Auctioneers Taking Action to Attract More Online Bidders to Live Auctions with Formation of New Association and Focus on Better Software Platforms That Are more “Bidder Friendly”

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Should auctioneers lobby together and take a hands-on approach to effect changes in their online bidding platforms? Are live cataloged auctions really attracting all the bidders they should be? http://www.cbtechlive.com/checkout/openletter.html

In March, 1792, twenty-four of New York City’s leading merchants met secretly to discuss ways to bring order to the securities business and wrest it from their competitors, the auctioneers. On May 17, 1792, these merchants signed a document called the Buttonwood Agreement. It was named after their traditional meeting place – a buttonwood tree.

Two hundred years later, a company called eBay further challenged the auctioneers by creating a novel way for bidders to acquire items via the computer, rather than through auction attendance. By 2006, this new bidding platform has become a billion dollar business with over 75 million customers.

Further, given the momentum of on-line auctions, the impact on the live auction industry is openly discussed. With the addition of bidding templates for live auctions, examples being that of eBayLive Auctions and Proxibid, a typical auctioneer may see a heartening number of registrations, but disappointing numbers of active online bidders.

Clearly, the 75 million bidders registered on eBay obviously prefer the eBay timed auction model instead of the eBayLive Auctions model. Reversing the trend and driving online bidders to participate in live auctions is the mission of the Online Auctioneers Association. Your participation can help in both that effort and the implementation of the following:

Reduction of eBay final fees on live auctions to 3%

Improved interface with eBayLive Auctions platform

New multi-auction / ring platform for bidders

New web-based, real time bidding template

Turnkey online bidding system

Why now? Perhaps a better question is, “If not now, when?” The larger question is how do we get more bidders and with that higher prices and more profit for the auctioneer? Working directly with eBayLive Auctions and auctioneers, four years and 100,000 lots later, CBTechlive has developed a live auction platform that provides:

1. Greater participation by online bidders.

Our auctions saw an average of over 50% online winners over a period of four years. This was due to the creation of a turnkey support system designed to be attractive to online bidders and thus bidder friendly. The overall full-service support system covering cataloging, research, advertising, registration, bidding, reports, invoicing, collections and shipping proved attractive to both auctioneer and bidder as well.

2. Support of hundreds of live auctions simultaneously.

Our system was designed to allow for multi-auction and multi-ring bidding, permitting multiple auctions to run at the same time and enabling bidders to follow and bid on items from a large pool of available lots. Being a similar format to that of eBay.com, it will attract tens of millions of live bidders (not just left bidding), instead of hundreds. Bidders are empowered to bid on multiple rings or auctions running simultaneously while connected to eBayLive Auctions using custom search tools.

3. New business for auctioneers.

Our platform allows sellers, power sellers, mom and pop dealers, and drop-off centers to list thousands of lots with just a click of the mouse. They are allowed to select “the auctioneer of their choice” using a virtual transfer of lots, which can become part of the auctioneers’ live catalog.

4. A portal of input to eBayLive Auctions.

A close working relationship between auctioneers and eBayLive Auctions can reduce the development time from years to months or weeks on new features attractive to live auctioneers or bidders. For instance, CBTechlive has spent hundreds of man-hours adjusting the bid click speed down to 300 milliseconds in response to complaints that online bids were too slow and sometimes lost. This is just one example of how the new platform has been carefully constructed to solve real world problems for auctioneers. With the broad-based support such as the Online Auctioneers Association can provide, a collective voice will be heard and the solutions to other issues streamlined, assuring the viability and growth of the industry.

The newly formed Online Auctioneers Association has sent out petitions to address these issues with eBayLive Auctions with auctioneer Mike Brandly, CAI, AARE as the acting Chairperson. If this is successful it could greatly improve the online bidder attendance of live auctions run by auctioneers.

Mike Brandly stated that “ Auctioneers want to lower their overall costs and reach out to more bidders with improved up-to-date technology which will increase the bottom-line prices. Auctioneers are now deciding to be proactive and work closely with IT groups like CBTechlive and eBayLive Auctions to create the technology needed to stay competitive. With a $250 billion dollar market at stake, it would be a shame to lose any additional ground to “timed auctions” which entered the marketplace in 1995.”

More information about this petition and the auctioneers agenda can be found at:

http://www.cbtechlive.com/checkout/openletter.html

CBTechlive.com is a developer with, but not directly associated with eBay.com or eBayLive Auctions.

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