All About Online Auctions

ARRRGH! How am I going to sell this stuff? Who’s going to buy it? What’s it all worth?

As Move Managers, these are 3 of the most common questions asked when working with clients who are downsizing & divesting themselves of ‘things’. As creatures bred in an acquisition-prone culture, many of us have bought & stored more items than we even remember owning. The day of reckoning finally comes when downsizing and you realize that many things simply can’t & won’t fit into your next place.

Increasingly, one of SAGE’s ‘go-to’ solutions is to coordinate an online auction event for clients through providers such as MaxSold. If you are one of the many who are unsure about online auctions & how they might benefit you, we’d like to offer our perspective.

First, let’s define an online auction event. Unlike eBay or Kijiji where sellers post individual items for sale, an online auction event focuses on selling a collection of items from one client. This is SAGE’s preferred solution when clients want to clear a large number of goods quickly with a minimum of disruption & promote their goods to the widest audience possible. Benefits include:

Ease: Unlike traditional auctions, items never leave the home until the buyer picks them up. Before the auction, a project coordinator will photograph & measure the goods while collecting all relevant data. This information needs to be is accurate & well photographed because it becomes the basis for what the buyer bids on.

Viewing Time: A typical online auction runs for 5-10 days allowing buyers ample time to examine the info, do competitive research & consider their bid. Contrast this to a traditional auction when buyers have a limited preview period followed by mere minutes to bid.

Marketing Muscle: By its’ very nature, online auctions are unlimited in their geographic reach. Running 24/7, they have the ability to reach buyers in any location at any time. In reality though, good online providers understand that most buyers come from geographic areas close to the seller’s location. With this in mind, they tailor their online marketing efforts to reach & influence buyers in this zone.

Value: What’s it all worth? As the saying goes, the value of any property is defined by what someone is willing to pay for it. The Internet has made it possible for anyone with time & interest to verify current values of goods in their market. Ready access to this data helps both buyers & sellers set realistic expectations. Be forewarned that prices of many products continue to decline as boomers flood the market with merchandise. No matter what you think it’s worth, the ultimate arbitrator will be marketplace demand.

If you are downsizing, chances are 100% that you will need to divest yourself of a variety of items. If selling is part of your plan, we encourage you to consider online auctions as one alternative. When part of an overall plan that also includes donation & disposal, an online auction can help match your items with new owners & free you to move one step closer to your new home.