Are Online Auctions Worth It?
I have been around the auction business ever since I met my husband, over 30 years ago. I’ve been to live auctions, held benefit auctions, both silent & live, and seen the industry go from steamy fair grounds’ shelters and warehouses, to exclusively online. If there has ever been an industry to reinvent themselves with time and technology, the auction industry is it!
The Prep for the Auction
It was not until I saw it from the seller side, did I realize how powerful online auctions can be. We had collected stuff….like a lot of stuff our entire lives. And then, we decided to downsize. Everything! We had 30+ years of stuff and neither of us like to throw anything away.
Since we had lived the “auction life” it just made sense to sell our items through an online auction. Now, I’m not going to lie, it was a lot of work. Going through our entire house, photographing items, labeling them, describing them, piece-by-piece. Add in the sentimental value to said items…it was time to have some help. So, we added in a college student to help with the process. She, unattached to the stuff, made much quicker progress.
The Auction Process
Fast forward – items are in the system via an app on our phone, and ready to go LIVE on the internet. And people wanted OUR stuff! Everything from a coin collection, artwork, furniture to goofy stuff like paper goods & themed decorations. Everything we listed, we sold!
Everything went – regardless of how value-less we might have thought it to be, it sold. And, the best part…people picked it up! We did not have to ship, we did not have to move it, we just let the people that purchased our stuff, pick it up & take it home with them.
Pros & Cons to an Online Auction
Obviously, there are pros and cons to anything you do but here are a few to consider:
Pros – Everything Sold
Items were picked up on location, so no moving, storing, shipping, etc
The auction company will advertise the sale and handle all of the money collection
You can see what’s happening every step of the way
You don’t see the haggling (think of a yardsale with your favorite things and someone is trying to barter with you over $2)
Cons – It is a lot of work on the front end if you’re doing the inventory yourself.
You are opening your whole life up to the internet (weird feeling but safe, your location is not revealed until needed)
You can see what’s happening every step of the way! As you can imagine, most of the action happens in the last few minutes so don’t be discouraged if no one is bidding on your stuff right away.
Our Auction Experience
All in all, we were thrilled with the online auction experience. So much so, we ended up having 3 separate auctions because there was so much stuff! And, guess what? The stuff now has new owners! Think of it like recycling. Taking our old, no-longer-needed stuff and getting into the hands so someone who will use it and love it. And, in return, we made money. A lot of money! More money that we ever would have made with a yard sale, garage sale, market places or online listings. And, all at once (well, over 3 sales)! I can confidently say, an online auction is definitely worth it.