Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 29, No.6

November 18, 2004


First eBay, now it's CBuy

By Jessie Gabe

It’s the season of giving, and staff at Concordia’s Centre for Instructional Technology (CIT) have come up with a brilliant idea to help raise money for Centraide.

In a radical departure from the tried and true bake sale, CIT has developed an eBay-esque online auction called CBuy for faculty and staff of the John Molson School of Business.

The idea for an online auction originated with CIT Manager and Concordia Centraide committee member Mary Genova, and quickly became a full-fledged reality with the help of her staff. With CBuy, CIT will be able to raise money for charity while cleverly demonstrating their technological savvy.

If the number of donations is any indication of the department’s enthusiasm for the project, CBuy will surely be a success. In just two short weeks, CIT has managed to collect close to 70 items, mainly from JMSB staff and faculty.

Among the more unusual items up for bids are lunch with Dean Jerry Tomberlin, vintage golf clubs, an aquarium, and even a painted portrait of you and your family retailing at up to $4,000.

Because CBuy is in its trial year, the bidding will be restricted to staff and faculty of the JMSB, but CIT staff members are thinking big. Hopes are high for a bug-free Concordia-wide CBuy in 2005.

The team behind the concept seems highly energized and optimistic about its inaugural launch.

“We’re in a business faculty,” said Kristina Schneider, Educational Technologist at CIT. “I have a feeling that they’re going to go a little crazy if they really get the hang of [CBuy].”

Genova has received only positive reactions in response to the progressive and creative idea. Her presentation before the university’s Centraide committee was received with excitement and applause.

“Judy Robinson [in Purchasing] was so enthusiastic she told her colleagues to start searching for donations from vendors! She’s getting ready for next year already,” Genova said.

The Greater Montreal Centraide Board has already been notified about CBuy and it will be watching the results with interest.

The auction began Nov. 15 at noon and continues until noon of Nov. 26. Participants may log on to to browse through the descriptions and photos of the items.

For most items, bidding will begin at $5 and increase in increments of 10 per cent of the starting bid. Participants can bid on as many items as they want and will be notified by e-mail if and when they are outbid, at which point they can choose to return to the site and bid again.

In previous years, the JMSB bake sale raised approximately $1,200. The goal with Cbuy, Genova said, is to beat that record while skipping the calories. “Oops,” she quipped, “I forgot we have seven cans of crème à la sucre that the donor claims to be the best recipe ever.”


Winners of the weekly Centraide thank-you draw, held Nov. 5, are Jane Hackett, Ann Bennett, Bob Roy, Robert Bourbonnais, Jane Stewart, Giuliana Panette, Ann English and retiree Dorothy Cameron.

Winners of the Nov. 12 draw are Evelyne Abitbol, Perry Calce, Chantal Collard, Sally Cole, Ming Li, retiree Elizabeth S. Petolas, Norma Barnes, Brigeen Badour, Anne-Marie Laurin and Eva Pomeroy

Draws of accumulated names of donors will be made during the remaining weeks of the campaign, Nov. 19, 26 and Dec. 3.