Online Auctions – Six Ways Businesses Can Benefit

Online auctions are hot news.  There are thousands of online auctions on the internet with more popping up everyday. People love them. They offer the opportunity to bag great bargains.  But have you ever thought about how they can benefit your business? 

These are my Top 6 Tips for Benefiting From Online Auctions.

  1. Eliminate Excess Inventory
    If you run a business with physical products, why not sell your excess or old inventory at discounted prices at an online auction?  After all, your unsold inventory is not doing you any good and anything you get at an online auction will be money in the coffers AND it will INCREASE your online exposure…  and that’s priceless.
     
  2. Test Markets For New Products
    Online auctions are the perfect testing ground for new products.  Think about it.  Auction sites such as eBay and Amazon have millions of visitors every day, all eager to find a bargain.  With the traffic these sites pull in daily, you could easily complete a market test of new products in a fraction of the “offline” time and quickly determine which of your new products will be the “hottest”!
     
  3. Test Pricing For New Products
    And testing the best price level is simple too.  Just sell your test product at three different online auctions at different prices (one per auction site). Then simply the weighted average selling bid from all three auctions and use that as your new product selling price. 
     
  4. Sell Your Products
    Online auctions are fantastic at getting your product in front of a large audience.  Some of the bigger auction sites draw millions and millions of hits a year.  But to maximise your success, you need to list your product at lots of online auctions at the same time.  For example, if you sell one product a day from one particular auction site, listing your product at one hundred online auction sites could raise your sales to a hundred sales a day!  (This needs sensitivity analysis to take into account different listing fees at the different auction sites to maximise profits to YOU!)
     
  5. Start Your Own Online Auction
    Online auctions are great for driving traffic to your web site.  You could capitalise on this by starting your own online auction. People will visit your web site to find bargains and to sell their own products. You will get plenty of repeat visitors from people ebidding on products and adding new products to sell.  And don’t forget the advertising revenues from other businesses you will attract!
     
  6. Lower Your Business Costs
    Improve your profit margins by cutting costs wherever possible.  Online auctions are great places to find lower prices on business supplies and equipment, especially if the supplier is selling off excess inventory (see my first point above!). 
     

So there you have it.  Online auctions are not just for personal and sole traders.  There are many ways they can benefit larger businesses too, even those without a traditional “online” presence.

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