Auction eCommerce

Diverse Auction Listing Options on eAuction Platforms

August 26, 2022  |  7 min read

The heart of every eAuction platform is the listings. You could have the best online auction software in the world (get in touch with us about that!), but without listings it’s going to be utterly worthless.

You’re more likely to become an industry leader—or even the go-to auction platform in your space—if you offer the easiest options when sellers are listing their auctions.

auction ecommerce listings

Here’s a quick overview of what you can offer to make the experience as efficient as possible for your sellers when they are ready to post to your auction website.

The key is to make creating a listing as easy as possible no matter what listing method sellers choose.

How Will Sellers Create Auction Listings?

Sellers have become accustomed to having multiple options for creating listings on other eCommerce platforms, and they’ll expect to do so on your auction website as well.

Desktop and Laptop

This is the most common way that most auctions are created. People like the space that large monitors afford them and the full physical keyboard that facilitates description writing. This user experience needs to be easy to use and flawless, so make sure to find an auction software developer that can deliver.

auction ecommerce on laptop

Phone and Mobile Apps

Having an app for mobile devices offers a few advantages that desktops lack, namely the ability to take pictures and upload them directly to the auction platform. Sellers can take pictures of large items—warehouse shelving, tractor equipment, real estate—without having to take the extra step of downloading them from a camera onto a desktop machine.

Mobile apps also let sellers manage auctions on the go. They can send invoices, relist items, and communicate with buyers from anywhere with a cellular connection.

mobile auction ecommerce

Importing From Other Systems

As the auction platform owner, you want to become the primary website, the “go-to” site, for your industry. But as much as you want to be the sole outlet, your sellers are likely trying to sell their items on multiple websites. They might sell on Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba at the same time.

You don’t want “oh, I have to input all that information again?” to delay you sellers putting listings on your platform. The right auction software developer can find ways to import information from other sites onto your site with minimal alterations from sellers.

importing auction ecommerce listings

Duplicate Existing Auctions

Many sellers will want to duplicate their own products to create variant listings. For instance, a seller that sells copper pipe might offer inventory that’s from the same manufacturer, of the same grade, and of the same gauge; the only difference is the length. Duplicating listings allows them to leave everything else the same and only change minor points in the title and description.

duplicate auction listing

Don’t underestimate the power of saving drafts of listings so that the seller can come back to it later. This allows a combination of desktop and mobile data entry, where the extensive description might be written on the laptop but the pictures are taken with a mobile device.

Standard Details, Customized Details

There are some details fields that are standard on auction eCommerce platforms no matter the company or industry. Other fields are specialized depending on the types of items your customers will be selling. Let’s take a look at both.

  • Title – This is the character-limited description of the item(s) with as many keyword descriptors as possible (what it is/quantity/year of manufacture/model number, etc). Title is important not just for internal searching but also for search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Description – The description field offers (usually) unlimited space for sellers to describe the product they’re selling. Formatting options should also be offered so that sellers can make the listing look as clean as possible.
  • Category/Subcategory – Categories are one of the most important choices for filtering, so it’s important the selection of the category matches whatever the selling is listing. You can also use machine learning to compare the title and the category to verify that the seller has put the item in the proper category.
  • Images – Images are a must when selling any physical item. They are an excellent way to help bidders verify that they are buying the right item, and an excellent complement to the description when describing the condition of used items.
  • Videos – Videos used to be a rare feature request; people didn’t like taking the extra effort to use a dedicated video camera and then transfer footage to the computer. But videos are becoming more common thanks to the excellent footage that modern cell phones can take.
  • Schedule – Scheduling auction start times is important for most sellers. While the best time to end an item on eBay is Sunday night (due to most people not having much to do on Sunday nights), that changes considerably when people are buying for a business. Sellers often want to get an auction ready when it's most convenient, and “when it’s most convenient” seldom matches up with the most lucrative time to end the auction.
  • Length of Auction – So long as it’s within the constraints of the timing you allow on the platform, auctions can last as long as the bidder wants.
  • Types of Auctions – You can set up your auction platform for many different auction types in eCommerce. The most well-known is the English auction, but you may also allow your seller to create Dutch, penny, Japanese, or custom variations including reserves and reverse auction websites.
  • Invoice Creation – A seller can create the invoice in the listing before the listing even starts, which makes the post-process billing much easier.
  • Accepted Payments – Sellers can also decide which types of payments they want to accept. Some may disable online payments and require a check so that they can avoid fees associated with digital payments.
  • Maps – For extra-large items, “pickup only” may be the only option. A map can show bidders where the listed item is located, letting them decide if they are willing to travel to pick it up.
  • Marketing Add-Ons – To bring in more revenue, you may decide to offer additional features to your sellers. These include: featured auctions, homepage banners, email blasts, Google ads, Facebook posts, print ads, etc. Sellers will often pay a premium just so that they don’t have to coordinate these marketing channels.

You can also choose to ban certain information from descriptions. For instance, you may exclude phone numbers so that buyers and sellers don’t circumvent your site. You can also ban URLs that may lead to other trade/auction/eCommerce sites to avoid the same.

Clarity’s Approach to Auction Listings

Creating listings on an online auction platform is a tricky balance between the expectations customers bring from other eCommerce sites and the specific fields and details specific to your industry. When you’re looking for a developer, make sure you find a partner that has experience with auction websites and the finer points of customizing them for the types of businesses that will be using them.

Clarity is a leader in affordable yet customizable online auction websites and wants to help you create—or upgrade—your current platform. We have a series about eAuctions on YouTube, and our website is filled with articles about every topic and the new features you can take advantage of.

We also offer a complimentary discovery process to help you plan your way forward. We’ll help you map out your future for free, and you can use it with us or take it to a different developer. There’s nothing to lose, so get in touch and let’s get started!

Related Posts

Stephen Beer is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures and has written about various tech industries for nearly a decade. He is determined to demystify HIPAA, integration, and eCommerce with easy-to-read, easy-to-understand articles to help businesses make the best decisions.