Auctioning for the first time in an online setting is an overwhelming ordeal but an exciting one too! They are perfect for people who want an arena of offers when selling assets like a house and land for a steal. However, in this world of digital frauds and scams, people can prey on your enthusiasm and run online scam auctions. They can be in the form of overpricing or product camouflage.
If you have second thoughts on the legitimacy of online auction websites, you have come to the right place! Thankfully, there are various signs you can look out for when buying or selling from auctions. To gauge the authenticity of the website or advertisement, look for the following things:
What To Look For In An Online Auction
Whether personal homes or commercial enterprises, they are more efficient than any other shopping means. However, each year you see millions of dollars lost in scams and fraudulent activities. When you find an experienced and ethical auction, you can reap the benefits of a perfect buying experience. Make sure you look thoroughly for the following things:
The NAA Logo
Citizens understand the weight of the risks associated with auctioning; thus, various codes of conduct and ethical policies exist. NAA, or the National Auctioneers Association, is one such organization that has established a code of conduct and ethical practices when dealing with auctioning high-value assets like land, property, automobile vehicles, and others. They follow the highest standards of dealing, and multiple companies have signed up as licensed auctioneers. Other auctioning companies have partnered with local and state associations and professional associations.
The primary reason you search for this license is that actions are taken against fraudulent activities, and they provide confidence that the sellers and buyers are ethical and legitimate. Thus, the NAA or other auctioneer association logo becomes a fundamental requirement when looking for authenticity. If you don’t see a logo, enquire about their membership in accredited associations. Make sure you have complete access to the details in terms and conditions and read through them. Legitimate companies comprehensively list the terms and conditions to the participants and do not hesitate to provide customer support access to queries. Another way to verify is to look at their past and future events.
Authentic Customer Reviews And Ratings
Online reviews are the best form of gauging the authenticity of an auctioning website. Consider the website shady if you find little to no customer feedback or ratings. Reviews are the bread and butter for first-hand authenticity. However, understand that bad reviews are a common occurrence in a majority of companies. But their swift response and good-to-bad review ratio set the authentic ones apart. It is unlikely that you will find one with excellent reviews and zero unsatisfied customers- if you do find one, that is also suspicious.
Cautiousness is critical, and regardless of any inquiry, you must have direct access to their communications. Reliable online bidding websites also ask for address and contact information verification to know that you are the right holder of the item. They often provide a support email, contact number, or an address you can look up. Authentic websites also provide an accurate picture and description of the item. They also provide top-notch services in delivering the item in an automated manner.
As they provide premier auctioning services for luxury items like jewels, cars, antiques, coins, and exotic bullion, they will provide reputable and transparent services that are integrated with professionalism. Their contact page is your only way of communicating with them, and a website that does not support clarity and transparency is a definite red flag you must avoid.
Past Experience & Navigable Address
The best and most important aspect to look for in an online auction is the past orders and bids they have crossed. A brief record of their past auctions and information about future auctions is a must before you even consider the website. Proven experience denoted and highlighted the professionalism and their success in making sales in the past. Permanent addresses of their headquarters must also be mentioned on the “about us” page. Auctions held in impermanent addresses like a hotel venue are an open scam.
4 Tips For A Safe Auction
Stolen credit cards and fraudulent practices are so standard nowadays that potential buyers and sellers fear away from the platform. It was reported that about 62,868 customers had reported digital fraud on auctioning platforms. This isn’t very reassuring because bidding is an entertaining and quick way to buy and sell high-value items. Given below are 4 tips to help you achieve a safe auctioning experience:
- Read the terms and conditions: Unlike most pages where you skip terms and conditions, you have to dive in and understand them in auctions where your money or asset is on the line. Winning an auction is great, but knowing that your money or product is reaching the wrong hands is dreadful. Make sure you research the entry fees, bidder fees, shipping charges, and relevant taxes.
- Spot their over-enthusiasm: Professional and ethical auctioneers are still looking for participants. Although they may show a slight degree of enthusiasm, it is easy to spot excitement that generates engagement and which forces you to participate. This is because scammers want to manipulate you through the “rewards” you could achieve through the bidding arrangement.
- Prepare your online identity: Make sure you log in through a simple email address that is not linked to your personal information and bank details. Expose only essential information required for the purchase, like dispatch address and phone number. Take the extra step to see their privacy, cookies, and return policies. Use strong passwords
- Prepare for a safe payment: Make sure you are thoroughly familiarized with the payment methods, and print the website pages of your order details before making the payment. Notifications must be sole with the buyer, and double check if you have the payment before sending the goods. Use secured and legal payment methods rather than a personal bank account.
And that marks the end of everything you need to know about the safety of auction sites. To summarize, purchasing and selling depends on the reviews and reputation. Make sure you surf through the reviews on social media sites like Reddit and Facebook. Always look for privacy, security, and policies for dispute resolution, for they are signs of a legitimate auction site. Regardless of the website’s authenticity, unscrupulous and fraudulent buyers and sellers exist on all platforms. Ensure proper research of the buyers and sellers before bidding. An auction is no longer an anxious ordeal when the above points are considered.