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There’s a lot of online auction software providers out there for small businesses, but how do you decide which is best for you?

Software providers can’t take the time to understand the details of every auction business in person, but industry-specific software designers can make assumptions, especially if they do their homework. This article will help you to have a better idea of whether they’ve done it or not.

Start by deciding which features are most important to you

For example, is a flexible user interface a priority? Maybe you need to be able to make changes on the fly. If you’ve been in the auction business for a while, you know it can involve plenty of running around. You’ll want software that allows convenient access to bidding and selling.

Or, perhaps an all-in-one auction software platform that is intuitive and easy to learn is your hot button. You want to get back to running your business asap and not have software training take over your daily schedule. You should be able to tell early on how steep a learning curve there will be.

Whatever the case, pick your priorities and keep them in mind as you shop. Clear priorities now will keep you from being overwhelmed with features later by simplifying the decision process.

Here are three strategies for choosing the best online auction software provider for you.

First, don’t just make it about the software

How long has the online auction software provider been in the auction business?

A company that has experience running auctions is intimately familiar with the problems you face, and they’ve likely coded their software to address them. This kind of know-how is invaluable.

On the other hand, companies without that experience have to guess about the problems and which are most difficult or time-consuming.

Do yourself a favor and find out the back story. Choose a company whose leaders have experience in the auction business rather than just a business that creates software.

Second, get clear on your must-haves

Take security, for example. Some things may not be vital to you getting ahead, but you can’t afford to be without them.

We know the auction industry has some challenges regarding fraud, so make sure you have the basics such as encryption and secure bidder registration.

Quick and easy communication with bidders is also a must. Timeliness is critical in an auction, and communication concerning products purchased and sold is fundamental to an online auction storefront. You’ll need software that offers quick and seamless communication for both parties via either desktop or smartphone integration.

Draw up your own list based on your offline auction experience and use it to decide what your online auction priorities are.

Third, be prepared to make trade-offs

Do you want a robust analytics toolset to enable you to see in-depth financial details concerning your business, including valuable insight into where you can potentially gain and save more money?

Is a robust mobile application vital when it comes to taking pictures of auction items and monitoring auctions?

The fact is, if you don’t see yourself making use of these kinds of features, you might want to choose a software option that’s less robust in these areas, especially if the cost is a primary driver for you.

Price is the most crucial trade-off of all. You get what you pay for; the point of this article is to help you get clear on what you’re willing to pay for.

If you know the most important features to you, if you’re committed to finding a software provider that has significant auction experience, and you’re clear on your must-have list, the pricing question becomes much more straightforward.

By knowing what you want, you may not automatically dismiss a company just because they offer or low-cost pricing model. While others may see it as a red flag – or indicator of low quality – you may be willing to make the trade-off.

An insider’s tip: consider a fixed monthly rate to eliminate guesswork. It’s always good to simplify when you can.

That’s a lot of information

Taking your auction business online can be a challenge. There’s a lot to consider, and there are plenty of providers who claim to be the best for you. In this post, we’ve tried to reduce the decision-making load.

When you’ve got a good idea of what you need and don’t need, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for in a software provider.

p.s. If you’re interested in getting your online auction-based business up and running, head over to our website now and let us know if you have questions.

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