Published on October 25, 2010 by Steve Thomas in TM Auctions
Thomas Multimedia’s web auction software TM Auctions, has been available on a monthly price basis for about 12 months.
While their was a fair amount of interest in that time period – with virtually zero active marketing from our end – including several new auction sites being launched, some things quickly became evident:
- An auction site needs regular love and attention
- An auction site needs a strong existing business and existing customer base
- A site owner needs to be driven and expend energy getting their site to the target market
What we found is that we need to target stronger, better resourced, better dedicated businesses as opposed to the smaller startups who are probably doing this part time or as a side project.
Frankly, I can’t stand to see an auction site go down the gurgler, even if the loss of time and expense was minimal.
Analysing my own mistakes, the target market was wrong. By lowering the barrier of entry to a starting price of $49 a month, combined with a free 30 day trial, I was attracting the smallest end of business who thought they could enter the e-commerce market without anymore than a small monthly fee. As time has shown, this is not the case; as a site owner, you need to know how to sell, and you need to know how to build up a membership base.
To address this misconception, TM Auctions as a product has been redefined.
The new emphasis is to target stronger established businesses, who have the resources to dedicate man hours and budget towards a stronger push onto the market. This most certainly is a combination of a strong marketing campaign, and an existing customer base to direct toward the auction site. An existing website with steady traffic is… Read more
Published on August 24, 2009 by Steve Thomas in TM Auctions
Over the previous couple of months our TM Auctions application has improved in many areas.
More backups, more regularly
Even though our entire systems including all auction account data is securely backed up every night, it still left the possibility of losing a partial days activities. Now new pictures are backed up every hour, and all pictures are stored in the massively stable and reliable Amazon Simple Storage Service at no additional cost. Not only does this virtually guarantee that the pictures will never be lost, but also provides exciting scaling opportunities should your auction site make it Big Time. This is far and beyond what you would get from an average web hosting service.
Improved File Uploading
The built-in file uploader now supports all A Grade browsers.
Seller Plan Management
The site administrator can now add, edit and delete seller plans, including options such as monthly fees, maximum no reserve items, front page exposure, maximum live auctions and more.
4 Tier Categories
Category depth has doubled from 2 to 4, allowing improved categorisation of items. An example of 4 tiers may be:
All pictures can now be rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise from the gallery management page in the event that the seller has listed an image that is the wrong way around.
Published on April 28, 2009 by Steve Thomas in TM Auctions
Following the recent article on No Reserve Auctions:
On the other hand you could list an auction starting at $1 with a reserve of $20, and until a bid matches $20 or more, the item will not sell. In Thomas Multimedia’s auction platform, the reserve price is hidden from the buyer – in other words they have to stab in the dark until they find the starting price.
However once the reserve price is matched or exceeded, the current bid will stand at the reserve price. In other words, if Joe placed a bid of $100 on an item with a $50 reserve, his bid effectively would stand at $50, and provided no-one else bids, he would win the item for $50.
If however a second bidder entered the bidding, the system would automatically place a bid on Joe’s behalf all the way up to $100.
Published on April 11, 2009 by Steve Thomas in TM Auctions
Along with a host of tweaks to improve the accuracy of search results, TM Auctions search pages now suggest categories based on the entered keywords.
This is a great way to get buyers looking in the right section right off the bat. Click on the image below for an enlarged version.
Published on April 3, 2009 by Steve Thomas in TM Auctions
This post in the first in a series of tips we will be publishing to give web auction site owners and auctioneers some pointers to making their auction site a success. Whether you use our web auction software TM Auctions or another web auction platform, the first hurdle is always engaging your buying audience.
No Reserve auctions, particularly $1 No Reserve auctions are a simple concept – the auction has a pre-determined minimum bid, and any bid matching or exceeding that minimum bid will result in a sale. So if you start an auction with a minimum bid of $1, and only one bid is placed, the item will sell for $1.
You might think this is a huge risk on the part of the seller, but its much more of a calculated risk. Obviously you should avoid listing something you think you would lose money on. So does that mean you should list junk items in the hope of gaining some feedback/reputation? No!
In fact the No Reserve $1 category should contain only quality items. Just take a look at the items listed in this $1 No Reserve category. Any day of the week, we can confidently say that the more expensive looking items will attract the most bids – whereas the cheap stuff is probably rotating without a single bid.
Not only do quality no reserve auctions receive the most bids and deliver the most profit to the seller, but they increase the site’s popularity. If you put on your buying hat, would you be comfortable bidding $1 or $100 on your very first bid? Buyers will often test the waters in no reserve, and quickly gain confidence with the system and with the sellers.
See also our article on Reserve Auctions.
Published on March 24, 2009 by Steve Thomas in TM Auctions
You’ve probably already heard the famous quote by Benjamin Franklin:
“The only things certain in life are death and taxes”
On this bombshell, we decided we better introduce some taxation controls into our web auction software, TM Auctions. From the seller settings page, sellers can now choose whether to apply tax to buyers in the same country, and enter the applicable percentage rate. The tax component will then be added onto the order value.
This new feature will work nicely with the vast majority of international taxation systems such as VAT and GST.
Published on March 18, 2009 by Steve Thomas in TM Auctions
TM Auctions now supports bulk shipping discounts that can be set by the seller.
The discounts can be set either on the order quantity or order total. In other words, if the order total is greater than $x, the seller can have a fixed shipping cost of $y - OR - if the number of items in the order is greater than x items, the shipping cost can be fixed to $y.
This is a big advantage particularly for high volume sellers who wish to offer their loyal customers a shipping incentive.
Published on March 17, 2009 by Steve Thomas in TM Auctions
Thomas Multimedia is pleased to announce the official launch of our web auction software, TM Auctions.
Why did I build TM Auctions? Because their is an abysmal lack of easy to use auction software for every day business. It seems like everyone else is focused on feature on top of feature, slapping on a price tag and mass releasing their software, and leaving it to their customers to figure out the rest.
I thought to myself – why not offer web auction software as a service? What this means is that Thomas Multimedia takes care of the technical aspects – hosting, server maintanence, scaling issues – while the auction site owner can focus on what matters to them, building up an online auction community.
Besides the lack of availability of a true auction website service, I think i’m not alone in thinking online auctions are alot of fun. It’s a win-win for the buyer and seller. The buyer bids only as much as they want to bid, potentially saving big bucks compared to traditional retail buying, while the seller sets a minimum acceptable selling price with the potential for a bidding war and healthy profitibaility from the sale.
Our product is designed with a wealth of auction site production experience to learn from. We figured people really like to use web software that is easy to use and does the things an auction site should do, without bloating the whole process with a million seldom used functions, and buttons left right and center. As well as being able to customize your TM Auctions auction site design however you like, you can also have us customize it in all sorts of ways for you.
Sounds great – but what about the pricing? TM Auctions removes the big barrier… Read more