Not that long ago, the only way people could participate in an auction was to show up at an auction hall or other location and wait until they saw something they wanted to bid on. While these types of auctions still exist, online auctions have become the auction of choice for many Americans. In fact, many consumers that wouldn’t normally participate in in-person auctions find the thrill and excitement of online auctions difficult to resist.
Growth of Online Auctions
The concept of online auctions isn’t new. People have been bidding online for over two decades. eBay, one of the world’s most popular online auction platforms launched their first auction in 1995. On September 21st, 1998, eBay went public. This allowed people from all over the world to list their items for sale and place bid on items as well. Since that time, many brick and mortar auction houses have incorporated online auctions into their normal business operations.
While in person auctions still take place and attract significant attention, this might change in the next few years. E-commerce sales are expected to exceed 15% of all retail sales in U.S. by the end of this year. Within the last ten years, global e-commerce sales have increased 600%. If growth continues as expected, it won’t be long before most, if not all sales take place online. This includes auction sales.
Benefits of Online Auctions
Online auctions provide a convenient way for consumers to obtain a wide range of merchandise. Because these auctions take place entirely online, bidders can view auctions and place bids at any time of the day or night. This is different than in-person auctions where bidders must be physically present at the exact time and place of the auction.
Although many people believe only young people participate in online auctions, nothing could be further than the truth. Many older adults enjoy the convenience and flexibility online auctions offer.
For sellers, online auctions provide benefits over in-person auctions as well. Sellers that list their items for sale on online auction platforms reach a large number of people in a short amount of time. Selling online also makes it possible to reach consumers that live in other states or countries. Although some of these consumers might travel out of the area to visit an in-person auction, they’re more likely to participate online.
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