If you list a few items “here and there" at online auctions, it only takes a few minutes to get your items up for sell. However, if you build an online auction business with hundreds of items for sale, you'll run out of time and energy fast. That's why automation is so important. Even if you find the perfect one stop online auction shop where you can sell all your items in one place, automation will still be necessary to keep the business going - and keep your sanity! Here are some great ways to automate your auction tasks.
Automate with Auction Software
There are software programs that are specially made for auctions. These programs will store all your listings in a database along with titles, descriptions, photos, pricing and shipping details. Some programs have a feature where you can save templates for certain categories. For example, if you sell household products, you might use the same template for all household items. Then, you might use a completely different template for your wholesale products. Therefore, you can save each template and have them available when you need them.
How it Works
A great benefit of using auction software is you can list more items in less amount of time. Here's how it works:
a) Type in your listings and accompanying details.
b) Upload photos or banners for your listings.
c) Submit the items to the auction site for listing.
It's that simple. Without this software, you will likely have to submit each item by hand through an online form with several screens. This could take several minutes or longer per listing. To get this software, check with your one stop online auction shop first. They might offer the software as a free tool. Use the search engines to search for “auction software" or “auction listing automation. "
Once items have been sold, you should have some email templates ready to go for “thank you" messages, up-sell messages, etc. Create several “thank you" emails for the types of products you offer, each being customized for those customers. Also, create several “special offer" emails to send buyers throughout the year. Some one stop online auction shops provide automated email systems for you. It's free and simple to set up a system like this, and the rewards are tremendous!
Automate the Shipping Process
Keep shipping supplies on-hand at all times. Prepare envelopes, boxes or bags ahead of time with labels, packaging materials, etc. Develop a system that you will use every time you receive an order so you won't get disorganized. Take advantage of shipping “tools" supplied by your one stop online auction shop or payment processing company. Some auction sites or payment processors will provide packing slips for every order with the customer's purchase details already printed for you.
Automate Listing and Ending Times
Schedule your items to end around the same time so you can easily manage them once the auctions end. If you schedule auctions to end on weekends, you can concentrate on shipping the items at the beginning of the week. Those who run auctions weekly usually go through a cycle of listing, ending and shipping around the same times every week.
Saving Time and Money
Automation will help you save time and money. You can list and manage more items through automation. Also, you'll have a better chance at getting repeat business by sending regular mailings or e-mails to buyers. The more money you can save the better bargains your customers will receive!
Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web. Learn more about Automate your Online Auctions or Majon's Business and Entrepreneurs directory.