Right now, people are accessing more services online and auctions are no exception. As with anything online, there are advantages and disadvantages.
Here are some advantages to participating in online auctions:
- Convenience – You can participate in an online auction anytime and anywhere using your computer or your phone at home, restaurants, and anywhere with WiFi access. There are no restrictions on the time and dates for the auction, except when the auction ends. Auction websites do require registration.
- Time and Money Savings – Purchasing a product online saves time and money. You can have the product shipped directly to you without having to travel.
- Compare Prices – Auctioning online allows you to compare prices to see which item is the best quality and greatest bargain.
Here are some disadvantages to participating in online auctions:
- Anonymous Bidder – Since online auctions aren’t face-to-face, you can have some anonymous bidders that are difficult to identify. The auctioning company can only rely on the online profile.
- Product Genuineness – Even though you can view the product online, since you can’t see the product with live with your own eyes. This makes judging the product difficult. You can’t tell if this is the product you truly want.
- Fake Websites – The website may be fraudulent which means the products might not be authentic, either. As well, the products might be a scam and not even available.
Other dangers of online auctions that can be avoided include these issues:
- If you make a purchase online, make sure you use your credit card and not your bank account debit card to avoid mistakes or scams.
- If you’re buying a big, expensive item that isn’t insured, then you may want to consider an escrow service, which holds your payment until you get the delivery.
- Avoid penny auctions, even though they start at a penny, extra costs come up during these auctions.
- You may not get the product on time, or at all. These disputes require a third party such as the online auction company and law enforcement. You can also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, National Consumers League, the Federal Trade Commissionor the Internet Fraud Complaint Center.
- Finally, beware of tax evasion if you are the seller and auction off many items you may be considered a small business. That might mean taxes are due. Verify with your accountant or financial advisor to prevent incurring a tax liability or an audit.
Whenever participating in an online auction, both buyers and sellers should be sure to know the following:
- Understand how the auction works;
- Check out the seller before you bid;
- Get the contact information of the person or company you’re dealing with;
- Look for information about insurance for buyers;
- Pay by credit card to protect both buyer and seller;
- Consider using an escrow service for your purchase, especially if it is a high dollar amount.
LAWSON & CO Auctioneers want you to consider real world auctions. Not only do you get to inspect the items for sale, you can get answers to any questions you might have. Payments and receipts are easy and aboveboard at every event. Plus – you get the pleasure of participating in the fast pace and excitement of raising your hand to bid. The best thing, though, is the thrill of having the winning bid!
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