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Attracting Bidders for Your Online Self-Storage Auctions

With the ever-increasing popularity of online buying, self-storage auction participants are equally inclined to bid online as they are at live lien sales. Learn how to attract these customers to your next online auction.

November 24, 2014

3 Min Read
Attracting Bidders for Your Online Self-Storage Auctions

By Leonard Pecker

Who buys online? According to recent statistics, nearly everyone. More and more buyers are using the Internet as their prime source for merchandise and services. Here are some interesting facts compiled by marketing website CMO.com by Adobe in May 2014:

  • Online shopping is predicted to grow to $370 billion by 2017, up from $231 billion in 2012.

  • Two-thirds of Americans age 50 years and older buy from online retailers.

  • In a survey of 58,000 U.S. adults, 75 percent said they had ordered products or services online.

With the ever-increasing popularity of online buying, self-storage auction participants are equally inclined to bid online as they are at live lien sales. Learn how to attract these customers to your next online auction.

Inform Your Regulars

Your prime source of online auction bidders is your self-storage facility’s existing bidder list. The “regulars” who participate in your live auctions are prime targets for your online sales as well, for a couple of reasons. First, they’ve come to rely on your sales to source merchandise and will continue doing so once the auctions go online. Second, if these storage-unit buyers have had a positive experience with you in person, they’ll be inclined to try your online sales. You can notify them of upcoming events via your website, e-mail or phone, or you can advertise in the local newspaper.

Tap Into Other Resources

Another source for online bidders is your live-auction company. Many bidders regularly follow auctioneers to various events. Your auctioneer may be willing to inform his followers of your online sales. Some online-auction companies have built relationships with live auctioneers specifically to share bidder contacts.

In addition, an auction company’s regulars will often seek more information about an upcoming event directly from the storage facility. This is a great opportunity to turn these onsite bidders into online ones. Generally, 50 percent to 75 percent of live bidders will register to bid once the auctions go online.

Don’t forget about word-of-mouth from the bidders themselves. Many are professional buyers who attend numerous auctions each month. These bidders get to know one another and will often share information, such as live and online auctions they plan to attend.

Some online auction companies have also created website affiliations to share bidders. As professional buyers often bid on numerous auction websites in their ongoing search for inventory, they’re always on the lookout for additional websites where they can register.

Embrace Social Media

Social media plays a huge role in attracting new bidders to your online auctions. Open to millions of possible participants, the Web holds the greatest potential and creates the largest marketplace. It also provides the highest return with the least amount of investment. Auction buyers are always looking for the next event, so post on social media platforms to advertise your lien sales.

Social engagement will drive more people to your website and help to improve your campaign for better online ranking. In addition, many bidders use Facebook and Twitter to learn and share experiences about using online-auction sites. There are several blogs and forums dedicated to users of online auctions, further spreading the word about this ever-expanding opportunity.

The number of online self-storage auctions is growing quickly as operators seek an efficient, cost-effective method for emptying their delinquent and abandoned units. The general public has become more aware of this exciting and often profitable new hobby or livelihood. As more people embrace online shopping, it makes sense to open your lien sales to as many potential bidders as possible. Try the above suggestions to reach this hungry audience and watch the number of bidders at your next online auction soar.

Leonard Pecker is the director of customer service for iBid4Storage.com, an online storage-auction marketplace where sellers and buyers in North America can benefit and prosper. For more information, call 855.402.4243; e-mail [email protected]; visit www.ibid4storage.com.

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