Navigating Your Way Through an Online Auction

Millions of people participate in online auctions everyday, but do they really know the ins and outs of bidding online successfully? There are certain things that one needs to be aware of when bidding online without breaking the bank or ripping out your hair.

One of the first things that bidders should do is invest time learning all of the different auction terminology there. It is important for you to know what the auctioneer is talking about while the action is happening, especially when you are bidding online rather than being there in person. It will be so much easier for you to follow along with an auction when you know what they are talking about.

Once you are well versed in auction terms, you should next familiarize yourself with the upcoming auctions and peruse their catalogs. By looking through and researching what is available for auction ahead of time, you are able to make decisions on what you what to bid on in a calmer atmosphere rather than in the heat of the moment during the auction. With online catalogs, you can see descriptions and pictures and are able to ask questions to the auction house before the auction so that you can make informed decisions rather than ones based on emotion.

Another important thing to do before the auction starts is to remember to register as a bidder for that auction. Many auction houses will want to approve you as a valid bidder before the auction starts and you will find it much easier to be an approved bidder before the auction starts rather than during the auction. By doing this well ahead of time, you eliminate the possibility of missing the lots that you are interested in bidding on while waiting to be approved.

While the auction is happening you will notice that it can be fast paced and sometimes you might struggle with keeping up. This is why taking advantage of maximum bidding ahead of the auction can be beneficial. If you can go through the online catalog and place maximum bids on items you are interested in, you lessen the risk of not getting the item you want considerably as well as minimize the risk of overpaying for the lots you are bidding on.

When the auction is finished and you have items that you have won from that auction, most auction houses will send you an email confirming the items you have bid on and won. This process can take a bit of time for the auction house to complete as they need to confirm each lot number. Remember to be patient. Many auction houses wait until the completion of the full auction to send out these emails rather than the completion of the lot number in the catalog. Bidders can easily get frustrated by not knowing that the process can take time to get their confirmation emails, but once you are aware that this can take time, you can rest easy while you wait.

By being aware and knowing these few tips to help you navigate through your next live bid online auction, you will reduce the anxiety around bidding online and ensure a fun and easy process the next time around. Happy Bidding!

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!

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.