eBay Live Auctions is dead

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We start the new year with an obituary for eBay Live Auctions, not to be confused with eBay Live!, the eBay convention for buyers and sellers held regularly in cities around the country. As of the first of the year, the website ebayliveauctions.com now redirects to www.ebay.com.

eBay Live Auctions was the division of eBay that allowed live auctions to take some advantage of eBay’s enormous bidder pool. Through the use of authorized providers such as iCollector and Live Auctioneers, auctioneers could post inventories and accept real-time Internet bidding like many other providers, but with the help of eBay’s bidding community which is still very large.

The downsides to eBay Live Auctions ¬†were many. eBay treated it like an unwanted stepchild by not allowing the items to be found by searches using the default search bar on eBay’s home page. The link to get to the live auctions always seemed buried and hard to access. The providers charged a percentage of each item sold to an Internet buyer in addition to a hefty setup fee per event.

Still, other Internet bidding providers charge a percentage of each item sold and eBay’s huge community still provided thousands of eyes on the live auction listings. The biggest problem was that eBay’s buyers are not auction buyers. While they may be much more familiar with Internet transactions than Joe Allbox, they balk at terms such as as is and buyer’s premium and simply don’t understand that there should be bigger punishments to not completing transactions than negative feedback. Unfortunately, eBay’s unwillingness to disclose personal information, to say nothing of credit card information, to the auctioneers it was attempting to serve made it very difficult to ensure buyer performance for transactions with eBay’s customers.

All in all, the death of eBay Live Auctions ¬†will be good for the auction industry and eBay. eBay has been good for auctions, but eBay Live Auctions has blurred the lines between eBay’s style of auctions and the methods of Internet auctions practiced by auctioneers, causing bidders to not understand how real auctions work. As eBay rearranges its deck chairs after hitting the iceberg, eBay Live Auctions is one of many logical cost-cutting culls.

As for those companies who had business models built around eBay Live Auctions, it seems that they will continue to operate by attempting to build their own buyer base, a task that is not hard as their auctioneer-clients will advertise their portals while advertising their events.

Did you use eBay Live Auctions or one of the providers associated with the service? What are your plans? Will you continue with the provider or switch to a different solution?

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Aaron Traffas, CAI, ATS, CES

twitter.com/traffas | aarontraffas.com | aarontraffasband.com

Aaron Traffas, CAI, AMM, CES, is an auctioneer from Medicine Lodge, Kansas. He is currently community evangelist for Purple Wave in Manhattan, Kansas. Aaron serves as the current president of the Kansas Auctioneers Association and in the past has served on the National Auctioneers Association Education Institute Board of Trustees. He is a past instructor at CAI and co-wrote and instructed the ATS designation course from NAA. He currently instructs the Internet Auction Methods course offered by the NAA. An active contract bid caller, he has competed in multiple state auctioneer contests including placing twice within the top 5 in Kansas. During the summer, Aaron operates a farm in south central Kansas. Aaron is an active singer and songwriter and the Aaron Traffas Band's latest release, Enter: The Wind, can be found at iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
  • Aaron – we never used eBay’s Live Auction Technology. In their contracts they basically said that they are going to charge us for the operation of the site by listing a catalog, and they were going to charge per fee for the service and then said they were not responsible for anything.

    Not good business if you are the owner of the technology and your system operator hits the wrong key during a $3,000,000 sale.

    Plus just using PayPal made the damages worse. Every time you took a payment over $50 they locked out accounts, wanting information faxed to them, and the whole mess.

    I say good riddance to slow Java enabled websites and bid factories. It was guaranteed, that when you bid, you were bidding much higher than was reported on the screen. I say good riddance to companies proprietary nightmares and fidicuaries that are not overseen.

    Now… Back to our regularly scheduled auction.

  • Aaron – we never used eBay’s Live Auction Technology. In their contracts they basically said that they are going to charge us for the operation of the site by listing a catalog, and they were going to charge per fee for the service and then said they were not responsible for anything.

    Not good business if you are the owner of the technology and your system operator hits the wrong key during a $3,000,000 sale.

    Plus just using PayPal made the damages worse. Every time you took a payment over $50 they locked out accounts, wanting information faxed to them, and the whole mess.

    I say good riddance to slow Java enabled websites and bid factories. It was guaranteed, that when you bid, you were bidding much higher than was reported on the screen. I say good riddance to companies proprietary nightmares and fidicuaries that are not overseen.

    Now… Back to our regularly scheduled auction.