cents each — he or she can begin bidding on products.

“We looked at eBay and Home Shopping Network, and we saw how successful they are, so we came up with the idea to see what we could do to merge the two technologies together,” said Steve Caudle, CIO of

Although the site is now functioning, it will begin to air daily live product demonstrations from 9 am to 6 pm PST this month. It will also feature 15-minute-long daily interviews with product manufacturers from the company's studio.

Consumers can bid live or set up a “bid butler” to make a set number of bids if they are not online when the auction begins.

Each bid increases the price of a product by 1 cent. For each bid placed, 30 seconds is also added to the auction timer.

The site will also feature a “buy now” option, which will let consumers purchase merchandise at a reduced rate, according to Caudle.

Online programming will run on a “five minutes on, two minutes off” schedule, according to Michael Parness, CEO of There will be five minutes of original content follow by two minutes of either a manufacturer's ad or a segment on upcoming products. Other than the mid-roll ads, there will be no advertising on the site, he said.

The site will also give away a prize every hour to a random user who is signed in.

“This site can be used by manufacturers who want to introduce a product to the market on a smaller scale than through a national outlet like traditional home shopping,” Parness said. is working with TransMedia Group on a publicity campaign touting its auction process. In the next two weeks, the company will launch a banner ad campaign, as well as 30- and 60-second TV and radio spots.

The site's managers are also planning an iPhone app that consumers can use to set up auto bids and track auctions. Caudle said the broadcasts will also be available via the iPhone and Android platforms.  

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