CGU is opening up an Aladdin's cave of salvaged and recovered consumer goods at bargain prices for auction on the internet – but not in time for Christmas.
Traditionally, such items are sold at auction and often at only a fraction of their real value, with only those in the know in attendance to bid. CGU has taken the view that such auctions are anti-consumer because they are not often advertised.
Many of the sale items are end-of-the-line retail goods, among them specialist collectors' items, and products recovered by police forces and insurance companies.
Britain's biggest insurer expects to entice more than 25,000 people to register for the auction service in time for its official launch of bluecycle.com on January 18 next year.
Sean Egan, chief executive of bluecycle.
com, said: "Our aim is to have 18,000 items for those first 25,000 registered customers to bid for on a restricted basis – then we will open the floodgates to all customers."
Bluecycle.com has pledged to donate one per cent of the profits from transactions on the site to an independent fund dedicated to eradicating social exclusion.
Among the on-line bargains will be new washing machines, available from £100, second-hand cars with up to two-thirds slashed from the forecourt price and Beanie Babies, one of this year's Christmas toy crazes, priced at £54 each.
Door-to-door delivery is part of the service for all goods sold on the web site.
The new site launched on Sunday for pre-registration and will go fully live on January 18 next year.