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Work at Home Moms > Online Auctions Getting Started Tutorial > Finding Sites

Finding and Evaluating Online Auction Sites

Selling products on online auction sites can be a very lucrative business. Regardless of what you’re selling the decision about what auction site a business uses is an important one. Here are some of the important criteria when evaluating auction sites.

How easy is the site to use? One of the most important characteristics of any website, whether it is an auction site or an information site, is the ability to move through the site intuitively. Spend a few minutes evaluating the top ten sites listed at the end of this article. Look at it both from your perspective as a seller and the perspective of a potential customer.

If the site is easy for you to use and confusing for users, products won’t sell. The user perspective is just as important as the sellers. Ask the following questions:

• Does the layout of the site make sense?
• Is it easy to use?
• Are the buttons clear, well placed, and logical?
• Is the site easy to search?
• Are the categories and features easy to find and clearly explained?

Are their enough product categories and do they make sense? While some sites are designed to specifically sell a single category of products like antiques or home made products, other sites are designed to enable sellers to sell just about anything. Regardless of what type of product you’re selling, it is important to make sure the categories the site provides makes sense to both the seller and the buyer. For example, if a seller is selling jewelry common sense categories might be rings, bracelets, necklaces and so on. In addition useful categories might include silver, gold, diamonds, charms etc…Evaluate the categories on each auction site to make sure they encompass the products you’re selling as well as common terms customers would use to search.

Is buying an easy process? Buying needs to be an easy, straight forward and safe process. Features to look for on an auction site are price, pictures, description options, payment methods, and security practices and protections.

What features are available for sellers? Some auction sites give sellers the world, others make them work hard for every little sale. Look for a site that gives sellers the ability to control the process. These features can include the ability to communicate with buyers via email, block bidders, upload images and descriptions, tracking tools are also extremely helpful for the large online auction sellers. Look for features that make it easy to build a store, easy to ship, and easy to follow up with feedback and problems. A website that also provides mediation in the event of a dispute may also be a nice feature for some sellers.

What features are available for buyers? Possibly more important than the features available for sellers are the features available for buyers. The more features a site has, the more users a site will have, the more users, the more potential sales. So take a look at what the online auction site provides buyers. Are they able to create accounts? Are they able to provide feedback? Are their dispute resolution features?

What is the auction site reputation? Some online auction sites, like EBay have been around for a long time and have a solid reputation. Sellers know if they build a store at EBay they will have a store to come back to six months or a year from now. Other auction sites are a fly by night operation. To evaluate a site take a look at how many users there are, both sellers and buyers. Also take a look at what they offer in customer support and how responsive they are. It buyers or sellers have to wait a week for a response, they’re likely to go elsewhere.

Here are the ten great auction sites to evaluate:

Choosing an online auction site and setting up an online store are two very important decisions. Where you sell your products can have a significant effect on your profits. Evaluate carefully, choose wisely and online auction profits will soar.


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