24 April, 2018

The Online Auction Envrionment

Online sellers are facing increasing competition for the attention of bidders online. In this guide, we have broken down the vital aspects of an auction which you can use to evaluate your competitiveness.

Selling in online auctions can be a challenging task. More often than not, you’re competing with other sellers to get bidders to bid on your lot. In order to secure their Attention, interest, Desire and Action, it’s up to you to optimise your item. How? By conducting an analysis to improve the following areas:

1) Product Description

The product description is where you can provide the buyer with enough information to make a bid. This would be strengthened by product images which support any claims made in the product description. You can provide other aspects in the product description which can add to the uniqueness of the product or ways in which it can benefit the buyer.

Included at the bottom of this guide is a link to a previous article which explains ways in which you can maximise product descriptions to provide new dynamics to your items. One thing to keep in mind is that a descriptive product description can reduce the number of enquiries you receive asking for clarification.

2) High-Quality Images

As mentioned in our previous article ‘5 Common Mistakes made by Online Auction Sellers + Bonus ’, providing high-quality photos will enable your item to stand out and provide an effective viewing experience for bidders because images are the only way they can interact with the item upon the start of an auction.

You can also look at how items from other sellers in your auction are being presented and you can use this as an exemplar for your own image presentations. Or, you can find ways to improve your own images.

Tip – The quality of the camera can help to improve the visibility of your product. By creating the necessary conditions where you have a well-placed quality camera, well-placed item and lighting conditions, you can have some extremely effective photos.

To be in line with auction standards, do not use hands or skin in the image. For example, a ring being photographed worn by someone.

3) Price

The price of your item can greatly affect the way it’s perceived when buyers engage with it. It’s important to remember that buyers in auctions can be price sensitive so when you set your prices, it’s important to recognise this.

When researching your prices, you’ll be able to get an idea as to how much your item may be worth. When deciding on the price and how it will scale, you can leverage the platform's increment function to your advantage and attract multiple buyers.

4) Using the right USP

A USP can range from free delivery to free warranties. What you choose as your USP must be strong enough to give buyers compelling reasons to choose you over someone else.

To get an understanding of what USPs are common, you can browse through the other lots. Or, you can try to differentiate and have a completely different one. This can help in making your product stand out in an auction and increase the chances of it receiving engagement.

5) Knowing your Customer

“If I was a buyer, what would I want to know before I bid?”.

This is the fundamental question you need to ask before you start building your item presentation. To get an idea of your ideal customer... create one. It can be a collector, aficionado, a retailer, bargain hunter and more.

By correctly visualising your customer in regard to what they look for, what they like, what they don’t like etc. it can help you to prepare and present your item in a way which answers all of their questions.   

6) An Achievable Reserve

When setting the reserve for your item, it’s important to set one which is realistic and achievable. There are many times where an over-optimistic reserve has stopped a lot from selling.

To improve the chances of your item selling, set a reserve which is in-line with the product and not any assumptions.

7) Customer Service

Responding to enquiries regarding your items is a great way to build a positive reputation with your bidders because it shows that you’re willing to cooperate with them by answering any enquiries which they have.

The biggest advantage of this is that the bidder can feel more inclined to bid on your item as they have an increased understanding of the lot in question.

8) Punctuation

Avoid the prospect of spelling and grammar errors on your item as it can affect the confidence that potential bidders have in your lot. It’s also important to remember that the use of caps to get the attention of bidders is not effective.

What is effective can be a strong image and product description to gain the attention, interest, desire and also action of the bidder. Capitals can be used where appropriate such as to be grammatically correct but not overused to the point where it is unnecessary.

Final Words

By correctly identifying areas which can be improved and making changes, it can help you to provide a stronger offering to your audience. Evaluating your competitiveness should be a task performed regularly by online sellers in an online world which is going to keep getting busier.

If you want to discover a new way to sell then try selling with us as our vendors enjoy 100% of the hammer and list their items for free in auction.

Head over to our selling page now!

How Can I Become a better Online Auction Seller? Are you doing number 4?