Case Study: MarkNet Alliance
Gains/Losses When an Auctioneer Uses a Third-Party Online Bidding Platform
Case Study by MarkNet Alliance
Some online bidding platform providers claim they bring buyers to the auctions. MarkNet Alliance claims, while they may bring some, they do not bring a significant amount in relation to what the auction company brings themselves. The problem is whether or not an auction company can easily be successful online without a third-party bidding platform/portal.
While these claims have been made since the inception of online bidding, there has been no fair, unbiased and data-driven comparison. It has been virtually impossible to compare as every auction, inventory, time and circumstance is different.
Four auctions were conducted by a prominent auction company. There was a Government Surplus Auction, a Business Liquidation Auction and two Farm/Construction Equipment Auctions. All had a wide variety of inventory from small personal property to large equipment and price points from small to large.
There were three bidding platforms used simultaneously, Proxibid, AuctionTime and MarkNet.
All auctions were uploaded from the same third-party cataloging software, all exposed for the same amount of time, it was the exact inventory, and all ran concurrently. No platform was down for any discernible amount of time and all functioned properly. Data provided is on every auction the test was conducted on. No auctions or auction data was left out.
All had audio, and all used the same terms. Competent implementers were supplied by each platform provider. Two auctions were conducted in 2018 and two auctions were conducted in 2019 to give a broader timeframe. No special promotion or advertising was done to give any platform any advantage.
Not only did results show that third-party online platforms actually brought a marginal number of buyers compared to the individual auction company with a white label platform, but the data was overwhelming. Buyers gravitate toward the auction company, NOT a third-party platform. Had the auction company only used a third party, then it’s obvious the sell through on those platforms would have been higher. When consumers are given the choice though, they choose the auction company’s private platform.
Auction companies can be successful building their own brand, and not building the brand and traffic of a third-party platform. The company can keep their own data and need not provide data and buyers to people outside of their organization.
Outside platforms in this study did not bring enough to compensate for the additional cost and giving the auction company’s customers to an outside bidding platform. Had they not been offered at all, at least some of those online bidders would have migrated to the auctioneer’s platform. An auction company can build its own brand instead of building the brand of an outside bidding platform and be in control of its own data and destiny.