How to Market with Niche Auction Sites
Online auctions are big business. But they can be big headaches.
During the past year, trading in online commerce was valued at $60 billion, according to “Business Standard.” Online trade among small businesses makes up 1 per cent of USA’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and is expected to reach 10 per cent or $400 billion of USA’s GDP by 2010.
“But setting up and maintaining operations on huge auction sites like Ebay is not always easy,” said Rich Moc, owner of Performance Cars at Pcars.com, a niche automotive auction site. “People can spend a lot of time sifting through cluttered pages of auctions, bidding, setting up accounts and managing multiple, confusing and expensive fees that can take an accountant to figure out. And trying to figure out how to submit a simple email or place a quick call for help can be a pain in the neck.”
The solution or pain relief for big auction headaches? Smaller, niche sites with personalized service. For example, Performance Cars offers easier management, one-on-one help and plenty of options to help with automotive solutions and aftermarket selling. Some of their auction tips are:
Customer Service – When you have an item listed and a potential buyer contacts you with a question, respond quickly. It is important and actually critical to your success to check your email account several times a day. Answering a question could be the difference between you getting the sale or the buyer going someplace else.
Description – When you list your item(s), write an accurate description. No need to write long paragraphs of rambling information. But do provide exact measurements, colors, condition, etc. Be precise.
Exceed Expectations – You want every customer to be happy. So do a little more research on shipping, or negotiate on price. But remember that the customer is the reason you will have success. Be prepared to go the extra mile and provide superior service every time.
Digital Images – While auctions without photographs can and do sell, auctions with photographs sell much better. People like visualizations and want to see what they will get with their money. Make sure your photograph is clear, focused and offers more than just a straight view.
With Pcars.com, sellers can instantly create their own account and setup their own homepage. Next they add their product information and links. Then upload images, up to eight photos included with the no-cost membership. That’s it.
“It is THE BEST site to host photos and one of the best to sell and buy things for your car!” shared Lefteris from Greece who sells Jewels for Porsches regularly on Ebay and now on Pcars.com, too. “And the site is very easy to use.”
The site is developing to meet needs of the buyers and sellers. In the works are Photo Gallery for hosting pictures, AV Center for racing videos, and a Forum for comments and sharing automotive tips.
“As a seller I find the PCARS site very easy to list and I like that I can have large photos for my items,” Lefteris explained. “I use Ebay also, but I find the PCARS site much, much better. I’m here to stay.”
Progressing Discount Price Plan
Also under way is a new Progressing Discount Price (PDP) plan. Sellers will have the option to list their prices so that they decrease over time, while waiting for someone to buy. This option benefits the sellers by allowing them to discount their inventories as time progresses. Additionally, this ensures that inventories may get sold at the end of the listing period (usually 30-day). The benefit for the buyers is that they get to buy the items cheaper the next day if the items have not been sold. Here is an example with this option: http://www.pcars.com/autos/partview.php?view=65 .
By Diana Barnum, president of
http://movingaheadcommunications.com and CEO of
http://ohiohelp.net . For more help with marketing, public
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