Contact: Sarah Ray
Posted: October 10, 2002

VT -Marla Weinstein, a native of Birmingham,
Ala., and a senior economics major at Middlebury College, has focused
her thesis research on online auctions as a fundraising strategy for charities.
With financial assistance from College funds that support such student
research, Weinstein has a goal?to determine if there is a type of auction
that is most profitable for charities to use in their fundraising efforts.
She has organized three auctions, each of which has different bidding
rules. All proceeds from the auctions, which are located at the Web site, will be donated
to the American Cancer Society.

The first auction took place Dec. 1-7 and raised
over $1,000. It also elicited 60 bids from around the country, including
a winning bid from a resident of St. Paul, Minn. The second will take
place Dec. 29-Jan. 4, and the third and final auction will run from Jan.
5-11. Items available in the remaining auctions include a weekend getaway
for two at the Mountain Top Inn and Resort near Killington, a Sugarbush
Escape Pass, and an MP3 player.

In the first auction, items were allocated to the
highest bidder who paid his bid, as in a traditional auction. In the second
auction, the highest bidder will also win but he will pay the amount of
the second highest bid. According to Weinstein, this arrangement is meant
to simulate a live auction that often ends when the second highest bidder
drops out and the winner pays slightly more than the second highest bid.
In the last auction, items will go to the highest bidder, but every bidder
must pay his bid regardless of whether he is the winner. This auction
is similar to a lottery in the sense that all participants pay for a ticket
but the chances of winning depend on how much the bidder pays.

Weinstein, and her thesis advisor, Middlebury College
Assistant Professor of Economics Jeffrey Carpenter, have worked collaboratively
on several projects over the past two years, but, according to Weinstein,
both are particularly excited about this latest investigation.

For more information, contact auction organizers
Marla Weinstein at
or Jeffery Carpenter at,
or contact the Middlebury College Department of Economics at (802) 443-5327.