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.

The Positives and Negatives of Online Auctions

Internet auctions have become increasingly popular over the years for a number of reasons, from their broad geographical reach to their absence of time limits. If you are contemplating moving into this area of selling there are a wide variety of attractive benefits to consider, but also some negative aspects to take account of. Here is an outline of some of both the pros and cons:

Cost-effective

Auctions can be one of the most cost-effective ways of selling goods online. There’s a plethora of cost saving measures sellers and auctioneers can take. It is considerably cheaper to organise an online auction than an offline auction event – with an offline auction money needs to be spent on a venue, a professional auctioneer, item storage and various other necessities. There are comparatively few expenses to worry about online… Auctions can also be an excellent way of liquidating old or excess stock. Selling these items by auction tends to bring in significantly higher profit margins than selling them off at a fixed discounted rate. Marketing is another area in which Internet auctions can save on costs. Marketing materials in the offline world can be costly and time-consuming to produce and distribute. Online marketing is relatively cheap, and has numerous other advantages.

High profits

Online auctions are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can go on for weeks (or even months). This is in contrast to physical auctions, which typically last for no longer than a few hours. This lack of time constraints is a great asset. It means that bidding can carry on for longer and thus lots are likely to sell at a higher price. Bidders find the competitive environment of auctions exciting and exhilarating. This is true of Internet auctions just as it is of auctions in general. This atmosphere can encourage participants to bid for items at significantly higher prices than they would in other situations. It is not surprising that online auctions have often been compared to gambling. As in gambling, participants can become caught up in the excitement of the event and become increasingly reckless with their money. This can lead to prices being driven well above and beyond market value.

Wide reach

Whereas in the offline world auction attendance is limited to those who can manage to physically be present at the event, auctions on the Internet can potentially be accessed by a vast and diverse audience of people from every corner of the globe. Items can be sold to people sellers would never have had access to previously. The larger the number of participants in an auction, the higher the prices that items are likely to sell for. There can also be a larger number of products up for auction. The increased reach of online auctions can allow sellers and auctioneers to create new specialist markets within their sector. Online auctions provide an astonishing degree of access to unusual or niche items that rarely turn up for sale in normal circumstances. For example, in the offline world machinery tools may become available for sale only occasionally and go for a high price when the do come up for sale. There is a wide geographic market for these items online. If marketing is targeted effectively, you can make lucrative sales.

Efficient marketing

Trading online offers the opportunity to market products in an exceptionally efficient and effective way. Data from your website can be used to identify customers’ and visitors’ buying and viewing habits. This means you can make highly informed decisions based on your customers’ interests and tendencies, and target your marketing activities more accurately. Social networking and blogging are very useful tools for anyone with an online business. Social networking can provide a steady stream of contacts and sales leads, as well as allowing you to publicise your auction site in a general way. If you frequently take part in online discussions relevant to the goods you sell you can offer your advice and expertise in the area and encourage people to put their confidence in you as an auctioneer or business partner. Writing a blog can also provide excellent publicity and customer interaction, as well as another route to your site for search engines.

Downsides

However, Internet auctions can also have their downsides…

• All websites are vulnerable to technical glitches. Technical glitches could cost you significant amounts of money, and customers who encounter a glitch when using your site may be permanently put off from buying from you.

• Criminal activities are something else to which e-commerce websites can be susceptible. If customers pay for items through your own site it is important that you scan the server for any potential security risks and comply with PCI DSS requirements.

• It shouldn’t be forgotten that there is still a significant number of people (particularly older people) who are not adept at, or not enthusiastic about, using the Internet to buy goods. Basing all commercial activity online may cause companies to lose these customers.

• Online auctions tend to lack the bustling, highly-charged, highly competitive atmosphere of auctions in the real world. This could lead to less competitive bidding and thus lower prices. Online auctions tend to see a dramatic surge in bidding activity towards the end of the auction, rather than sustained competitive bidding throughout the auction.

• Some bidders engage in a practice known as “sniping” – not placing any bids until the very last moment of an auction (when it is impossible for other participants to place competing bids) so as to avoid a bidding war that will drive the price higher. Naturally, this is not very beneficial for sellers and can result in lots selling for well below market value when in a physical auction they would have sold for a higher price.

Overall, the benefits of online auctions tend to outweigh the risks and downsides. However, it is important to research and consider all aspects of online auctioning before making the decision to move into this area of commerce.

How to Find Live Bid Online Auctions That Specialize in Your Area of Interest

If you’ve never heard of a live bid online auction, then you need to take a moment to read this introductory paragraph. Otherwise, feel free to skip ahead to the good stuff where we’ll tell you all about how to make such auctions work for you and for your personal interests. Now, if you’re still with us, we’ll assume you’ve never heard of a live online auction. Fair enough.

Similar to a traditional auction, live auctions held online are designed to sell off various objects that someone else no longer wants but hope you do want. They also work in exactly the same way that a traditional auction works by using an auctioneer who calls the bids as they come in and are held in “real time,” meaning that you get to bid in such auctions as they are happening, not like eBay auctions where you bid any time. Okay, now that we have that introduction out of the way, here’s the good stuff.

Making Online Auctions Work for You

We’ll assume here that you know all about going to a live bid online auction and that you simply want to know how to make them work for your needs. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, see the paragraph above. Live online auctions aren’t just a more convenient way to do your auction purchasing. Yes, you can get great deals at such auctions the same as you can at traditional auctions and you don’t have the fuss of getting in the car and driving to an auction house.

However, the best thing about an online auction is that you can easily purchase from auction houses that are thousands of miles away since everything is done online. This is a boon for collectors who have specific items they look for. The trouble is, with all the online auctions out there, how do you find the ones that specialize in the antique fish lures that you love collecting? Simple – just use Google Alerts and RSS.

What is Google Alerts and What is RSS?

These are two separate technologies that actually work together to make things easier than ever for those who enjoy bidding at a live bid online auction. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is a fairly old technology (in Internet terms that is – it was created for Netscape Navigator and the My Netscape web portal back in 1999 – an eternity in Internet years) that allows you to grab content from different web sites and to see it all in your e-mail or in an RSS reader. The system is most often used for collecting articles from news websites and blogs.

Google Alerts is another system that will tell you when a new webpage is added to the Google index which contains specific keywords. Therefore, you could, for example, have it do an alert every time a page is added which mentions “antique fish lures.” However, that will simply bring you a ton of pages and doesn’t really differentiate between what is out there and what you’re looking for.

Using Google Alerts

What if you only want to find any live bid online auction that happens to feature antique fish lures? You have two choices: Either you can put both of those into your search by putting them in quotation marks (i.e. “live bid online auction ” ” antique fish lures”) or, if you know of specific online auction sites that sometimes have them, you can tell Google Alerts to let you know only when those sites add in something of interest using the “site:” command (i.e. site:myfavoriteauction.com “antique fish lures”). Try that with a traditional auction and you’ll just get blank stares! Oh, and the best part? Google Alerts will even send you an RSS feed when it finds the auctions you’re interested in.