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New Auction Site for Penn State Students Now Online

Creeped out by Craigslist? Put off by eBay’s hidden fees and surcharges? Irked by bookstore buyback prices? A new website for buying and selling items for Penn State students may be some salvation. Registration for LionBids.com opened Monday, said founder and Penn State sophomore Alex Slick.

The budding entrepreneur said he was inspired to launch Lion Bids after selling his textbooks back to a student bookstore for a pittance.

“I want it to be something that everybody on campus uses,” Slick said.

Only those with a valid Penn State email address can sign up for the site, which means faculty, staff, and students are eligible. While only a few video games and a few items are for sale now, item categories include everything from cars and motorcycles to jewelry. Yes, there’s a special iClicker section.

Slick promoted Lion Bids’s flexibility, explaining why the site may fill a local niche. Sellers can choose their preferred payment method, so cash-only transactions a la Craigslist can take place. They also have a say when it comes to delivery and mailing. For instance, it’s possible to only allow users from an on-campus location to pick up an item.

It’s worth noting a similar service once existed at Penn State. Nittany Auction started up in the late 1990’s and never really caught on with students.

But, Lion Bids isn’t charge-free, despite being touted as commission-free. A seller must use PayPal to pay into a tiered system to upload more than one photo, link to Google Maps, or add HTML coding to a description. Despite these drawbacks, the site does differentiate itself from other auction sites, and may develop into a thriving community in time. Check out Lion Bids on Twitter to keep tabs on this new student-run business.

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Mike Hricik

Senior in the College of Communications

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