The basics include things that you can expect or want from an online auction platform. An online auction platform should be a great interactive marketplace where sellers can start an auction for an item, a seller buys it and the item is then shipped to the buyer. In order to perform these transactions there are certain features a site should have to gain your business.
Fees – Fees can seriously hamper your end profit. As a seller you need to know about the fee structures upfront. Is there an account activation or membership fee? Is there a fee for sellers to join? Is there an item listing fee? Are there any other extraneous fees such as adding pictures or descriptions to the items you want to list? A poorly run auction site can have all these and you can run your profit into the ground.
Selling – Any items that you are selling you should be able to have complete control over. You should be able to list an item with pictures and a description, set minimum selling amounts, sometimes referred to as a reserve, and an end time or date to the auction. Cancelling bids or blocking buyers should also be available, in case of bidding abuse.
Buying – As a seller you need to look at the process of buying. Is the process easy or hard? Any buying process on the internet that is more than 3 clicks to the final sale could potentially drive away buyers. It should be for example, find an item, click buy, go to payment page, pay for item and fill out shipping particulars and finalize payment with a final click. Ensure there are no membership fees to the site either, as it will considerably lower overall traffic for the site.
Security – All payment options should be done securely offering a minimum of 128kb encryption for purchasing and backed by some form of reputation, such as an online certified BBB company or other online designations. There should be privacy policies available for easy viewing. There should also be an internal feedback system to warn of potential buyers or sellers that are fraudulent.
Help – Offering online help through any part of the process should be easy. There should be online tutorials, webinars, live chat windows, and lots of documentation for reading such as an FAQ or other helpful materials.
The Best Online Auction Sites
There is no doubt that the world over has embraced eBay as the go-to auction site for purchasing anything from rare paintings to homes to any oddity you can think of. It is simply the largest auction marketplace on the planet. However there have been numerous complaints about the feedback system arbitrarily favouring buyers at the expense of seller reputations. Generally speaking there are going to be unhappy customers, it’s the nature of business, but one unhappy client out of hundreds should not affect your overall reputation. eBay also has one of the highest fee structures of all auction sites, although with its traffic, you will be able to sell volume to make up for the higher fees.
This company has been around just a few years short of eBay, offers lower selling fees and had quite a global following. It does not have the same traffic base of eBay, but does let you keep more of your sales. As a second option it would be worth a try, especially if you have multiples of an item.
This site has an amazing fee structure that can really make a difference in the long term for sellers. There are NO item listing and final payout fees. They run instead on a ‘seller account’ membership fee. This fee is an annual basis flat rate fee that you pay and have access to sell as many items as you want for free within that time frame.
These top online auction sites essentially can get you started to selling anything from widgets to gadgets today. With very little upfront costs, anything you have lying around could be sold for cash today. Once you have mastered selling items you do not want, it will be time to start purchasing items to sell for auction. This takes a lot of know how and knowing the auction market.