Online Solutions for Launching an Online Auction

If you have used industrial machines and equipment that you no longer need or use, it makes sense to sell them and get some of your capital back, especially if they’re in working condition and can still be used by someone else. You could, of course, decide to simply scrap them or sell them as scrap metal, but that may mean that you’re throwing good money down the drain. 

Selling used industrial equipment at online auction

The biggest challenge when wanting to sell used industrial machines and equipment is to find a buyer that actually wants the equipment and is willing to pay for it. One way to do this would be to sell them at an auction, and this would work if the equipment is commonly used by companies in your area. If you, however, have highly specialized industrial machines that cater to a very specific niche or process, this option may not be successful.

Fortunately, the internet provides a major opportunity for finding potential buyers, not only locally, but even internationally. 

If you want to sell your used industrial machines and equipment online, there are a number of different ways in which you can do so. These include industrial equipment auctions and using online auction marketplaces.

Internet is full of solutions on how to launch your own online auction

In this article, we’ll look at and describe all the possibilities you have to sell your used industrial equipment online. While it’s impossible for us to recommend one specific method, as this depends on too many different factors, we hope that we can provide you with enough information that will enable you to make the decision that’s right for you.

Creating your own site for online auctions

The first option is to create your own site. The advantage of going this route is that you will have complete control over the look and feel of the site and can decide which features you want to add or leave out. This option does, however, require a level of website building knowledge. Even if you outsource the actual development of the site rather than doing it in-house, you will still need to know best practices and requirements for an eCommerce website so that you can specify what you want and need from the developers.

Starting an auction totally from scratch is not advisable. Rather use one of the many eCommerce platforms available as a basis. Auctions work mainly with products and while a simple CMS (Content Management System e.g. WordPress) platform can’t handle that, an eCommerce platform can. 

This would take care of the product handling side of things, but an auction site needs more than that. First decide which features you want your auction site to have, and then look at the eCommerce platforms available to find one that is the best match. Many of the eCommerce platforms (e.g. Magento) have auction extensions or add-ons available that will provide features typically used in industrial equipment auctions.

When you create your own auction website, you will have to do your own marketing to build awareness of the site, and to get traffic of potential buyers.

Some of the features you may want to consider for your own online auction marketplace include: 

  • Running multiple auctions simultaneously
  • Setting minimum bid prices
  • Setting minimum price gaps to get the best value out of auctions
  • Allowing only specific customer groups to bid in the auction
  • Notifying auction winners and other bidders about the auction status via email
  • User-friendly interface with easy management functions 
  • Auto extending  the auction end time if a bid is placed in the last minutes 
  • Showing customers the previous history of their bids 
  • Auto-updates and notifications on-screen when a new bid is placed

Using services of auctioneers 

If you don’t want to create and host your own auction website, you can use one of the many Auction websites that are available. These sites will allow you to list your used industrial machines and equipment on their sites for a fee. The sites typically allow you to use different pages and layouts to organize your products attractively.  

The main goal of these sites is to target the most relevant audience that may be interested in buying your used equipment

These sites do not only organize equipment in a catalogue and target the relevant potential buyers but also continuously update the auction details, offers, discounts and availability of products to provide you with maximum advantage. 

Before selecting an auction website to use, check which site is most appropriate to fulfil your requirements and determine if you are in fact eligible to sell your products through the website. It is also a good idea to have a detailed budget plan and a clear view of your expectations and requirements before contacting any auctioning website. 

Using apps for launching an online auction

There are various apps available that will allow you to create your own auctions. When using one of these, you normally have to pay a subscription fee, and/or a percentage of the profits.

Using an app is similar to creating your own auction website, in that you’ll have to do your own marketing to build awareness of the app, and to get traffic of potential buyers.

Some of the more popular apps for building your own online auction site are Auction Broadcaster, AuctionWorx Enterprise, BidJs or Promena e-Sourcing.

Using online auction marketplaces

At first glance, it may appear that online auctions and online marketplaces for used industrial equipment and machinery are the same things. Although they are very similar in that the sites are both run by third parties that strive to bring sellers and buyers together, there are two main differences:

  • Online auctions tend to focus on selling goods through auctions whereas marketplaces offer goods for sale at fixed prices, but will also offer auctions.
  • Auction sites tend to focus on specific niches, while marketplaces normally offer equipment in a wider range of industries.

Below is a summary of three of the best known online marketplaces for used industrial equipment and machines: 

Autco

Autco offers more than 250,000 unique items from more than 2,000 industry-leading brands, offering the best selection and quality of industrial equipment at liquidation and auction prices. Products range from heavy machinery, hand tools, spare parts or complete assembly lines.

Autco offers three powerful buying and selling methods: Fixed Priced Listing, Online Auctions & On-site Auctions. One huge advantage of using Autco to sell your used equipment online is that it’s free for sellers. There are no listing fees, no commissions, and no broker fees.

Autco also claims to have more than 100,000 buyers.

Bidspotter

Bidspotter is different than other marketplaces in that they give their users access to many auctions hosted by top auctioneers in the United States and Canada. Bidders bid at live auctions online using a live webcasting applet with live video and audio feeds.

Auctions can be webcast from any location. On the day of the event, the Bidspotter team will work at the auction site and interact with online bidders. Bidspotter will also train a company’s employees to manage the process. 

Once the auction has been completed, their software can generate email notifications or invoices, and calculate the total hammer price, buyers’ premium and sales tax (if applicable) for winning online bidders.

Proxibid

Proxibid offers live auction where buyers can bid from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, and compete in real-time against other online bidders as well as those at the live auction. With timed auctions, buyers bid for items up for auction over a pre-determined period. The highest bidder at the end of the auction wins the item.

Some items are available at a fixed price for immediate purchase. Once the amount listed is paid, the item is sold. Buyers and sellers can also negotiate over the price of an item. Once a price has been agreed upon, the transaction is finalized.

The Proxibid Marketplace delivers real, online transaction capability and an active buyer base with spending power from 190 countries

Getting ready to sell your used equipment online

With the information provided above, you should have a good idea of the various options available for selling your used equipment online. To get the ball rolling, here is a list of steps you need to take to select the solution best suited to your requirements and to get your products listed.

Make a list of your requirements for an online solution and visit an online auction and marketplace websites. Rank these on user-friendliness, features for both sellers and buyers, and reputation. 

List the items you want to sell. Search for the items on the websites to see if similar products are being sold. Follow a number of auctions to get a feel for the current prices for this type of item. If the items are listed, but few or even nobody bids on them, it may be an indication that there is not a market for it. If this is the case, you might be better off simply scrapping it rather than spending too much money trying to get it sold.

Check on your competition by visiting online stores to look at what others are doing and consider how you can differentiate yourself. This may be as simple as providing better product descriptions.

Take photos of the products. In the eCommerce market, images often clinch the deal rather than the actual text. Do whatever it takes to produce high-quality images, even if it means you have to hire a professional. 

Write detailed descriptions of the machinery. Look at the auction sites to see how other similar products are described. Use headlines that will draw the attention of buyers looking for the item you are selling. Describe the equipment in detail and use keywords where possible. 

If you decide to set up your own online solution, make sure you specify payment options and/or portals.

Decide how you want to handle delivery or shipping. You could choose to deliver the equipment to the buyer or ask them to arrange for the shipping from their side. Whichever way you choose, be sure to inform the buyer of the terms before making the sale.