Online Auction Sites – A Brief Overview

Thanks, in part to the online world, much of what we do is changing dramatically. The advent of the internet has changed how we shop, how we sell, and how to do business. It’s altered a great many things that we do. Learning how to work with those changes is sometimes challenging.

Where we once attended a physical auction in order to buy products, today, we may also attend online auctions. These save us time and gasoline, by permitting us to shop online and to get lower prices at the same time. Online auctions help us to buy in new ways, but still to bid for those products that we want and to achieve lower pricing when we win them.

Auction know-how is something not everyone has, because online auctions are things we have not yet explored. Although they’ve been around for a while, older people and typically people who have not used the computer for a long period of time, aren’t entirely sure how to bid at an online auction, or how to use one.

For those people, we’ve offered just a bit of information about online auctions and laid it out so that you know where to look and what to expect once you get there. In no way is the online auction a clone of the physical auction. Online auctions use software to allow you to bid for the products that you want. You’re going to need to get a little bit of auction know how in order to be able to bid. Taking a look at each individual online auction site and scoping out how the software works is necessary. Most of them, thankfully, are not difficult to sort out, once you’ve taken a closer look at how bidding works.

Each of the better online auction sites also have very in-depth methods of helping you to understand how they work. For example, one of the largest of the online auction sites, eBay, offers you a very good look at their software in the help section. It explains how the bidding process is done and what to do once you have won an item in the auction. It will provide you with easy ways to pay for your product and explain the shipping process, as well as what to do if you get an item that is damage or not the same as was described to you.

The full featured and comprehensive kind of auctions that take place on eBay can see you bidding on-and winning-anything from a car to a house, to smaller goods and services. eBay literally sells anything at all. For those who are not familiar with it, it is also affiliated with PayPal, which means that you’re going to be able to make your payments easily and quickly.

eBay is just one example of the online auctions that are available. Specific auctions are available also in the UK. Other auctions include such things as the penny auction, where you will lower the price of goods by sending in incremental bids. Take a good look at what the online world offers you now in terms of auctions. You may never attend another physical auction again.

Three Reasons to Bid Online – Auctions Are Waiting

If you are an avid auction participant, the idea of taking your interest to the Internet may seem strange. After all, why bid online? Auctions are supposed to be attended, right? Well, yes and no. There is more here than meets the eye.

Convenience versus Attendance

No matter what you collect, from antique silver to sports memorabilia, sooner or later there will be an auction which you desperately want to attend, but can’t. It might be distance that prevents you from getting to the auction, timing, or even a previous engagement, but with online auctions, it just doesn’t matter.

Once you have registered and received permission to bid on a particular auction, you don’t have to be there. You can sit down at your computer, stream the auction live, participate, bid, and triumph without setting foot outside your home. This is particularly wonderful if the auction is taking place several states away. You don’t have to spend a ton of money for travel only to end the day empty handed.

Absentee Bidding Online

Of course, if the real problem is that the auction is taking place when you have another engagement, live bidding won’t work. For this there is absentee bidding. The concept isn’t new – people have used agents at auctions forever – but you never really know if your agent will represent you accurately.

With new software, you can look through an online catalogue, evaluate what you wish to bid upon, and place a maximum bid well in advance of the actual auction. You can do all of this when you have the time and can make a good, rational decision.

Later, when the auction takes place, you have the assurance that your bid will be raised to your maximum limit, automatically. You can check in when you are free to see if you won your item; if successful, shipping arrangements are made and your prize will arrive in due time.

A Broader Selection

If you are like most collectors, you are very much limited by geography at this point. You can plan to attend auctions that are out of state or far away, but it involves a lot of effort. Finding out about smaller auctions may not even be possible. With online auctions you can find out about any advertised auction, browse the catalogue, and make your decisions in leisure.

By accessing more auctions, as you do online, you have a better chance of seeing something special. Your auction house isn’t limited to just the merchandise it has in stock; it can connect and coordinate with many other vendors, providing you with a better selection.

Secure and Safe Transactions

We all hear about security issues that crop up with online purchases – you don’t have to worry when you participate in online auctions. Your information is processed with 128 bit encryption to protect your data from any prying eyes.

Once you take a look at just how many auction houses are turning to online bidding, the advantages will become even clearer. With the convenience, selection, and flexibility offered, it won’t be long before you want to try bidding yourself. Online auction bidding is the best way to expand your collection.

