With its beginnings around the year 2000, online auctioning is a relatively new business tool in Australia. Since then it has been employed in both public and private sector successfully. Online auctioning offers a variety of benefits to both buyers and sellers with cost reductions being the most important one.
The first type of an online auction is a marketplace online auction with eBay being the most popular example. In this case, a business sets up an online auction website with its own guidelines. The business is not involved in auctions, so sellers and buyers contact and deal with each other. Online auction houses create a second type of an online auction, a traditional online auction. These auctions have auctioneers instead of sellers. Last but not least, there are auctions conducted by businesses, who sell their own products.
If you want to grow your business, you will need auction software for marketplace online actions and auctions conducted by businesses. Auction software automates the auction process and help you deal with a large number of items and bidders.
If you do not have experience in online auctioning, you will need a crash course. Choose the type of the online auction you want to create and try bidding in order to find out how the system works. Buy a cheap item in order to experience auctioning yourself. Next, start researching and surfing the online auction website. Find out what the usual reserve price for a specific item is, at what price a specific item is sold for, what keywords sellers use, etc.
Be sincere with your buyers and describe the product in detail. Let’s say you want to set up online car and or machinery auctions. Firstly, specify whether the vehicle is new, used, or reconditioned. Describe both good and bad aspects of the vehicle. Since auctions are created in the virtual environment, a rule of thumb is that you always include a photo of the item. Think about possible questions sellers may ask you and include the answers in the description box. For example, state whether the vehicle has registration plates, or whether you provide a roadworthy certificate.
If the auction website allows, specify a reserve price, a minimum price you are willing to accept. eBay, for instance, also provides a fixed price format (without actioning), a buy it now option and Dutch auctions. Choose the duration of the bidding.
Inform a potential buyer who is paying for the shipping and whether you want to ship internationally. If the product is returned, state clearly who will pay shipping costs. As far as a follow-up service is concerned, make sure you specify whether you provide it, or not and if not, inform buyers where they can get it. If you opt for online marketplace auctions, your goal is receiving a positive feedback from buyers, so make sure you have impeccable customer service skills.
Take several precautions after bidding. Save all the information about the transaction, such as the identification of the winning bidder, the time and date of the transaction, the winning price and the e-mails you have sent, or received from the winning bidder. Only when you have shipped the item, bill the credit card. Before choosing an online payment service, always read the terms of agreement first.
Professional online auctioning requires a detailed plan and tips and trick of the trade. The bottom line is that you should deal with bidders in an honest way so that you can grow your business quickly.