Marketing techniques that businesses should know to gain mileage from online auctions
1995 was a memorable year in the history of auctions when the e-commerce site eBay introduced online auctions. Whatever you needed to buy from cars to Beanie Babies, it was available on the site. Online auctions have changed the face of live auctions as it has done away with the noisy environment of live bidding created and more comfortable bidding environment as bidders can participate in the process from their homes. The thrills of buying in auctions is a reason why people get attracted to it, and by making the process more convenient for buyers, sellers can gain a lot.
Online auctions have created a vast virtual marketplace where people can gather to buy, sell or check out the products of the day. Online auction websites are high traffic venues from which businesses can benefit in many ways. Selling through auction sites allow business to take their wares to the marketplace almost at no cost and exhibit it to a considerable audience that improves the prospects of sale and fetches right price through the process of bidding.
Businesses prefer selling through auctions
Companies are eager to use the auctioning platform because of the little costs of marketing. The process does away with the cost of creating a marketing infrastructure as it neither requires creating a website for selling nor hire staff for marketing. It also does not require any initial investment. The auctioneer’s website becomes the marketplace for businesses that they can use by paying a certain percentage, usually 2 to 5 percent of the sale price to the auctioneer. Although enterprises get a readily available selling platform that earns full exposure, the competition is also very intense in the popular categories. The threat of your products getting lost in the densely crowded marketplace is also a factor that you should know how to handle. With hundreds of listings on online auction sites, the task of gaining visibility for your products can be quite challenging.
Get prepared for selling through online auction
Before venturing to use online auction websites for selling your products, you have to be familiar with the intricacies of the platform regardless of the volume of sale of your target. The rules are the same whether you sell just a few pieces of selected items or want to use the platform for selling a more extensive range of multiple products. You must know the ways of harnessing the traffic volume that heads your way and generates the maximum profits possible. In this article, you find some useful tips that should help to create the right strategies in launching your online selling campaign through auction websites.
Select the auctioning website
eBay is the leader in online auctions as its website attracts enormous traffic among the top 10 auction sites. It is a leader in the online auction industry by capturing 60 percent market share. While this information might excite you to enter into a business agreement with eBay so that you can take advantage of its reputation and traffic, you must first check if the products you intend to sell through the auction site fits into the scheme of things. All auction sites do not cater to every kind of markets. First, know about the auction sites used by other businesses in your industry niche because these could be most suited for your products. Find out every detail about these websites and match it with your business goals to see how best you can make use of it. Compare the results with some specialized auction sites like eBay before taking a final call.
There is a vast online auction market widely spread, and you would find websites that auction a variety of items including antiques, books, jewelry and even business liquidation takes place through this process. Ascertain the demand for your product on the platform by looking at the bid lists and quantities. You can also try out bidding for some items to get a feel for the process and the competition but make sure that you end in buying the product. links
Select your products
What kind of products you would like to sell through the online auction platform is an important decision that you have to take. You can either choose some products that you want to trade in good volumes or might want to push some selected and unique products that are one of its kinds. For the latter type of products, the sale volume does not matter. The amount links to the profit margins that you want to have.
Online auction platforms like Live Auctions 360 offer excellent prospects for selling in niche markets as almost 43 percent sales come from this segment. However, you must not ignore the earnings from non-niche markets because for you the bottom line is essential. If you are dealing in collectible items, the auction sites hold great promise for you. While popular items are easy to sell, selling specialty items could help to make a killing. The profit margins could be much more than what you expect.
Know the listing options
Auction markets have a specific method of selling through listings and lots, and you must look into the details to plan how you would like to sell your products. Consider the various options available.
- Regular listings – This is the most generalized and commonly used list of products created according to categories. It could be the starting point for getting familiar with the trade even though the returns could be quite less. It helps to test the waters before you decide to spend money on featured listings.
- Dutch auctions – These are the best methods of selling items in volumes as it allows placing multiple products of the same type in the list for each auction. It widens the scope of marketing as you can exhibit more products at the same time. Also known as English auctions, some leading auction websites impose certain conditions that you have to fulfill for qualifying to participate in this auction. Excellent feedback rating is a qualifying factor.
- Reserve price auctions – If you want to sell your item at a specified price without allowing bidders to play with the amount, then this type of listing is for you. It often happens that bidders keep away from bidding until the last moment and then try to grab the item at a price that is lower than what you expect. Reserved price listing can prevent it. However, it may also discourage bidders to enter into a competition for bidding that could help them secure the best deal.
- Featured items – To give more emphasis to your products, you can get it listed in the Featured category that allows displaying the products not only in the listing but also on the homepage of the auctioneer. It increases the visibility of the item and creates a unique attraction, but you have to pay extra for availing the facility. Additional payment would also enable you to display photos of the article either in a gallery that displays images or place your picture above the gallery for gaining more attention but at a higher cost.
The listings have a specified period of validity that you can renew after the expiry of the term. Listing for seven days with an option for relisting is the standard norm.
Choose your category
How you categorize your product is significant. You can gain knowledge by looking at the groups of different auction sites to understand where your product would fit best. During the process of examining the categories, also look at the type of bidding that happens and judges the level of competition. Search for similar or related products to ascertain how it sells and the category to which it belongs so that you can take an informed decision about the preferred group in which to place your product.
Advertise your product
To uphold the product prominently and ensure that it sells, you have to advertise it well. Having a good knowledge of the market and the target audience should help to create the most appropriate advertising content that can impress buyers. Be very specific in describing the item unambiguously and choose the correct words for conveying relevant information about the features and specifications. Highlight essential words to grab attention.
Feedback rating is an indicator of the trust level of sellers who sell through online auctions. Customer feedback about your business methods and products constitute the feedback rating, which should always be positive so that people look upon your business entity as trustworthy. Favorable feedback rating pushes up sales by almost 7 to 9 percent. Close interaction with buyers and providing the best services are ways to earn their trust.
Visibility matters a lot in gaining attention for marketing your products. Publicize the auction site through advertisements on your website that links to the auction site and diverts traffic to it. Monitor and test the listings carefully and keep tweaking to improve performance.
When you can combine attractive prices with proper marketing, it can have a dramatic effect on the bottom line.