Online Auction Sites – Basic Tips For Sellers

Over the last several years, rising numbers of people have bought and sold goods at online auction sites such as eBay. Naturally, many folks who joined internet auctions soon realized the income potential available to those who could sell successfully. These have included stay-at-home parents looking for some extra income and entrepreneurs at heart who wanted to start their own full time business. Online auction sites are attractive to new entrepreneurs because they’re a target rich environment: people cruising internet auction sites tend to be people wanting to buy something as opposed to people just looking for information.

In order to start a business selling through internet auctions, you first have to decide what market to target and figure out how to obtain a solid product you can sell for profit at a reasonable retail price. Next, you have to figure out how to sell it. Here, I address the last issue, which is the easiest: how to sell online using auction sites. If you follow these two basic tips then you should succeed in launching your business, provided that you have a suitable product to offer that you know has some consumer demand. The two are:

1. Provide accurate and attractive product descriptions
2. Understand the policies of your auction site and payment provider, e.g., PayPal

Everyone knows by now that a photo is a must-have. The text descriptions are equally important, but sellers sometimes skimp on this part. There is no point in endlessly fretting about “What should I sell online?” only to later cut corners when you prepare the auction listings. A detailed description is particularly important if the product is sold with multiple accessories, such as a camera with different lenses. Also, if you are aware that the product is used with another item that is not part of your online auction, it is best to state explicitly that the other item is not included in the auction.

These can be illustrated with iPod auction listings. You probably know already that iPods are supplied with variable amounts of memory. Your description of the memory capacity for the specific item you are selling must be accurate, because if an item advertised a 32 Gb iPod turns out to actually be an 8 Gb model you can bet the buyer will lay a claim against you to get his money refunded. This is also why it can be hazardous to copy auction listings from another seller for a product if you don’t really know anything about it: yours might not be configured the same way his was. Negative feedback can be very damaging when you are in the startup phase for an online business. Suppose you are selling a used iPod without any headphones. Your picture just shows an iPod and no headphones are visible, since you aren’t auctioning a headset or earbuds with it. An iPod needs a headset of some sort, though, and any new iPod purchased in a store would include earbuds. Assuming that the buyer understands a headset is not part of the auction based strictly on your photo is risky. I advise an explicit, written statement that headphones are not included. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure to make money online.

Policies of online auction sites and their payment providers can change over time and you need to be aware of what their pricing or other policies are before jumping into selling in online auctions. As an example, occasional Paypal holds on payments have recently caused confusion for some new eBay sellers. Sellers have at times reported holds of up to 21 days on payments from PayPal. Of course, a seller is still required to ship items to buyers after Paypal has received cleared payment. This means a seller may be compelled to ship items before receiving payment, even funds to cover the shipping charges. Some folks have listed items for sale without recognizing this possibility and have then gotten frustrated when confronted with an unexpected delay getting paid. Online auctions generally do not require sellers to accept PayPal, but it really is the easiest service to use when starting a business with online auction sites. If you want to avoid PayPal, internet merchant accounts can always be used instead. Other options may also be available depending on the terms of your auction site-just beware of checks from buyers claiming to be from Nigeria!

Another area of frustration for sellers is not unique to online auction sites: returns! Some folks don’t want to cope with returns, so they’ll list an item with a return policy of “no returns accepted”. Others offer a return policy such as “returns accepted within 7 days, buyer is responsible for return shipping plus a restocking fee.” Requiring the buyer to pay return shipping and/or charging a restocking fee is standard. No matter what you write as a return policy, however, you can be forced to accept returns if the buyer alleges you provided an item that was Significantly Not As Described (SNAD). PayPal allows SNAD complaints to be leveled up to 45 days after the sale, so even if your listing said that returns would not be accepted after 7 days you are still bound by the PayPal SNAD policy if you accept payment through PayPal.

The terms of service for online auction sites and payment providers are not unduly complicated, but make sure you read the fine print before you try to start selling. Participating in auctions first as a buyer is usually a good idea. This also helps you to establish a good reputation within the online auction sites. If you have obtained a quality product to sell that consumers want to buy, you are able to create attractive and clear auction listings, and you understand how your auction site works, then you have all the makings of a successful internet auction based business. Good luck and have fun when you buy and sell online!

Bid Online Auctions – Silent Vs Live

When participating in bid online auctions, there are different types of auctions to choose from. The two most popular types are online silent auctions and online live auctions. So, what is the difference between the two?

Online auctions have been around for many years and throughout those years they have evolved quite a bit. In a silent auction, like those similar to eBay, bidders primarily bid against other bidders for the items they want. There is usually a set time frame from open to close from which people can place their bids. You register for the auctions through the individual website and payment and shipping can either be arranged through the website or through the seller of the items. This can depend on which auction website you are visiting.

Live auctions online work a bit differently. Like silent auctions, they have bidders that register, but the dynamics of registration, along with how the auction is conducted is not the same. When you are registering for this type of auction, most of the time you will find yourself signing up twice the first time around. The first registration is usually for the website hosting the auction. Once you have been approved through the website you are able to sign up for individual auctions on the site that are hosted by different auctioneers.

When bidding, you will find that the set up is not the same as well. There will be a preview of the items you are looking at, usually the time frame is a couple of weeks. In this time, you can preview and sometimes put absentee bids or maximum bids on these items. You will notice a set time that the auction will start online, which will be the same time that the auction starts live at the site it is being held. Once it has started, you will not only be bidding against other people on the internet, you will also be bidding against people that are live at the auction.

Bid online auctions are fast paced and can be very fun to participate in. The opportunity to find great deals are always available through this type of online auction.

Bid Online Auctions Vs eBay Auctions

Most people are very familiar with eBay and the type of auctions they run on their website. It is a place where many search for deals on items they want to acquire for their home or for gifts for others. When some speak of bidding on live auctions online they are referring to eBay. There are however, a few differences between an eBay auction and bid online live auction.

Don’t get me wrong, there are similarities between the two. For example, both types of events have bidders, start times and end times. They both allow for you to place maximum bids on items. You can view detailed pictures of items and descriptions online from the comfort of your home.

The true difference between a live bid online auction and an eBay auction is the excitement that happens between the start time and the end time of these events.

In a live bid online auction, there is a set time for which an auction takes place – which is usually a couple of hours long and consists of many hundreds of items. With an eBay auction, there is one item that is up for auction for days or weeks at a time. So, as you can see, the excitement level and pace of a live bid online auctions is much more exciting. You have a few seconds to bid on the item you want versus days or weeks.

With a live bid online auction, you are bidding against online bidders (just like eBay) – however, you are also bidding against people who are actually participating at the physical auction site as well. This is an added dynamic to the auction that can allow for some pretty fierce competition.

One other difference between the two types of auctions is whom you are purchasing your items from. Most live bid online auctions are hosted by auction houses that have been in business for many years and are conducted by professional, licensed auctioneers. With eBay auctions, you are bidding on items that are usually being sold by the general public with no requirements to hold an auctioneer license.

While both types of auctions are effective in getting what you want at a potential discount, only live bid online auctions offer you the excitement of bidding live against other people in a real time bidding event. It’s a great way to get great deals while also having a lot of fun.