Online Auction Tips

Read these 8 Online Auction Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Auction tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I use escrow services with online auctions?

Escrow Services and Online Auctions

Escrow services are very useful for online auctions, especially when a particularly expensive sale is not insured or bonded. The escrow service will hold your payment until you receive delivery of the goods and are satisfied. If there is a dispute, then the escrow service will often serve as a intermediary. The only downside to using an escrow service is that there are many escrow service schemes out there that seek to take advantage of both buyers and sellers. Make sure to check that the escrow service is both licensed and bonded; escrow services are usually licensed in the state where they reside, check with state authorities to insure their licensing. No real escrow service will claim to comply with US Financial and Business Codes, since the federal government does not regulate such services. Check with the Better Business Bureau and the state attorney generals office of the state in which the escrow service is located.

   
What are some things I should know before entering an online auction?

Things You Should Know Before Entering An Online Auction

There are a few precautions that anyone needs to take before entering an online auction. First of all, one needs to know what kind of auction you are involved in. Online auction sites offer both English auctions (where bidders bid higher and higher until only one bidder remains) as well as Dutch Auctions (where the auction price slowly lowers until one bidder accepts it). They also may have a set price ceiling and auction times that limit bidding. Make sure that you know the rules of any auction that you decide to bid. Have a clear understanding of delivery, return, and warranty policies that on the site. Also, check to see if the site offers any kind of insurance to bidders -- the good ones will. Check to see if you can pay by credit card; it's easier to get your money back through a credit card company if you are defrauded.

   
If I get defrauded by a seller on an online auction site, what action can I take?

How To Fight Fraud

If you have been defrauded by a seller, escrow service, or online auction service, there are a number of steps that you can take. If you paid by credit card, call your credit card company and have them suspend payments immediately. You should then try to work out the problem with the services that brokered the transaction. If you continue to have problems, you should consult your state Attorney General's office. You should also consult your state consumer protection agency and lodge a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Lastly, consider filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

   
What are some precautions I should take with online auction sites?

Precautions in Choosing Online Auction Sites

You want to be careful when choosing online auction sites. The best online auction sites will not leave you in doubt of their quality. The last thing you want to do is bid heavily on something you like, only to find that you have been defrauded. The most important thing you can do is research the auction site before you use it.

Yes, there are very well known auction sites out there, and they can be trusted. But if you choose to go with an auction site that you have never heard of before, you should look in to their background. Do a quick Google search for site reviews and messages from possibly disgruntled customers.

Find the company's street address and try and check them through the local Better Business Bureau. You might want to go as far as even calling the company to ask questions. Lastly, check online for iIternet fraud watch lists to see if their are any entries on the auction company.

   
How should I go about creating an online auction?

Creating An Online Auction

If you want to sell goods on an online auction, you need to know several things. First, you need to have an accurate idea of the value of your goods. Ideally, you should have your goods appraised professionally before you list them. If you can't afford an appraisal, go online and search auction sites for goods similar to yours for an estimate of the price. Make sure that you post an accurate description of your goods online and use keywords that will set off searches for your goods. Include a title that is both short and descriptive to attract buyers. You should also include a photo of your goods. Make sure that it's easily downloadable. Set the opening price for your goods just lower than that of your competitors to attract attention. Lastly, make sure that the timing of your online auction ends either in the evening or on the weekend, so that people have time to do last minute bidding.

   
What kind of research should I do before buying something through an online auction?

Researching a Potential Seller

It is wise to take steps to insure that you are not being defrauded by a seller during an online auction. Examine the seller's history and email any past customers who have not been satisfied. You should carefully read the description of the goods that are being sold, so that you can be sure of the goods condition and shipping, payment, and return options before you begin bidding. You should make an effort to check out the seller's other auctions to see if the quality of their goods is consistent. You should also research the goods that are being sold. Speak with a jeweler, appraiser, or research some industry publications to determine if the seller is charging a fair price.

   
What are the advantages of an online auction?

The Advantages of Online Auctions

The advantages of online auctions are numerous. The first is that the auction reaches a wide audience. Whereas live auctions are limited to the number of people physically attending, online auctions can gather participants from all over the world. There is also no time constraint -- an auctioneer is not required to be present to take bids, so bidding can occur around the clock within a given amount of time. Because the bidding and "winning" aspects of online auctions mimic online gaming, especially online gambling, online auction sites develop more loyal customer bases.

Since the auctions draw on large numbers of buyer and sellers, most auctions receive numerous bids, allowing the price of the goods auctioned to become closer to the actual market price. Lastly, online auction sites grow quickly. Greater numbers of buyers encourage greater numbers of sellers who in turn encourage greater numbers of buyers, creating an upward spiral of participation.

   
Is there anything I should watch out for if I am selling goods through an online auction?

Things To Watch Out For When Selling At Online Auctions

When selling goods through on an online auction site, you need to be sure of several things. Firstly, you need to be aware of your legal obligations. As an online seller, you are required to advertise fairly, and you must refrain from bidding on your own items. By law, you cannot sell any illegal goods. You are also required to ship your items within a pre-agreed time frame or within 30 days, whichever comes first. You should accurately describe the condition of the goods you are selling and include pictures of the goods. You also need to specify the reserve price of the goods, establish who will pay the shipping costs, and specify which methods of payment are acceptable. After the auction, you'll need to contact the buyer and arrange payment and shipping with the winning bidder as soon as possible.

   
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