What exactly is an online auction?

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An online auction is a virtual auction held on the internet. It works much in the same way as a physical auction, in which the goods are sold to the bidder who offers the highest price. The benefits include favourable purchasing conditions for buyers and a new sales channel for the seller.

There are many other benefits to online auctions, too. For example, there are no overhead or upfront costs, no sales or staff distributors, and you don’t need a website of your own to sell on there. There’s also no initial investment, but you will pay between 2-5% of the final sales price to the auction site.

There are numerous online auctions – one of the most popular is eBay. However, eBay does not have a specific focus, and you can find anything on there – you can’t always be sure whether an item is genuine, either. When using a specialised online auction site that focuses on fine art and techniques, you can have confidence that the item you are bidding on is genuine. Sellers can also be sure that the audience they are attracting are targeted and, in the market, to buy fine art and antiques, and not simply looking for something for nothing.

All kinds of things can be found on an online auction, including antique furniture, tableware, jewellery, fine art and even cultural memorabilia.

Registering For Online Auction Sites

At online auctions, you’ll need to register before you can buy or sell anything. You’ll need this to track the items you bid on or sell, keep up with bids, and build a database of feedback.

Winning Bids

The bidding for every auction closes at a scheduled time. The person with the highest bids at the close of the auction are obligated to buy the items. If nobody bids above the set reserve price, the auction closes, and nobody wins the item. The buyer and seller communicate by email after a successful auction, and they arrange payment and delivery of the item.

Using Online Auctions

  • Find the item you’re looking for – if you know what you’re looking for, all you need to do is check out the live auctions going on that day and see if you can find it. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, just head to the live auctions and take a look.
  • Bid on the item you want – if you have an account, you can bid on the item you want. You can bid in real time or set a maximum amount you’d like to bid. It can be quite an interactive experience with live audio and video feeds, and this can make it very exciting.
  • Win the item – if you’re the highest bidder, you’ll win the online auction. You’ll need to pay close attention and have fast reactions to win, most of the time. Looking for antiques, fine art, and other pieces using online auctions rather than physical auctions can take a lot of the stress out of the process.