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The way some auction sellers approach their auctions, it's clear there are as many ways to lose bidders as there are to skin a cat. If you spend enough time in the auctions you'll see a lot of basic mistakes, but the question remains: why do so many people consistently make the same mistakes over and over again. Is it that they are just placing auctions for the fun of it - without expecting to sell the item- probably not!
Here's our top ten sure fire ways to lose bidders (in no particular order):
Short, Sloppy or Excessive Descriptions
No Shipping Amounts
Lack of Response to Emails
Unrealistic Reserve Price
Low Feedback Rating
No Condition Information
Bad Start/Closing Time
Let's look at each one in a little more detail and see if you're making the same mistakes.
A recent auction was for a "Blue Antique Chair". This seller obviously didn't want many bidders to look at the auction. By adding some specificity to the headline a much stronger draw is accomplished. How about "RARE Victorian Wingback Chair"? Now if a bidder uses the search capability on eBay and they look for any of three key words: chair, wingback, Victorian, the auction will show up. Always use your popular word search tools to draw bidders.
With the popularity of digital cameras increasing, capturing your auction item has never been easier. Some tips are to be sure the item is lit well enough to show key details and/or any imperfections. Also, keep the size of your photos to a reasonable level so your auction doesn't take too long to load.
Short, Sloppy or Excessive Descriptions
Not enough information - tons of typographical errors- or a rambling discourse on why your wife is making you sell your item is a good way to lose bidders. Be succinct but provide enough information to describe the item sufficiently and create buyer interest.
Have you ever seen an auction where the seller states something like "We're not responsible for items once shipped" or "Item sold as is" - without a clear description of the item's condition? Remember if you want to increase the number of bids you receive or get your bidders to buy from you again, you need to focus on basic customer service.
No Shipping Amounts
Not clearly stating your shipping amounts up front prevents bidders from comparative shopping. State all buyer expenses clearly.
Lack of Response to Emails
Responding to emails takes time. Not doing so loses bidders. Return all emails as quickly as possible.
Unrealistic Reserve Price
Are you overpricing your items and then wondering why they're not selling? Do your research and determine competitive prices before placing your auctions.
Low Feedback Rating
If you don't care your potential bidders will disappear. Work on your Feedback Rating by meeting your commitments and providing great customer service.
No Condition Information
By providing a clear description of the item and its condition, with supporting photos, you maximize the potential of your actions.
Bad Start/Closing Time
Start an auction so it closes on a time or day that is inconsistent with your bidder's profile (e.g. commercial buyers who bid at work or parents who aren't available during work hours) will result in fewer bids.
Making sure you don't make these few mistakes will improve the number of bids your auctions receive.
© Copyright 2005 Steven Woodward - All Rights Reserved
About the Author:
Steven Woodward is the owner, editor and publisher of the Auction Sellers Network (ASN); a web site for individuals and companies who are serious about utilizing the online auction marketplace for their business. In addition to topical articles, ASN provides an extensive resource center, news feeds, member forums and classified ads. For more information or to become a member please visit http://www.AuctionSellersNetwork.com
No permission is needed to reproduce an unedited copy of this article as long the About the Author tag is left intact and included. We do request that we be informed where it is posted and reciprocal links will be considered.
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