by Russ Hilk
I am an auctioneer. I have worked with hundreds of sellers in my 10 + years of experience. Let me start by saying that 90% or more of sellers have no business setting up their own auctions. A well-trained online auctioneer can get more money from an auction by properly cataloging and photographing the consigned items. But if there is a capable seller with the necessary skills, understanding, and time, you may want to consider letting them catalog their own items for your auctions. Giving a seller the option of cataloging reduces their overall sales cost and gives them more control.
Conducting a successful online auction takes a trained auctioneer who has the buyers’ trust and understands auction marketing and auction physiology. Two of the cornerstones to successful online auction marketing are good descriptions and multiple photos of every lot so prospective buyers can make reasonable determinations about the quality and functionality of items. Most bidders rely solely on the information provided online to make purchases. Any realistic online auctioneer will tell you that cataloging the auction is the most time intensive part of the auction process. The quality of the set-up plays a huge role in the final selling prices.
A competent, knowledgeable seller can catalog their own items, saving you time and reducing their overall expense to include items in the auction.
Here are some reasons to let a seller catalog their own items:
1. They have the best understanding of the item and can write the most precise description.
2. They understand what bidders want to see and will take the necessary photographs.
3. They have the biggest stake in the auction results.
4. They will devote more time and build the catalog more carefully.
5. It reduces your labor costs.
6. It reduces the expenses for the seller.
7. Sellers can’t accuse you of doing an inadequate job if the results fail to meet their expectations.
8. You can charge a lower commission, because you have less labor.
(again we are assuming the seller has the necessary skills, understanding and time)
Now before you start giving out your password to Proxibid or Maxanet, let’s looks at the reasons not to let your sellers catalog their own items:
1. There is no system available for this to work.
2. Auction software doesn’t allow for multiple users to work independently.
3. It would take more time to sort out then it would save.
4. Building a spreadsheet correctly and renaming photos would take too long to teach.
5. The process is centralized on one computer.
6. There is no good way to review their work before it is posted online.
7. There is no way to determine lot numbers.
8. Sending photos and keeping track of photos is too difficult.
9. Sellers can’t be trusted with access to other consignors info.
10. You don’t want sellers to see the whole process.
11. You don’t want to give sellers access to the backend of the auction system.
Every reason listed above is a valid reason to keep sellers from cataloging their own auctions. However, using Wavebid solves all of those problems! Wavebid allows auctioneers to provide sellers with the ability to catalog their own items. It is the easiest software to use in the auction industry. Sellers can seamlessly upload photos and create lots directly into their designated workspace. Each seller has a unique username and password for uploading catalog information controlled by the auctioneer. Sellers cannot view or make changes to any actual auctions, but they can upload and edit photos, create lots, and write descriptions. Only after the auctioneer reviews the information does it move into an actual auction workspace. The Wavebid cataloging system works with most bidding platforms including Proxibid, Maxanet, Bidspotter, LiveAuctioneers, and others. It is completely cloud based so it can be used anywhere there is an internet connection.
There is no limit to the number of sellers you can have enrolled in this program. This service is included for free as part of the Wavebid system. The auction industry is evolving every day; if you stand still you will fall behind. Online auctions rapidly changed how auctions are conducted. Now that they generally accepted by auctioneers and buyers the innovators are looking for ways to improve them and make them more profitable. Giving capable sellers the ability to catalog independently reduces their overall cost and improves overall quality. It gives the seller more control and frees up your time to book more auctions. It may be a competitive advantage worth considering.