With their large pool of buyers and simplified selling tools, industrial auction sites are a powerful way of selling used equipment promptly and for the most value. More businesses are turning to online auctions to sell their surplus equipment than ever before.
While these sites give sellers a tremendous amount of freedom on how and what to sell, there are some basic guidelines you must follow when selling on used equipment sites. Paying attention to your listing, providing good customer service, properly managing invoicing and payments, and considering removal and shipping costs are all part of being a good seller.
Considering these factors will ensure you become a seller that buyers trust and are happy to buy from. Build up enough positive feedback, and you will distinguish yourself from other sellers. Even if you are only looking to use an auction once, these central principles will ensure your auction experience is the best it can be.
A well written listing ensures your listing is found and results in a good first impression. A bad listing can take a long time to sell and may cause problems with buyers if the information is unclear or misleading. The keys points to consider are as follows:
- Describe your item accurately: start with a clear title, and list all the features and specifications in the description. Describe any wear or damage the item may have, as it is crucial to present these to potential buyers.
- Include multiple photos: take as many photos as you can, from different angles. Ensure you photograph any specification tags, and include pictures of all components that come with the equipment. You do not necessarily have to upload all of them, but prepare to produce them when asked.
- List at the lowest price you are willing to sell at: this is important to attracting buyers. Be sure to research market pricing prior to listing your item to ensure you are priced reasonably. Read more about pricing tips here. (link to blog)
- Specify your terms of sale: every seller is unique. Clearly specify if there are any removal fees (for large and complex items), delayed removal, and shipping conditions. Make sure you post these before the item ends. If a buyer comes with a dispute about your terms, it is much easier if you post beforehand. Trying to claim a term afterward is much more difficult.
For more tips on listing, please visit Get Listing Exposure.
Providing good customer service is critical to ensuring your auction is a success. While few expect immediate response 100% of the time, a good seller always responds to a buyer’s questions promptly. In an auction setting, the timing and quality of your response could directly affect a buyer’s decision to bid. Respond too slowly, and the person may not have the information they need to make an informed decision.
If the site has a messaging center, be sure to use it for all your communication. Before the auction, try to respond within a couple of hours (but no more than a day). When the auction starts, have either yourself or someone else watch the auction. That way, buyers can bid with confidence knowing you will answer their questions. For more listing tips, please visit 6 Tips to Make Industrial Equipment Sell In Online Auctions.
Invoicing & Payments
The auction is finished, and now you have a bunch of winning bidders! Congratulations! Notify the bidder as soon as possible of their success. First, confirm with them the final cost (not just the winning bid). This final cost includes taxes, removal and shipping costs if they apply.
Make sure you understand how the site’s payment structure works. Some sites will hold the buyer’s money in escrow, which means the site does not release payment to you until after an inspection period. To learn more about escrow, please visit What Is Escrow? How Does It Work?
Tell the buyer where to send payment and confirm payment when you receive the money. Print out a copy of all invoices and receipts, so you have them later if needed.
Depending on how the payment structure works, you may ship the item before or after you receive payment. In either case, there are a couple recommendations to follow:
- Don’t overcharge customers for shipping: if possible, list the shipping costs prior to the sale. Aucto allows you to input the item dimensions and offers calculated shipping. If you are selling items that must be shipped, encourage potential buyers to get a shipping quote prior to bidding. This way buyers will make a more informed decision and are more likely to complete the sale.
- Ship equipment promptly: the winning bidder wants their item just as much as you want payment. Shipping quickly and as described is key to being a good seller.
- Schedule pickup appointments with buyers: Pre-scheduling a pick-up schedule with buyers will ensure the shipping process goes smoothly. Ensure you prepare their item for pickup in an expedient manner. If you cannot meet with them within the week that is fine. However, an unreasonable delay without explanation is not.
As you have seen, there are several aucto seller guidelines to follow when you list your items up for auctions. Even though becoming an established seller takes hard work, even those looking to sell a few times can benefit from these recommendations. I hope you can take them and use them towards having a positive and productive auction experience.