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Planning a Live Auction? Here are 5 Useful Tips for You

“In the world of advertising, there’s no such thing as a lie. There’s only expedient exaggeration.”

Who can forget these classic lines from the Hitchcockian world of North by Northwest.

The electrifying atmosphere involving Cary Grant and James Mason in an auction still lingers in our minds.

Fast forward 62 years – the definition of an auction has wholly changed.

Today, in a world marred by a global pandemic, the physical auction has been completely replaced by online live auctions. 

If you’re new to these virtual auctions and want to implement them for your business but are unsure where to start, don’t fret. 

The first step is to understand the nuances of live selling. It might take some time to learn. 

Here’s a practical guide to understanding live selling.

Once that’s mastered, you can move on to the next step – running a live auction. 

Unfortunately, live auctions are not as easy as physical auctions. Even if you had conducted a physical auction before, you might find some surprises here and there. Both concepts are drastically different from each other. 

That’s why we’ve decided to make your life easier. We have come up with 5 handy tips that can help deliver a terrific live auction experience for you and your customers.

Create an awesome catalog

In order to render a compelling live auction experience, you need to come up with a killer catalog. Go through your whole inventory and select only those items that will pique the interest of buyers. Don’t add everything you have. 

Propstore conducted a cinema poster live auction in April 2021 that created quite a buzz in the world. 

Before going live, they created an attractive catalog with all the necessary information such as description, size, product quality, and a beautiful thumbnail of the poster.

They did not stop there. The company also ensured that the catalog was easily accessible to everyone who is visiting their website. They uploaded the pdf version of their catalog with an easy download option, much before the actual live auction started. 

Promote it like your life depends on it.

Once you have created a beautiful catalog, it is essential to promote your live auction event. You can create a landing page on your brand’s website or start your own website dedicated to auctions. 

It is also critical that you communicate about the auction via email and social media. Promote it at multiple places simultaneously, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. You could also try promoting it using conventional channels such as flyers, brochures, billboards, etc. You never know where your customers would come from. Ask them to register beforehand for the auction. Also, send them a reminder before the actual auction starts. 

If you are conducting your live auction in an app built with Vajro, promoting your auction is a child’s play. Use Vajro’s push notification feature to send timely updates to your target audience.

Woolley and Wallis, a UK-based store in Salisbury, specializes in fine Chinese art, Chinese calligraphy, and Japanese artwork. They promote their live auction catalogs through their social media channels. 

After carefully selecting the list of items that they would like to auction, they create other marketing materials like flyers, brochures, posts, and even gifs to promote the auction items. They believe that this practice gives their audience ample time to review the auction items before bidding begins. This also helps in creating an air of excitement for the upcoming live auction.

Explain everything about your products

Assume that all your customers are new to your products. Do not leave out even the simplest of details about them. Explain the features, the benefits, the variants, and who the product is ideal for. It is also essential that you display the actual product in your live auction. Though this is a given, some brands just show the images of the product on the screen. This is not what your customers came for.

Rare Plants Philippines is a Garden center that specializes in importing rare plants and other agricultural products from different countries. Claiming to be one of the largest suppliers of rare plants in the Philippines, RPP uses Facebook Live auction to attract users and make a sale.

Typically during their live selling sessions, they explain the qualities of a plant and list down its properties, giving viewers a close look at the plant and leaf structure before taking it back to the podium. 

Set the bid price accurately

Before you go ahead and set up your first online auctioning experience, set up a minimum bid for each item in your catalog. Make sure that the person who is about to auction on behalf of your business is aware of the minimum bid price of each item.

Take the same case of RPP. Once the plant is placed on the podium, their auctioneers start the bid of a plant. It usually tends to be 35% of the proposed value. By keeping their goal as 80 to 100 percent of the market value, these auctioneers gauge nearly 10-15 bids per plant before picking out a winner.

Have a transparent system to crown the winner

Unlike a usual auction scenario where the winner will walk to the checkout table to pick out their item, delivery and logistics in online auctioning are not easy. As a result, your viewers and buyers will have tons of questions about how you win an auction and how things will be delivered once the auction is won. You should be ready to face all these questions.

Richie Bros, the famous auctioneer, clearly explains the entire auction process in a step-by-step guide. This includes how to place a bid, how the items are sold, and what happens if any items remain unsold.

How can Vajro help in running a live auction?

Vajro’s powerful live video feature helps existing customers create, run and manage live auctions in a few steps. It comes with an intuitive dashboard that is so user-friendly that first-timers can successfully run a live auction. 

The best part is that it helps generate a seamless experience for your customers too. They can simply add the products to the cart directly from the app and purchase them. This avoids unnecessary shifting of tabs and the risk of cart abandonment. 

Final Thoughts

So those were some handy tips that you can implement in your next live auction. In this world of smartphones, the first step is to get a dedicated app built for your brand to push that user engagement a few notches higher. Vajro can help you there. We are an instant mobile app factory delivering powerful mobile-first experiences through our no-code app builder.

To get your own app and start selling your products through live auctions, write to us at [email protected].

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