23 January, 2019

Mistakes By Online Auction Sellers

Selling in online auctions gives you the opportunity to reach a truly massive audience. However, it requires a different thought process compared to other types of online selling.

It’s not uncommon for sellers to experience low engagement with their items, it can be for a variety of reasons such as timing, price, location and more. It’s necessary to ensure you’re maximising the potential of this audience by constantly evaluating how you’re selling.

There are so many questions you need to ask yourself such as: 

  • What do I write as a description?
  • How many images do I need?
  • What's a good opening bid?

Here we explain common mistakes made by online sellers so that you can ensure you’re not making them.

1) Poor Quality Images

This has a serious effect on the way bidders interact with your item because they physically cannot interact with lots in an auction!

Due to this, it's vital that the images are of high quality. Why? It will give them the visual aid they need to make an informed decision.

Online bidders like to bid with confidence and high-quality images are one of the ways to inspire that.  

2) Not Enough Images

Not all auction houses are the same, so the number of images you'll be allowed to use will vary. If you can, use as many as you're permitted because online bidders will scrutinise images to get as much as they can out of the lot.

By giving them multiple images, from different angles, it will give them a greater overview of what the item looks like.

If you do not have enough images, it can stop the buyer from viewing your item completely. A single image can easily manipulate the buyer as they may not be able to see any damage, defects or missing pieces.

Without showcasing the product from different perspectives, you’re denying the buyer and ultimately, yourself.

3) High Starting Price 

It’s not uncommon for sellers to overprice their item before an auction.

This can be for a variety of reasons such as the seller having a greater understanding of the item, an aggressive strategy to ensure the reserve is met and more.

A high starting price can discourage an online bidder because you may have out-priced them!

By starting with a lower start price, it can encourage engagement by attracting multiple bidders who could drive the price between them. 

However, don't set the price so low because they may start asking questions!   

4) High Delivery Costs

The final hurdle. You have the right images, informative description and an optimal starting price but then they see the cost of delivery and decide against it.

You'll be surprised how much delivery can impact the online bidder's decision making. If they consider the price to be an injustice, it can stop them from bidding on your item altogether.

There are many ways you can go about this. For example:

  • Build the delivery into the reserve and offer free delivery.
  • Use competitive rates.
  • Provide collection.

These methods can lead to your lot presenting the best possible scenario for an online bidder to engage with your product.

5) Spelling & Grammar Errors

Spelling and grammar errors can greatly affect the overall presentation of your item.

If a lot looks unprofessional, due to visible mistakes in grammar or spelling, online bidders can question the credibility of your lot.

There are various online tools to check grammar and spelling and this can reduce the number of potential mistakes in your listing.

A professional presentation, free of errors, can increase the levels of trust and confidence a bidder has in your lot.  

Bonus Tip - Bad Descriptions

Bad product descriptions can misinform buyers and this can be enough for your item to be skipped or receive little engagement.

Having a strong product description, accompanied by images, can give the buyer enough information to make a bid. However, don't forget point 3!

Now, writing an effective product description can be challenging. We created a guide: How to write a Good Product Description which teaches you ways to optimise your descriptions and improve your levels of engagement.

Final Words

The increasing interest in online auctions is attracting new bidders.

This presents you with an opportunity to put your products in front of new audiences and sell more.

However, it's important to avoid making the small errors that have big consequences!

If selling at auction does appeal to you, hit the button below to see how we can help!

5 Common Mistakes made by Online Auction Sellers + Bonus
5 Common Mistakes made by Online Auction Sellers + Bonus
5 Common Mistakes made by Online Auction Sellers + Bonus
5 Common Mistakes made by Online Auction Sellers + Bonus
5 Common Mistakes made by Online Auction Sellers + Bonus
5 Common Mistakes made by Online Auction Sellers + Bonus
5 Common Mistakes made by Online Auction Sellers + Bonus