Getting started with On-Line Auctions
How to BUY and SELL Safely and Efficiently
This is a short "No Nonsense" tutorial on What-to-do and What Not-to- do if you plan on getting involved with on-line auctions. These guidelines will
1. Save you money with your listing fees, and
2. Keep you out of trouble with buyers, and protect your from "Auction Sharks".
We will start with the general procedure then move on to the tools you need to be efficient and finally a step by step outline for your first listing and completed sale.
I suggest you Bookmark, Add to Favorites whatever your browser uses, now so that you can come back quickly as you will need to review from time to time.
Regardless of which auction site you choose,you should always search out the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and familiarize yourself with their policies.
List your Auction Item!
Study the auction format and what your rights are. You also need to learn theTerminology
The general procedure is an item is listed with a minimum bid, a description, and a duration is established,normally 3-7 days. Attaching a photograph of the item is highly recommended. The auction is then posted and now the fun begins.
Thruout the auction the bidders are kept up to date with their bids.
The site confirms their bids and notifies them should they be outbid.
At the end of the auction most auction sites send an e-mail to the seller and the high bidder,at that time the buyer and seller make contact, usually via email, to determine shipping costs and exchange addresses.
When individuals are selling, online auction sites assume no responsibility for the sale nor for the stated condition of items sold. They won't settle any disputes between buyer and seller. Caveat Emptor!- Buyer Beware!
Checklist: Getting Ready to Sell
These are the tools and services you need to list your items, track your sales and customers.
- You are constantly having to supply your password and fill in forms with the same information so I recommend you download this small program called The Gator! its Free.
With one click this program automatically types in your passwords for any web site that you are registered with And it also fills out forms automatically with the information that you load into it. Name address etc. A real timesaving tool when you start listing and it works on any web site that requires you to sign in with passwords.
- Prepare yourself for the most important part, Accepting Payments!!
Buyers are impatient,they want to pay and get their item shipped out as soon as possible. The days of mailing checks are gone.
Here are your best options for Accepting creditcard payments on line:
This service allows the buyer to deposit money directly into your account, PayPal emails you that payment has been made and you ship the item. You can withdraw your money with the use of a credit card at any ATM, have it wired to your bank account or leave it in your account and draw interest on it and use it to buy things on-line, Very Handy and the majority of buyers are using this service.
There is a small transaction fee and it varies depending on which plan you sign up for.
(B) ProPay , again, a few simple clicks on the part of the buyer and you have your money.
(C) And the newest entry in on-line auction payments is
C2it by Citibank and AOL Quick Cash.
This service is Free, No Fees and with AOL having over 25 million members you need this one for sure.
(D) A small percentage of buyers still feel uneasy about giving creditcard information out on-line, for those buyers I offer them the ability to
Pay by check, Online, by Phone, or Fax.
Remember, with all these services its a one or two click operation on the part of the buyer and you are paid, lets face it folks this is The Most Important Part of This Whole Operation!
I offer all four options on my "Winners Pay Here" page and rarely does a buyer not belong to one or another so I recommend you open your accounts with all of them to cover all bases.
- Managing you Auctions:
You have a lot of information that you need to keep track of, what items are listed, which ones are still active, which ones are sold and to whom, did they pay yet, has it been shipped and so on.
Just starting out I suggest you get yourself an auction management service, these services and programs provide auction ad templates for nice looking ads, they track your auction for you and keep all your records for you, buyers addresses, amounts received, when shipped etc.
They charge a small fee but it is worth it as all your information is readily available and you can see at a glance where you stand with each item.
After you have learned the procedure and you are feeling comfortable with the auction procedure you can get you own software and save the auction service fees which do start adding up but for now "Keep it Simple"
I have a list of several programs that provide auction tracking services Here
- Save your email address, spamers are everywhere!! Sign up and use this
free e-mail account that I have arranged for you, this keeps your auction business seperate from your private life. All your customer information is in one location and our e-mail service has terrific Spam filters.
Your e-mail address would be "Your Name@antiques4.every1.net"
Example..If you seller auction I.D. is "coolStuff" your email address would be "coolStuff@antiques4.everyone.net"
- At this point you now have a few tools to make listings easier and you can accept payments, now it is time for you to learn about Photos for your listings. Photos are really a must, you are entering into a very competitive marketplace and the only thing that will make your item more saleable than the other ones listed are the way your present your merchandise. Good photos and a well written description are the keys.
Go to the Photo Tutorial and learn, "How to Take Quality Photos" and "What to do with them"
- OK, Now that photos are out of the way lets move on to what you have been waiting for, Selling!
Choose the auction you wish to participate in from the Auction List
- Get Registered. A credit card is required to confirm your identity and it is used to pay listing fees and other associated selling fees.
If you do not have a credit card or have had problems getting one here is a list of over 50 Unsecured Credit Card Providers. Bad Credit & Bankruptcy Welcome.
CreditProvide - Click Here.
If you have a credit card, BE CAREFUL about using it! Hackers are running wild on the internet. They have broken into Microsoft, US government sites, and some of the biggest most secure web sites on the net. Why put your lifes savings at risk?
Get a Capital One Secured VISA
I use one of these credit cards just for my On-Line business accounts, it is the only card I use on-line and I keep just enough money in it for my on-line transactions.
It is an added security feature for me knowing my personal account is never used on the Internet. When my balance from sales reaches a couple of hundred dollars I have the money transfered to my bank here in town.
- OK, your New, Nobody knows you, you have no feedback for reference, Get a jumpstart and Join the SquareTrade Seal Program for online auction sellers. By posting the SquareTrade Seal on all your auction listings and personal pages, you'll show bidders that you are a reliable seller who stands by all your transactions. You'll generate more sales AND start building a strong online reputation.
- Now your are set up and ready to
You should also read over my tips concerning "Auction Safety"
Learn how to avoid problems BEFORE thay occur!
Wondering What to Sell?
Still Have a Question?
See Our FAQ
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