Friday, November 03, 2000

Some pig bidders must first learn eBay




By Owen Findsen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Big Pig Gig online auction got off to a slow start Wednesday night as bidders started searching for the pigs on eBay and learned how to bid.

TO BID OR WATCH
  Go to the auction page at eBay.com and click on the name of the pig to see a picture. If you register your e-mail address, you can see the e-mail addresses of the bidders.
        “I'm new to this. I had to get help to find the pigs on eBay,” said Donald Chowning of Alexandria. “I'd like to buy a pig to put out by my pool.” Mr. Chowning has his eye on Dare To Dream, a sky-blue pig covered with clouds created by Chris Bailey for the Communicating Arts Credit Union.

        “I like the looks of that pig, but I'll wait to see what's in the other batches before I bid,” Mr. Chowning said. “I only want one pig.”

        Bidders were frustrated Wednesday, searching eBay before the first pigs were listed at 7:30 p.m. “We had some calls from people who didn't know how to find the auction,” said Betsy Neyer, Big Pig Gig spokeswoman.

        “We're very anxious about the auction, but we don't have much time to watch it,” Ms. Neyer said. “We are working on the next batch of pigs to put online, and there's still plenty of work to do on the live auction at Music Hall.” There will be 170 pigs auctioned online; 65 at the live auction Nov. 13.

        “Dare To Dream” had attracted six bidders with a high bid of $1,025, by late Thursday afternoon. The high bid was still less than the minimum bid of $1,500.

        “There are reserves of $500 to $1,500 for each pig,” Ms. Neyer said. “That means we reserve the right not to sell it for less than that.”

        There are 425 pigs purchased by sponsors and created by artists. About half the sponsors elected to keep their pigs. The other half offered them for auction to support 140 local charities. The Big Pig Gig is a public art project sponsored by ArtWorks. Sponsors' money paid the expenses of the Big Pig Gig. The auction proceeds will support charities.

        The Big Pigs will be up for auction for seven days. By Thursday afternoon 26 bidders were competing for 22 of the 39 pigs in the first batch. The most popular was Jeweliette, with 13 bidders and a high bid of $925.55, well above the minimum of $500. The highest bid was $1,575 for I Squeal, You Squeal, We All Squeal for Ice Cream, a pig with a boy on its back, created by students at Indian Hill Middle School and sponsored by United Dairy Farmers.

        The second batch of 40 pigs went on auction Thursday evening, and more will be added tonight and Saturday. Bidding is expected to be livelier next week as the auction winds down.

Auction site picks 'Priceless Gifts'
Pig profiles and event details at Cincinnati.com/bigpiggig
Today's pig profile



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