Auction eCommerce

Bid Logging For Online Auction eCommerce Platforms

September 23, 2022  |  5 min read

Bids are at the heart of auction eCommerce, but the concept is so simple that you might be wondering: Why talk about bids at all?

Bids carry much more information than most people realize. While many buyers on your site only care about whether they won or lost, proper documentation of the bids can satisfy legal requirements and ensure that your buyers and sellers retain confidence in your eAuction platform.

Why Bid Logs Are Vital

Bid logs serve many more purposes than most auction entrepreneurs realize. Because they have multiple roles, it’s crucial you work with an online auction developer that provides a robust bid log offering. When designing your auction software, be sure to address the following.

Bid Logs Support Legal Contracts

There needs to be some vetting process in place before a potential buyer can bid on any auctions. For some online auction platforms, that means ensuring that the buyer is a unique entity and not a shill. For others, the buyers may be required to provide proof that they are able to pay.

No matter the level of vetting you do, every buyer and seller will have to electronically sign your terms of service. In those terms will be verbiage that makes their bids legally binding—a contract—once they are the high bidder. Since legalities are now involved, bid logs become evidence in all types of auctions that a buyer did indeed make a particular bid.

Choosing whether or not to seek legal action will often depend on the size of the transaction and the demands of the seller. Not all negligent bidders will be taken to court, but you can take action against them by banning them from your platform if necessary.

bid logs

Establishing Veracity

There may come times when the veracity of bids is challenged. Buyers may notice suspicious activities. This  usually comes in the form of shill bidding, where a seller is bidding on their own items from different accounts or having an accomplice do so for them.

Well-kept bidding logs can help track down suspicious seller activity. At the same time, it can also be used as proof that the seller is legitimate and no fraudulent activity occurred.

Bid Reviews

Not matter the types of auction software you're using, if something goes wrong, it’s important to have an answer for sellers. Maybe their proxy bid didn’t “fire” and they lost the auction, or maybe someone outbid them by $.37 and they’re wondering exactly how that happened. Having a sound bid log system in place can help you put their minds at ease and explain the finer points of how your eAuction platform works.

bid reviews

The Benefits of Bid Anonymization

User-facing bid information and back-office bid information can be completely separate. There are many aspects of the bidding process that you want to be transparent about, and there are other parts that must be kept secret.

In many cases, anonymization is what you’re looking for when you want to deliver non-identifying information to users (both buyers and sellers). Anonymizing data can serve many purposes and solve quite a few problems that can arise on an online B2B auction website.

Believe it or not, it took years for eBay to anonymize the identity of buyers and sellers. Other sellers could contact auction non-winners and offer them similar items. A non-winner could contact the winning bidder and harass them. It was even possible to see every item that someone else had won!

Benefits of Bid Anonymization

  • Protect Identities – No one needs to know that they were outbid by a competitor, as that can increase animosity between companies. The winning bidder may also be a new B2B eCommerce competitor that is building up stock before announcing the existence of their company; you don’t want to be the one to spoil their announcement.  
  • Prevent Off-Site Transactions – This is an aspect of online auction software that every platform owner wants, because it helps preserve the cut that an auction site takes as the facilitator of the transaction. If identities aren’t anonymized, buyers and sellers could contact each other offline and work out a deal that doesn’t involve you.
  • Prevent Harassment – No buyer wants to get a message after the auction ends saying, “You beat my max bid! Retract it or you’ll be sorry!” While this is more likely to happen in C2C eCommerce auctions, you don’t need to fuel any rivalries by letting a non-winning bidder contact the winning one.
  • Seller Research – Sellers want information about auctions that are similar to the ones they’re about to list. Are the bidders using desktop or mobile? Automated or live bids? Mobile or desktop? What time of day are items selling best? Anonymization allows sellers to do research so that they can become even better sellers.
  • Improve User Confidence – You want buyers and sellers to feel confident that the auction site is trustworthy on every level. Every party should feel confident that bidding on the platform is only done by legitimate businesses, and providing a partial identity can help. Ebay does this by providing the first and last letters of the high bidders’ names with asterisks, such as M*****y. We can make bidders’ names anonymous in any way you choose.

Improve Your Bid Logs

When analyzing your auction eCommerce platform, your first instinct will probably be to focus on the number of bids you’re getting. While improving that number is a primary goal, it’s also vital that you ensure a robust behind-the-scenes bid logging experience.

Clarity Ventures is a leader in creating eCommerce auction websites, and we want to share our knowledge with you so that you can get the one that best fits your business model. Our site is filled with information about every aspect of online auctions. If you’re more of a watcher than a reader, we have a YouTube auction playlist devoted to the subject.

We also offer a complimentary discovery session. We’ll bring our tech people and business analysts to create a free plan for you, whether you’re starting a new platform or updating an existing one. You can use this plan with us or take it with you to a different developer; we just want to see you succeed. We hope you’ll take us up on this, because we’re always excited to talk about auction eCommerce sites.

auction ecommerce development team

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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.