The popularity and mechanics of online auctions (Auction Infographic)

Nearly one-third of all adults in the United States who go online have participated in an online auction, according to the National Consumers League (NCL). That means more than 35 million Americans have been a part of this growing industry.

Why online auctions are so popular
There are many reasons online auctions have become so popular over the years. They offer dynamic pricing, an especially appealing structure in this day and age of highly personalized services. Then there is the opportunity they give to consumers to purchase items from the comfort of their own homes. And many online auctions offer products and services that are hard, or sometimes impossible, to find in brick-and-mortar stores.

The online auction experience
One of the remarkable things about online auctions is that, despite the opportunity for fraud, very little of it goes on. According to an NCL survey, the overwhelming majority of people – 94 percent – who participate in online auction are confident they will get what they pay for. Additionally, because that number comes from people who actually do the buying and selling, it shows that their expectation comes from experience.

One of the other major attributes online auctions have going for them is that they usually allow winning bidders to pay in any form they choose, from sending a money order to using their credit card.

How to participate in an online auction
The mechanics of online auctions are, not surprisingly, pretty simple. After all, it’s that ease of use that has helped to make them so popular in the first place.

At, one of the Internet’s preeminent auction websites, potential bidders can look at published information about upcoming auctions, browse pictures of catalogs, and then bid on their favorite lots once the gavel falls. Once it’s been established that you meet the bidding requirements, you can participate in the auction via either the absentee or live bidding process.

For absentee bidding, simply place a bid on an item before the auction starts and check back in to see if you’ve won. Live bidding is done using software available on iCollector, and takes place while the auction is going on.

To discover the world of online auctions, or delve even further into it than you already are, check out the hundreds of auctions available on

Auction Infographic

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