At Sharp Auction Engine, we're constantly looking for new opportunities to help auctioneers better engage with their bidders. We'd like to share some easy to use apps we've heard great things about! How many of them do you already use??
It’s opening day of your online auction. You’ve got beautiful, crisp pictures of your items, wonderful descriptors, and a website that wows! You are ready to make some serious money. There's one problem, where are all the bidders?
In our previous entry in the Online Auction How To series, we touched on some of the best practices to boost the online presence of your auction business naturally, ranking higher in search engines with SEO. However, if you really want the right bidders to find your auctions, it's going to take more than good SEO practices.
For better or worse, online marketing is largely a pay-to-play field now, and this trend only strengthens every year. If you want to guarantee that your content is going to be seen, you're going to have to spend some money.
Luckily, even a little bit of a marketing budget can go a long way. Today we'll be looking at the biggest market for digital advertising in the game today: Facebook. How to make your ads, how to target them to the right people, and how to get those people to pay attention.
Search Engine Optimization. It's the multi-faceted, often murky set of standards by which all websites are judged and ranked by search engines. A good SEO strategy will ensure that your desired audience (ready-to-go bidders, in this case) finds your website naturally and easily.
The rules that govern best SEO practices are constantly changing, trying to keep up with the algorithms that the various search engines keep updating in an effort to follow the evolving technology and trends of the Internet and bring the best results possible to searchers.
Luckily, there are some hard and fast rules that remain relatively constant throughout the various iterations of SEO algorithms, and resources available to help cover those bits that do change. Let's take a look at some of the general best practices to ensure that your website is optimized in the best way possible for bidders to find your auctions.
The prospect of signing a contract of any kind can make most people nervous - and with good reason. You're making a commitment, usually for a lengthy period of time, with no certainty about how you'll feel about this commitment months down the line. With certain kinds of services and arrangements a long-term contract might make sense, but does everything have to involve one?
We don't think so. When it comes to your software provider for online auctions, you should be wary of being forced into a long-term contract. If it's the only option the company offers, this could be a red flag.
Let's take a look at some of the reasons these contracts frequently work against the interests of auctioneers, as well as some general language and clauses to be wary of when signing any kind of contract.
You don't have to get married to your auction software provider.
They say a picture's worth a thousand words...and when it comes to selling things on the Internet, that might actually be an understatement. High-quality, professional-looking photos can absolutely be the difference between an auction that is a total failure, and one that is a runaway success.
For the next entry in our Online Auction How To series, we'll be taking a look at some of the best practices for photographing your items, and what equipment might be necessary to do so. While there will be some small initial investment when you first start out, we promise it will be worth every penny.
So you've got your online auction house set up with a third party platform provider and you're ready to begin conducting your first online auctions. What's next? If brand recognition and exclusivity is a priority for you, your next step should be securing a vanity domain name to link your bidders to your site.
These domain names are also sometimes referred to as URLs or web addresses -- they're what a visitor types to get to your site, and what they'll continue seeing in the address bar while they're there. Consumers tend to place more confidence in businesses that appear to be hosted entirely on their own site, as it lends a sense of credibility, professionalism, and seriousness.
Even if you are actually operating your auction business on a bidding platform designed by a third party company (as most auction businesses do), applying a vanity URL to your site can be an important part of establishing your business as a private label entity that is distinct from whoever your platform provider is. It also is a great way of ensuring that your bidders have a definite, easy way of getting to your online auctions.
So how do you separate yourself from the herd? For the first entry in an ongoing Online Auction How To series, we're going to take a look at how to go about securing one of these names, as well as a few of the different options for doing so.
Don't just be part of the herd: secure your own vanity domain name and brand identity!
The auction method is increasingly being recognized by real estate agents and brokers as an enticing option for selling their properties, and with good reason. From reduced time on the market to maximized realized value, several factors have turned agents and sellers alike to auctions for every type of real estate imaginable. While long associated with foreclosures or distressed properties, in recent years the increasingly-recognized benefits of real estate auctions have led to a growing trend of them becoming the preferred method of sale for every type of property -- often as the first resort.
So why is that? While the full list of real estate auction benefits is long and varied, we've selected just a few of the big ones to help spread the word about this growing, promising trend, particularly those that are relevant to our forte: online auctions.
What’s in a web browser? More than you might think. On the surface, they perform many of the same tasks: rendering HTML, letting you bookmark pages, etc. The differences between them might not be immediately clear. In fact, plenty of people just stick with the default browser that comes with their computer (usually Internet Explorer/Edge for PCs and Safari for Macs) and never consider an alternative.
The reality is that there are some rather important differences between Internet browsers, with some better equipped to smoothly handle certain types of webpages and programs, including many that are used in the business of online auctions. So what about you? Are you using the best browser available for your purposes?
We’ve ranked the top browsers for online auctions from least to most recommended, with the emphasis on which run the quickest and most efficiently with common online auction software. Luckily, all of these options are completely free to download. Let’s take a look.
You’ve probably been there. A bidder calls, unable to access your site. A feature misbehaves. Tech failures are, unfortunately, something that just comes with the territory of online commerce. No matter what service you use, or how reliable it has been in the past, something will, inevitably, go wrong eventually. Count on it.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to despair. While tech failures can be frustrating or embarrassing, you can take some comfort in the knowledge that they happen to even the biggest companies. Amazon Web Services, which holds 45% of the Internet’s infrastructure market, recently made thousands of websites go down when it experienced service outages last month.
So clearly, some things are just going to be completely out of your control. While we tech companies do our best to prevent as many problems as possible, we unfortunately don’t have a tech crystal ball that tells us every possible issue that could arrive in advance. That is the goal, of course, but the reality is that a certain percentage of improvements are only made after learning from mistakes.
But take a deep breath. Being prepared in advance (both mentally and practically) can save you a headache when the dreaded time comes. To start out, we’ve come up with 5 ways to prepare for your online bidding platform crashing, glitching out, or failing in any way.