I sell on onlineauction.com as many of you already know. I wanted to say I have seen a large influx of both new sellers and new buyers in the recent weeks. I personally have sold to several new buyers recently. Anyone who thinks OLA isn’t growing needs to look again. But there are some misconceptions that I would like to try and clear up for those with questions and/or concerns:
First: that there is no bidding taking place. The majority of sales going on at OLA at the moment are called Penny Overs. This is the equivalent to that other place’s Buy it Now with one exception. The buy price is listed at one penny less than the buy actually is. For example, if an item is listed for $4.99 on Penny Over, you would put in the quantity that you would like. Just to make it simple, let’s just say you only want one. You would put in the one and submit your “bid”. You would then see that you have bought a quantity of one for $5.00. This being equivalent to a fixed price format (which it will be changing to this summer, by the way), that item is then sold. The “bid” won’t show because the item will no longer be listed. Therefore, since this is the majority of sales right now, it LOOKS as if there is no traffic or sales going on. There is. I personally have sold over 140 items since February.
Second: that you have to pay $4 a month to buy on OLA. Absolutely not true!!! The Verified Buyers program is set up specifically to safeguard both buyer and seller in the cases of large purchases. These would mainly be considered Real Estate and vehicle sales, etc. The basic buyer membership, which is FREE, allows a buyer to buy $1000.00 a day with no verification fees. Now, even some sellers do not understand this, so yes, you might run into one or two who have chosen the Verified Buyer Only option, but who aren’t selling high ticket items. We are working on getting ALL sellers to understand that this is NOT a good thing to do. If you do run into a seller who requires you to be verified to buy a $3.00 item, please o-mail them and ask them to take that off their listing. The rules are comprehensive in the Rules sections, but not all read them. There is also still some “eBay mentality” at work, and who can blame them, so they think they are safer doing it this way. So I will make a plea here to both sellers and buyers alike. Sellers DO NOT USE the verified buyers only option on your “regular” items; and buyers, please do not misunderstand what that option is and if you see it, help the seller out by mentioning it. Thank you.
Third: searches are messy. Not really. It can be convoluted at times, but there are a few things to remember. It is easier if you type in what you are looking for. If you don’t find it under the plural use of your keyword, try the singular. Also, once in a searched page, it is not impossible to get back to where you were. Use the backspace arrow. If you get an error page, use it again. It’s not really all that difficult. Also, yes, there are items in categories that don’t belong where they are. So if you use the category and find a bunch of listings from one seller that don’t belong there, it usually just means they did not re-map their categories when importing their listings from across the way. Send them a gentle o-mail if you like to remind them. But don’t give up on searching because of it. That just doesn’t even make sense. There is a whole new site coming this summer. In that will be 4-tiered categories, meaning more detailed searches. This is exciting news to say the least.
Fourth: No Google Search. Well, this is partially true at the moment. Right now, a lot of sellers put their own listings into Google Base. I don’t because I haven’t gotten that far. However, the reason OLA items haven’t shown up in Google is because Google only recognizes fixed price format, not Penny Over. Therefore, onlineauction.com is changing the way it runs its fixed price items. See First above. So starting this summer, OLA items WILL be in Google Search. So jump in and get your items listed NOW before that starts so you already have your place established.
I guess that’s all I have to rant about for today!!! Hopefully, this has answered some questions for some and put aside some concerns for others. No one has anything to lose by either buying on OLA (because it’s FREE to do so) or selling on OLA (at $8.00 a month, why not?). It really is worth a shot. Heck, we’ve all had to take the plunge. Oh, and the customer service at OLA are actually REAL people. Yes, I said REAL people. The administration listens to us, which is unheard of elsewhere. AND we have a heck of a good time on the boards. Come on over and play with us!!!