What’s Better: Live or Online Auctions?

Is it better to have an online or in-person auction? That’s a great question. First, consider what kind of person you are… Do you conduct most of your business affairs online? Do you pay bills online, shop for clothing and gifts online, and/or buy/sell cars online? If you’re the kind of person who carries a smartphone around and looks at it several times a day, and you also own an iPad, laptop, desktop, etc., then you’re probably used to technology and would very much prefer an online auction situation compared to one that’s in-person. Do you rarely use technology? Are you the type of person who likes to physically be present with people rather than do a “zoom” call? Do you like to go into stores and touch clothing and try it on in the fitting rooms? Do you carry cash in your wallet and consider yourself happily old-fashioned, “not big on computers?” If so, you’d probably prefer an in-person auction, where you get the sights and smells and sounds of a live auction, in-person. An in-person auction seems more human, compared to one that’s online, which some might think is more sterile and robotic.

Both Auction Types Are Extremely Popular

Both in-person and online auctions are currently popular. Neither one is “more popular” or necessarily “better” than the other– they mutually coexist well, and have their specific audiences.

One of the reasons in-person auctions endure is because people like to be in the same physical space as the object(s) they’d like to bid on. They can examine things closely and ask questions before making a bid. Buyers typically talk to sellers and get details about what’s for sale, allowing them to make educated decisions in person. Meanwhile, people like attending in-person auctions because they’re fun and exciting, complete with the unique auctioneer calling out bids and people competing in front of one another to see who will “win.” The in-person auction often becomes a much-anticipated social event for all those involved in it. In-person auctions are also good places to meet like-minded people and network– you might make new friends or customers based on the people you talk to there! With an in-person auction, results are immediate. You win an auction and you pay for the item and take it home– nice and fast!

One of the reasons online auctions have gained popularity in recent times is because they’re convenient for people who can’t easily get somewhere at a certain time in a certain place. With online auctions, potential buyers can use their device’s screen to look over what’s for sale and pick out what they might like to bid on. Typically, if they see something they want, they can use their credit card to make a bid. Online auctions are available to more potential buyers because they’re on the Internet. They’re not just limited to who shows up to an auction house on a certain date at a certain time. Having a wider range of bidders can be beneficial to a seller.

It Comes Down to Personal Preference

In-person and online auctions both have positive qualities– one’s not “better” than the other. That said, in-person auctions can be more time-consuming than online ones. They do require a physical presence on the part of both bidders and sellers, whereas online auctions are more “virtual,” as in anyone from anywhere can log-in and bid without leaving their home or business. Sellers can invite anyone to attend their online auction, and items can be offered globally, not just locally, so that’s a decent advantage. Usually with online auctions, however, there’s little or no interaction between seller and bidder so there’s some of the “human element” lost in that transaction.

Do you have some items you want to auction off? Or are you interested in attending an auction and buying some things?

Wilson Auction & Realty of Bryan, Ohio, hosts both in-person and online auctions. For more info, call 866-870-5500.