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What Families Should Know: "Good” Online Auctions

 June 2015

Written by Nan Hayes

The Online auction business is booming.  Once controlled by a single company, online auctions are a now a multi-billion dollar industry and the number of internet sellers is growing steadily. A few online sellers still closeout products in traditional “bulk” retail quantities, but most online transactions involve a single-seller and a single-buyer. It is in the best interest of both parties to understand whether or not they are entering into a “good auction” or a “bad auction.”

According to a study on worldwide auctions by James Cook University, a buyer considers an auction to be good when:

1) The auction is valid

2) There are few or no competing bids or bidders

3) There is complete/reasonable information about the item being bid for

4) S/he obtains an item for the lowest price possible

5) There are no hidden fees (e.g. handling, insurance)

6) The quality of the item on auction meets the buyer’s expectations; and

7) The item is delivered promptly

A seller considers an auction to be good when:

1) The auction is valid

2) There are numerous competing bids and bidders

3) S/he receives the highest price possible for an item

4) The buyer is satisfied with the transaction; and

5) There is prompt payment by the buyer.

Today, sellers  represent a huge range of products and buyers can find  just about anything they need  (and many items they don’t!) through online auction sites like eBay, which host a huge array of products, or through specialty sites like  Augusta Auctions for vintage couture clothing, Auction Time for heavy equipment, or the quirky that auctions a variety of every day services for just $5.

Sellers and buyers on sites like eBay must rely on shipping items. Shipping adds extra cost and time, introduces the chance for shipping damage, and is simply not economically viable for a majority of preowned, large household items such as furniture. To remove the shipping requirement, the online option most buyers and sellers utilize for used items sold locally is Craigslist. But it can be intimidating and risky for buyers and sellers to meet and difficult to determine a fair price.

Sites like Caring Transitions Online Auctions (CTOA) can remove the problems of shipping and provide a safe professional solution for sellers and buyers. Local CTOA operators provide the expertise to photograph and list items plus know how to find many sources of bidders and buyers in addition to notifying their local sale followers.  Plus CTOA bidders can select to be notified when a sale or collection category occurs within a specified zip code radius. CTOA operators will also run pickup times, providing an efficient and safe buying experience for both buyers and sellers.

Of course, for really interested buyers, nothing is better than winning the bid! eBay provides information for novice bidders with their top ten tips for winning auctions. also has some helpful hints on “snipe” services and proxy bidding.  A site like CTOA is operated with sniper protection in place and this helps all parties get fair prices for items being sold.  Find out more at CTOA bidding practices explained. Look for upcoming information on how to make the best of your experience by avoiding online auction scams!

 Visit us online at
Call Caring Transitions for a Consultation – (844) 220-5427
Christopher Seman, President of Caring Transitions
10700 Montgomery Road, Suite 210
Cincinnati, Ohio 45242

©2015 Caring Transitions. Not for reprint in part or entirety without permission.