The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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October 22, 2013

Mankato online auction business launched

BidKato.com first of its kind locally

MANKATO — Eric Weiss hopes an online auction business that allows people to drop off and pick up items locally will catch on like it has in other communities.

"There's a lot of them around. There's four of these in Faribault, in Owatonna. We decided there's a need for one in Mankato," said Eric Weiss of BidKato.com.

The business is at 777 South Victory Drive, near Highway 83.

People wanting to sell items can bring them to the business — they have limited hours now but will move to regular hours in the near future. Sellers pay a $1 or $3 listing fee and pay a 10 percent commission based on the sale price of the item. Bidders create an account on the website and can then bid in auctions, which have a specific closing time and date. Successful bidders can pick items up at the end of each auction and pay a 10 percent buyers premium.

"It's an easy way to buy things. You don't have to mess with CraigsList and you don't have to pay the shipping on eBay and you can come and see items if you want."

BidKato.com is in the midst of its second auction and Weiss said the number of bidders and number of items for auction will increase as time goes on. "Right now we're focusing on building up our bidder base."

All the items for auction are shown on the website, but people who want to see things in person can check the viewing days and hours on the website and visit the business.

Weiss, of Owatonna, has worked with online auctions for years, buying and selling, as have his Mankato parents Bob and Becky Weiss. The three, plus a fourth investor, own BidKato.

Besides selling consigned items, auctions will feature things the owners have purchased at storage auctions, liquidation auctions and elsewhere.

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