Online Auctions Paying The Bills

We know times are tough around the country. People are freaking out at the possibility of not having enough money for rent or food-if not for just themselves, then their family. The reality is that people are looking for side jobs more and more as the months pass. Any extra source of income can really make the difference when you are struggling to pay bills. For some, auctions-specifically government auctions-are a key source for getting them some extra cash at the end of the week. This article will be a helpful guide to some of the most prevalent auctions out there: online government auctions.

When people think of government auctions these days, they usually picture the large group of people standing in front of a storage locker yelling at each other to get their hands on someone else’s hidden treasures. Though typically, a ton of seized and surplus government auctions are done strictly through the web. Online auctions have been sweeping the auction block and people are loving them because they don’t need to leave the comfort of their homes.

If you are new to all this, you are probably wondering what a seized or surplus auction is. Here is a quick breakdown. A seized item can be something that is confiscated by a government entity and put up for auction. A surplus group of items are usually from a part of the government that has an over surplus of one or more items. These items are usually sorted and marked for auction. The public then has the ability to head down to a live auction or utilize the Internet for an online auction to bid on these assets.

Online auctions are much more accessible for a large majority of people around the U.S.. What it comes down to is time management. Do you have the time to run down to your local courthouse? Can you leave work for a day and attend one of these live auctions that normally fall on weekdays? Typically, the answer is no. Most people have a ton of work and personal affairs that need to be attended to before any purchasing of bidding of items can be done. This, for the most part, is the reason online auctions were implemented.

Now that you know what these online government auctions are, you will want to know what you can do with them and how you can make some extra money. These auctions are great for picking up goods that people desire and flipping them for a fantastic reseller’s profit. If a car is seized, and it’s in great condition, you might be able win the auction for well under market value. After that, you can resell this item and collect the balance. If you go to a surplus auction and pick up a lot of items, then you can either break up the lot or sell the lot as a whole. Breaking up the lot can be extremely profitable. You can purchase the group of items for a fraction of the retail price and then sell each item one by one.

You should figure out the correct avenue to unload the goods you planning on bidding on. A couple of easy ways to sell items is eBay or Craigslits. Those two tools can be very useful when it comes to flipping auction items for a profit. EBay charges seller fee, so you might want to consider ulterior sources. You might be able to sell items directly to a single person or even a retailer. Do your research prior to the actual event and you should be good to go. Don’t be scared to check a couple auctions before you actually make any bids. Test the waters and see what items are averaging for. Good luck!

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.

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!