When someone mentions online auctions, most people immediately think of eBay and rightly so. This company has become a household name and the number of people buying and selling products or services using this platform is increasing every day. Chances are you yourself have bought some bargains or managed to sell that particular product you though nobody would ever want. But have you ever thought that online auctioning could be a lucrative profession for you as well?
Types of auctions
While eBay does resemble a traditional auction in a sense that multiple bidders try to get the product or service by offering more than their competitors, yet less than they believe it is worth, such organizations don’t actually mirror the traditional method. First and foremost, there are just bidders and the seller. An organization just sets up an online auction website and provides guidelines.
Another type of online auctioning is more like the “real” deal, with auctioneers acting on behalf of the sellers. Finally, sometimes businesses themselves organize auctions and sell their own products and services, but those are rather limited in scope and they almost never have a year-round offer.
What is necessary for an online auction?
Apart from the obvious (products/services, a web-site, the bidders and the seller), the key element is the proper auction software. The quality and type of this software depends on your idea about how an online auctioning should be done and the amount of money you’re able and willing to invest. Since it’s the vital cog in the machine, it only makes sense to go for the best you can afford.
You’ll need experts to set up a web page and the auction software and teach you the basics of the auctioning business. What an online auction boasts as its unique selling propositions is the fact that there’re no fixed time constraints, time limits are flexible, there are no geographical limitations and what’s probably most important for a potentially lucrative business, they usually gather a large number of bidders and sellers, which in turn, hopefully, leads to a higher volume of business.
What do you need to do?
So, if your aim is to be able to provide some of Australia’s finest online auctions, make sure you learn the ropes first. Learn how to present your offer in an inviting and attractive way, without misleading prospective buyers. Think like a buyer: what would you like to know about the product or service? Also, including pictures is always a good idea, since they contribute to the credibility of your description of the offer.
One more thing you’ll have to decide about is the type of bidding. For example, will you set a reserve price, i.e. the minimal one you’re ready to accept? How about offering a “buy-it-now” price? Will you opt for Dutch auctions?
This is very important, since they eliminate many unwanted situations. Clearly define who’s paying for the shipping and whether the seller ships internationally. Also, who’s paying the shipping costs if the product is returned?
By making the guidelines as precise as possible, you’re likely to build a base of satisfied and returning customers, who’ll be giving you good feedbacks, which are later used to attract new customers.
Bidding’s not the end
Your software should save all the info about the transaction, including the time and date, the price, as well as the identification of the winning bidder and any e-mail correspondence with them. A credit card should not be billed before the product is shipped out.
As you can see, there are lots of aspects to consider and get right if you wish to have a successful online auction company, but transparency, honesty and efficiency are the necessary preconditions for growth.
Author Bio: Lillian believes that the question of business goes far beyond the maximization of profit through different money-grabbing ploys. Instead, she likes to think that ethical principles should be at the core of every commercial venture, paving the way for much more balanced distribution of wealth on a global scale.