Since eBay launched in the mid 1990’s, online auctions have become an increasingly popular avenue to buy and sell used assets. This early craze for online auctions made them a household phenomenon and everyone seemed to be getting into the bidding frenzy. These changes in consumer expectations and awareness also caused traditional auction companies to follow this trend to accommodate online bidding in the sale of real estate, vehicles, estates, equipment and just about anything in between.
The eBay Craze
eBay started with a shipping model where most items sold were shipped to the winning bidder. Hybrid auctions have become increasingly popular which allow buyers to bid online and pick up the items in person without spending an entire day attending a live auction event.
While sites like eBay have brought online auctions to the forefront, the rules and expectations from eBay and traditional auctions tends to be quite a bit different. This difference tends to be centered on who is managing the process; eBay’s platform manages transactions between millions of users, while traditional auctions are managed by each individual auction company.
eBay tends to have standard terms and policies across their platform. All sellers and buyers abide by the same set of rules. Traditional auction company’s terms tend to be variable depending on the auction company, the assets for sale, the date and location of the auction, along with about a hundred other variables.
This difference, which may seem insignificant, oftentimes will create confusion with buyers who are new to the online bidding process and want to revert to what they know – eBay. This guide of the most common bidder mistakes should help those struggling with this difference and get you prepared to bid on most traditional online auction sites.
5 Mistakes New Bidders Make
#1: . They Don’t Know and Understand the Terms & Conditions
Before you make at any bids or even register to participate in an online auction make sure to read and understand all of the terms & conditions for that auction. The terms & conditions will include information like: eligibility requirements, bidding process, when to pay, how to pay, shipping options, etc. If you don’t understand something, reach out to the auctioneer to get clarification.
#2: They Don’t Follow the Terms & Conditions
It might sound straightforward, but it’s easy to get caught up in life and disregard the terms of the auction. You don’t want to miss out on collecting the asset from your winning bid, because you took too long to pay or claim it.
#3: They Don’t Utilize the Inspection Periods Available
Typically, all the items up for online auction will be listed days before the auction starts. This is when you need to start figuring out, which items you want to bid on and how much you’d be willing to spend on each item. This can be especially important for property auctions. Tour the whole property if you are allowed and make sure to consult a professional inspector before making any decisions about buying.
#4: They Don’t Research Beforehand
Similar to above. You don’t want to be trying to conduct research on various items while the auction is live.
#5: They Don’t Follow Through with Their Purchases
This one is rather surprising when it happens. Why bid on an item and then not claim it? Some people forget, some might have second thoughts, but the fact remains that each auction we see items going unclaimed.