Online Auctions

Online auctions have become an increasingly accessible way of shopping via the internet. They offer a huge variety of products which are available at consumers’ fingertips, and in the comfort of their own homes. Sellers can sell unwanted items that might otherwise be thrown away.

This type of consumer buying continues to evolve, and is extremely popular and successful in today’s competitive marketplace.

There are two main attractions to online auctions. Firstly, the consumer is often able to secure an item at a lower price than it would be made available for in high street chains. Secondly, online auction sites offer an exciting and stimulating way of shopping. ‘Bidders’ enjoy the competition for products; a ‘win’ can be exhilarating, as well as being conveniently carried out without having to drive to an external location. In today’s society, competitive online shopping is becoming ever popular.

The most successful internet auctions are those that are easily accessible, are open to as many bidders as possible, and are straightforward to follow. An online auction is often active for a number of hours, during which bidders ‘bid’ for the product they want. They are usually allowed to withdraw from the proceedings at any time if they desire. Bidders who are more experienced can place bids at several sites at once, and will use software that tracks their status at each online auction.

There are basically two main types of auction process: Forward and Reverse.

Forward Auctions

In forward auctions, bidders who offer the highest bid win the item. The seller will put up the items available to buy and bidders will begin competing for these, thus driving the price up. Sellers might fix a reserve price so that sales do not fall below this. These types of online auctions are well known for selling and buying collectibles but also may sell business to business.

Auction sites have their own rules, such as whether sellers need a certain business accreditation to take part and whether to set a registration fee before use. Another consideration will be how payment is made; either between the parties involved or through the site itself. Seller profiles are established and rewarded by the more they sell and the more reliable they prove themselves in terms of delivery and quality.

Reverse auctions (Dutch Auctions)

In this type of auction, bidders who offer the lowest bid wins the item (the ‘item’ in reverse auctions is usually a contract for business). The event itself will last for a matter of just a few hours. Reverse auctions are important for supply chains (particularly electronic) and are viewed as a money saving exercise. These reverse auctions are becoming an increasingly popular way to do business through the internet.

Auction Sites

There are numerous auction sites currently operating online.

Many of these sites are not geared towards a particular specialised area; they can be visited and used to buy and sell almost any general item imaginable. Products are stored within categories, alphabetically, or consumers have the option of using the search tool to locate an exact match. Once the product is found, information, as well as numbers in stock, will be displayed.

Some auction sites will conduct the bidding on a buyer’s behalf if instructed to. They may also include a ‘Buy Now’ feature that allows the buyer to opt out of the auction and purchase the product immediately at the displayed price.

Dedicated sites will offer a more specialised service for direct-niche items, for example if buyers are looking for products such as artwork, guns, coins, jewellery or vintage clothing etc, these can be easily located through the internet’s search engines. Again, consumers are able to search through categories or enter keywords to find a niche product quickly, which they are then able to bid on. Many direct-niche sites also offer the option to purchase items without bidding.

Penny Auctions

Also known as ‘bidding fee’ auctions, these sites offer an exciting way of buying and selling online, providing the consumer with a retail incentive as well as entertainment value. Penny auctions enable consumers to often get products that are very popular at low prices.

Bidders pay a non-refundable fee and receive a pack of bids before the auction begins, at a set price (a fixed step to ensure fairness). They then place their individual bids and hope to be the player with the last wager before time runs out. With each bid placed on an auction, the timer increases. When the clock stops, the last person to place their bid wins the product and pays the final price for it, which is often very low.

Many consumers enjoy penny auctions because of the competition involved in the bidding process, as well as the sealed end product, approved by a company.

Products that can be bid on in these auctions range from laptops, phones and home appliances to gift vouchers and more. Savings of 70%, and sometimes more, can be made on items.

The success of the penny auction lies within its clear competitive shopping element, and the time it takes to place a bid. Bidders may send short numbers by text message to place their bid (effectively reducing the time it takes) or they may visit the penny auction site and place their bid this way. Many of the sites offer automatic bidding systems to save further time.

By visiting different sites and watching auctions in action, as well as reading reviews on specific sites, consumers will gain a good understanding of which penny auctions are the best to take part in.

Pay-Per-Bid Auctions

These offer bidders the chance of paying for an individual bid before the auction commences, then to add additional bids if they wish, to increase their chance of winning the product. A display will let bidders know their progress within the auction and further bids can be entered. With each bid placed, the value of the product increases as well as the countdown.