Buying Outright From Auction Sites
A fairly new trend in online auction sites is taking the auction out of the auction. Good for some, bad for others, this new outright purchase option clearly has its pros and cons for the auction system.
The instant buy feature provided by some sites basically gives would-be bidders the ability to end auctions instantly by agreeing to pay a set price. Just like shopping online at any retail site, the feature makes it easy for buyers to ensure they’ll get the goods they want.
The pros to the instant buy feature for online auction sites include:
* Enables sellers to ensure they’ll get the price they seek. This is great for sellers who simply can’t let an item go for less than a set amount.
* Helps buyers avoid the disappointment that can come with an auction loss.
* Takes the guesswork out of the entire process. This, of course, is good for the buyer who really wants an item but doesn’t have the time or wherewithal to wait out an auction.
* Ensures buyers won’t be coaxed into paying more than they are willing to for an item. This is also great for buyers who might be tempted to bid a bit above their budget for an item they really want. The set price virtually eliminates this risk.
The cons include:
* Somewhat takes away from the atmosphere of online auctions. Since there’s no guesswork, the fun of the bid chase also goes away. This is bad for buyers and sellers both who enjoy watching a bidding match unfold.
* Can undercut a seller’s potential income. Sellers who agree to let items go for the set price won’t get an unexpected bonus a hot auction might create. Few people are going to bid beyond the set price and drive the auction’s net higher.
* Can overprice an item. Sometimes in the straight auctions, buyers get really good deals on items with them coming in at less than they expected. The outright purchase takes away the chances of picking up that book for $1 if the price is set at $2.
The instant buy feature on some auction sites might be taking a bit away from the atmosphere for some bidders, but all in all it’s a nice function and gives both buyers and sellers more options for handling their transactions. Not all auctions have or need to have this feature set, so there’s still plenty of opportunities out there for the fun bidding wars can create.