Buying and selling online has gradually become a major part of any country’s economy, not far behind regular brick-and-mortar stores. People are accustomed to taking out a smartphone or any other Internet-connected device to order necessities, gifts, vacation packages, or anything that one can think of. The ease of buying from the convenience of any location and round-the-clock is too good to be missed.
The same is the case with auctions, a platform that has for ages been the ideal medium to buy and sell goods and raise funds for charity. The focus now is on auctions held over the Internet with participants taking part in online bidding. The many benefits of online auctions are slowly being recognized across the world as more and more businesses are preferring to take the online route to transact their business.
The rise of auctions carried out on specialized sites with cutting-edge software and online bidding can be attributed largely to the horrific Covid-19 pandemic that has swept the world in recent times. Traditional auctions are generally gala affairs with crowds milling around the venue, inspecting the items on display, auctioneers motivating the participants to bid higher and higher – all in an environment that is fun and exciting. But the clampdown on social mixing and the lockdowns have been the death knell of these types of auctions.
This is why Internet-based auctions and online bidding have today taken center stage. It has been a blessing in disguise for charitable organizations that depend a lot on auctions to raise funds and keep their projects going. True, there have been many adjustments to make while transitioning from the older types of auctions to the present online bidding scenario. From current bids called out by an auctioneer, organizers have to get used to them coming over the Internet from all corners of the globe. The benefits are mostly overwhelming, to say the least.
The Multiple Benefits of Internet Auctions and Online Bidding
There are several benefits of holding online auctions.
- Cost-Effective: This is the primary and most critical benefit of online bidding and conducting auctions over the Internet. Costs of holding auctions are minimal as a lot of infrastructure expenses are not required. These include payment for use of venues, hiring auctioneers, physically bringing the items to the hall, and finally making arrangements for the participants to have all conveniences around them. In online bidding, the website takes care of everything, from displaying the photos of the items on the site, to tracking the bids and declaring the winners. The goods are shipped directly from the sponsoring merchants to the winners.
- Free auction sites: Some sites do not charge organizers for holding the auctions. However, there are certain restrictions like the number of items that can be displayed and the time limit of the auctions. While the sites are free of administrative charges, organizers have to pay third-party costs like that charged by payment gateways. Overall, a lot of saving is assured in Internet-based auctions.
- No geographical restrictions:Online bidding is not limited by geographical boundaries. Since it is held over the Internet, participants can be from anywhere on the globe. Hence, as an organizer, you can reach out to millions of buyers from across the world. Not only are you assured that your items, regardless of their number, are all sold out but also you get higher prices due to the level of competitive bidding. It is a win-win situation for both the buyer and the seller. As a seller, you list your product from any part of the world and get buyers from the other corner. Buyers, on the other hand, get access to various items that are special to a country or a location.
- Access to a wide range of products: When auction participants prefer the online route, they get access to a wider range of products than the traditional auction environment where the goods have to be physically displayed within a limited space. All types of goods can be put up for auctions, of any bulk or volume. Medicines, food, clothing, and cars to holiday packages – anything goes at an online auction. And the added benefit is that whatever you put up will find a buyer, so wide and scope is the audience for Internet-based auctions.
- Higher prices: Higher prices for products are almost assured at online auctions, making it a very lucrative option for sellers. Bids come in from all over the globe, making the process fiercely competitive. Buyers who need a product will go to any lengths to win it as it is much easier than placing an order internationally and going through the complex process of currency conversions to make the payment for it. At online auctions, the bidding takes place in the currency of the location country and it is easy to estimate the value of a product. However, overseas shipping can be expensive and this has to be factored in by the organizers of online auctions.
- The convenience aspect: Online bidding is very convenient and hence the success rate is high too. Bidders get to choose the time and location from where they can place their bids, even while they are on the go. Additionally, auction sites do not have a small operating window and one auction might go on even for a week, giving the participants more time to carefully consider their bids before placing them.