Have yourself an online garage sale

Trellix's Trellix Web, a popular, easy-to-use site-building application, now allows you to have a site that does more than just look good. Now you can conduct person-to-person electronic-commerce transactions through your site without having to sell large quantities of goods and without creating any sort of merchant account.

Trellix Web, described on its site as a "website building tool for mere mortals," last week launched version 2.7 of its application, which allows any user to sell goods online and to accept credit card payments in return.

The application is "aimed at people who use (Microsoft) Word, not people who are Webmasters," says Eric Sall, Trellix's vice president of marketing.

Trellix offers users a template on which they can build a website without any knowledge of HTML. It features several "Web Gems" -features that allow users to easily add more dynamic functionality to their sites. Existing Web Gems add maps, weather, animation, and guest books to sites. With the launch of version 2.7, Trellix adds a Tradesafe Web Gem that allows users to sell items through their sites. Trellix has partnered with Tradesafe.com, an online payment processor, to provide the e-commerce feature.

To add the Web Gem, you place your cursor on your Web page template in the desired location, and click the "Web Gem" button at the top of the screen. A list of all available Web Gems appears in a dialog box, sorted by category. After you select the Tradesafe Web Gem, it walks you through the process of installing it. You must register with Tradesafe.com and provide a bank account number in order to receive payments. You select the name of the item for sale, the price, and the shipping cost. Tradesafe.com accepts American Express, MasterCard, and Visa. Once your item is sold, the amount of the sale is transferred into your bank account within three days. You are responsible for shipping the item to the buyer.

Tradesafe.com offers fraud protection for both buyers and sellers, Sall says. Trellix sees small businesses and consumers as the potential users of the service.

"A small business might want to sell seats in a training seminar, or an artist might want to sell some of her paintings through her site," Sall says. The idea of the service is to offer an online sales venue for people whose only other option might be an auction site such as EBay.

"You may want to sell your goods for an unlimited period of time, and you may want to set the price yourself," says Sall, highlighting a few of the reasons why this service is a good alternative to EBay. Although there is no limit to how many items you can sell on your site, users purchase items one at a time. There is no shopping cart.

Trellix Web is available free through several of the company's partners, including Fortune City and Tripod. It also comes preloaded on some new PC models from Compaq, Dell, EMachines, and Hewlett-Packard.

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