HomeStrategyFinanceA Guide to Auctions Through Online Bidding

    A Guide to Auctions Through Online Bidding

    The rise of online bidding auction sites today is the result of several factors. Like any other activity that has pushed people to an Internet-based scenario because of the convenience it brings with it, auctions and fundraisers have followed suit too. If shopping can be done on the go, why not online bidding to participate in auctions without physically being present in cramped and overcrowded halls?

    Another reason for fundraisers moving online is the Covid-19 pandemic that brought with it severe restrictions on movements in the form of lockdowns and stringent social distancing norms. Organizations and charities that depended solely on auctions to raise funds for a cause were the hardest hit. Fortunately, they found a way to get around this issue by moving to online bidding. Needless to say, Internet-based auctions became an instant hit and proved to be more successful than the traditional auctions for fundraising.

    How do online bidding auctions differ from traditional auctions?

    Consider the traditional auctions of the past. There is a lot of fun and excitement with people rubbing shoulders in a packed hall and a paddle-wielding auctioneer encouraging them to bid higher and higher. The items for the auctions are physically brought to the venue and put on display so that the participants can examine them before placing the bids. The winners have to make the payment after the event and take the items with them. Each auction, depending on the number of items, lasts for a day or two.

    Now switch to the online bidding auctions and the conditions are different. The auctions are held through specialized sites having cutting-edge software that handles the complete auction process. Potential participants have to register on the site on the day of the auction and bid through any Internet-enabled device like a smartphone, tablet, or laptop while on the go. The photos of the items at the auction are displayed on the site and these can be examined before placing bids. The winners can use the payment gateways of the site and it is usually the responsibility of the organizers to ship and deliver the winning lots.

    How does bidding take place at online auctions?

    Online bidding on auction sites takes place via any Internet-enabled device. What makes it so appealing is that bids can be placed while on the move and from any convenient location wherever that might be on the globe. Online bidding is very simple. You can place a bid for an item and once that is crossed by someone else, you will receive a notification to that effect. You can then choose to carry on with the bidding or drop out.

    If you are very busy, you can also select a maximum bid for an item and put it on the website. You do not have to do anything while the others bid. Once your pre-determined amount is reached, you will be notified asking for a decision. The advantage here is that there is no need to always monitor the online bidding. However, on the flip side, others might have dropped out well below your set amount but you have to still pay the higher amount you settled for in the beginning.

    How to successfully conduct online bidding?

    If you are planning to successfully hold an online bidding auction, here are a few steps that you should follow.

    • The success of your online auction depends on the quality of software and the experience and expertise of the site. Research the Internet and pick what you believe is a credible and authentic website. Check carefully for the services offered which must include registration of the attendees, displaying the photos of the items, and providing gateways for payment by the winners. Most of these sites charge a nominal administrative fee and have no restrictions on the duration of an event. It is not surprising for an online auction to stretch fore a week as it is not possible to quicken the process with bids coming in from all corners of the world.
    • Ready the goods to be put up for auction. While there are no compulsions of carrying the items and arranging at a venue like the usual auctions, you have to talk to the donor merchants and decide the items to be put up online. The goods stay with the merchants but you have to take photographs for display on the website. This exercise is time-taking as you have to give the site sufficient time to design the auction specifics optimally so that people are drawn to it. Start and complete the process well in time before the day of the auction.
    • Since online bidding auctions are not restricted in space, you might be tempted to have more items than you can reasonably handle. Remember that you have to give some time to each participant to make a buying decision and if you have too many items, the auction will go on for a very long time. Additionally, you have to arrange for dispatch and shipping of the items after the online bidding is over. The number of items should be within your handling capability so that you can wind up the auction in a week at the most.

    Even after these safeguards, the auction might not be successful if you do not promote it well. You have potential participants from all over the world and you must cash in on this opportunity. Start an email campaign or create a buzz on different social media platforms. A good digital marketing campaign will give you rewards that will take the auction to great heights.

    David Novak
    David Novak
    For the last 20 years, David Novak has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV around the world, reviewing the latest in consumer technology. His byline has appeared in Popular Science, PC Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Electronic House Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Forbes Technology, Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, T3 Technology Magazine, Stuff Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Wired Magazine, Laptop Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly, Indiana Business Journal, Better Homes and Garden, CNET, Engadget, InfoWorld, Information Week, Yahoo Technology and Mobile Magazine. He has also made radio appearances on the The Mark Levin Radio Show, The Laura Ingraham Talk Show, Bob & Tom Show, and the Paul Harvey RadioShow. He’s also made TV appearances on The Today Show and The CBS Morning Show. His nationally syndicated newspaper column called the GadgetGUY, appears in over 100 newspapers around the world each week, where Novak enjoys over 3 million in readership. David is also a contributing writer fro Men’s Journal, GQ, Popular Mechanics, T3 Magazine and Electronic House here in the U.S.

    Must Read