eBay users are accustomed to only two “standard” formats for
sales on eBay: either the ‘regular’ auction which involves
bidding and waiting; and the Buy It Now, which is an instant
But there are three other formats that are less well known.
1. Live Auctions
Before eBay, the traditional auction included live bodies in
chairs and an auctioneer up front (talking so fast he was
frequently unintelligible). Any buyer can still participate
in these live auctions via eBay. Live auctions are a hybrid
– a buyer is ‘sort of’ present in a live setting yet is at
home using an Internet connection.
The products for sale are usually expensive and unusual.
There are such items as expensive and unique coins, Asian
art, native American artifacts, incredible jewelry, costly
furniture, memorabilia from major sports stars and even
history. Today, for instance, there are documents signed by
John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, James Madison and Ulysses
Grant (he confides that he was strenuously opposed to the
“wicked” war with Mexico).
If you choose to participate in a live auction, be certain
that you register first because you can’t just drop in on a
You can find all the details here:
2. Private Auctions
Private auctions are similar to the typical auction that
we’re all familiar with except for one detail – the
identities of the bidders are kept secret. Only the seller
has access to the names.
Why would anyone create a private auction? It’s usually for
one of three reasons:
* The item is quite expensive and buyers might be
uncomfortable having others know they can afford such
merchandise. Their concern about their financial status is
most likely misplaced because it is quite possible to
distance yourself from eBay contact information, but much of
selling is about perception.
* The buyers might be embarrassed by the nature of the
* Some sellers habitually use private auctions to make it
harder for their competition to snoop on them.
3. Restricted Access Auctions
This is usually for sales of “adult” items. The main purpose
is to prevent children from seeing this kind of merchandise,
and is similar to having covers on racy magazines at store
To bid on these items, the buyer must:
* Be 18 years old
* Must have supplied credit card information to eBay.The
theory is that no one under 18 can get a credit card and
therefore cannot get into these sections.
* Agree that he is voluntarily accessing restricted access
In addition, restricted auctions are excluded from the
Featured pages. So if you are a seller using this format,
your listing will be harder to find.
Even though they are less well known, these three formats
for auctions on eBay still account for tens of millions of
dollars in sales each year. If they suit your business
model, you might consider them.
About the author:
Learn how to sell on eBay with 16 hours of online instruction taught by a 10 year eBay veteran. Own an eBay business instead of an eBay hobby.