Best practices for creating a great buying experience

When bidders have a great experience with your auction, it not only creates stronger bidder loyalty that translates directly to increased sales, it makes running your business easier. There are some basic steps you can take to give bidders a great experience that they can return to again and again.

When listing your auction

When reviewing your catalog, ask yourself “If I were bidding on this item, do I have everything I need to confidently bid?” If not, review your listings to ensure you have:

  • Many clear photos of your item, including of any damage
  • Important information like dimensions, condition, and provenance in your description
  • A clear and prominent explanation of how shipping and payment work for your company

Make payment and shipping as easy as possible

  • Bidders prefer houses that use LivePayments, which which makes paying invoices with a credit card quick and secure, while also offering 100% fraud protection and disbursements multiple times a week. If you elect to not use Payments, ensure you are collecting funds in a PCI compliant fashion.
  • Bidders prefer to bid with auction houses that provide in-house shipping services. If you do not have in-house services, create a list of reliable shipping partners your bidders can contact, and make it clear to bidders they will need to coordinate shipping themselves post-sale. Make sure your shipping partners are skilled at packing the inventory you sell and provide excellent customer service themselves.

Get bidders approved!

  • Bidders appreciate becoming approved soon after registering for your sale.
  • Always copy approved bidders from your last sale to prevent repeat bidders from having to register again, and to save you time in approving them again.
  • Use Global Approval settings to automatically approve bidders who fit your criteria. We recommend auto-approving any bidder with a card on file - houses that do so see 99.7% payment rates.
  • The bidder approval page has loads of useful information. In general, look for bidders that have a credit card on file, a high payment rate, and have few disputes. For bidders with disputes, consider the age of their account, how many items have they purchased, and their payment rate. This will help you differentiate between disputed bidders who are likely not to pay and those that are very likely to pay.

After your auction ends

Wrap it up!

  • Invoice bidders within 24 hours after your sale ends. The faster you invoice, the faster winners can pay.
  • If you ship in house, calculate shipping costs quickly, pack securely, and do not inflate your shipping costs.
  • If you do not ship in house, make sure your shipping partners know when your auction ends, and accommodate their pick-up schedule.
  • If you do not use Payments by LiveAuctioneers, make sure to mark items paid in your console and in the invoices directly next to the "payment" field.

How to gain loyal bidders

  • Respond to bidder questions quickly, fully, and courteously
  • Allow bidders to contact you via phone or email
  • Resolve order issues swiftly
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