Now It's One Big Market

Buyers, sellers--and investors--are flocking to online auctions. The next bidder: Amazon.com

When you're worth $10 billion, you can afford to collect Gulfstreams, Ferraris and yachts. But last week Jeff Bezos, the founder of e-tailing dynamo Amazon.com had his sights set a little lower. Like millions of Internet surfers searching for their favorite obscure trinkets, Bezos joined an online auction, bidding for a pack of 1977 Star Wars trading cards. Alas, the buying force was not with him. He dropped out when the price got too high.

Bezos may have lost that battle, but he is determined to win the e-commerce war. Last week Amazon.com launched its own electronic flea market to appeal...

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