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Online Auctions: Are They Really Worth Your Time?

Posted by Ashley Shaw on 1/26/17 11:00 AM


There was an episode of Will and Grace about online auctions. In case you don’t remember it, here is a recap:

Jack comes into Will and Grace’s apartment with a brand new scooter signed by Ricky Martin. He got it on eBay by finally outbidding his arch rival, Dr. Dangerous. Plus, he now has a secret weapon to win the bidding battles between himself and Dangerous: an online beeper that goes off when Jack is outbid so that he can up the ante.

But while bidding on a pair of Britney Spear’s sneakers, he ends up coming face to face with his evil enemy - a middle school girl. A fight ensues, with Jack clearly losing, and declaring,

“This online auction thing can get pretty ugly.”

So what’s my point?

Online auctions, and online shopping in general, are huge! (If you don’t believe me and Jack, just look at eBay’s or Amazon’s (or any other exclusively online retailer’s) success.)


So let’s look at some stats on online shopping - and once you have seen these, think about your general donor base. Are they shopping online already?

If so, then there is a good chance they would love for you to make your auction an online auction.  

Do People Shop Online?

Nearly 70% of Americans shop online already - and that number is only growing, especially when it comes to mobile shopping. And 51% of yearly purchases are made online.

That means that more than half of spending is done online!

Age Range of Online Shoppers

But, okay, sure a lot of people shop online. They’re all young and hip and know how to do these things. Right?

Nope. While younger generations might shop online more than their older counterparts, the overall e-commerce train is huge across age groups.

Making up the smallest percentage of any group, 48% of people aged 66 and older shop online at least some - that’s almost half!

All the other groups are more than 50% and look as follows:

18-30: 54%

31-44: 68%

45-54: 64% (and also end up spending the most total online)

55-65: 60%

Gender of Online Shoppers

And when it comes to gender, 40% of men say that they would prefer to buy everything online (33% of women felt this way.)

How Many People Own an Internet-Capable Device?

Over 90% of Americans own some type of internet-capable device.

How Many People Use the Internet?

Around 87% of the country uses the internet at least some.

What’s This Got to Do with Online Auctions?

If you think you can’t host an online auction for your organization because your donors won’t like it, ask yourself this:

Is your typical donor a male or female of any age?

If the answer is yes, then there is a good chance they might be shopping online anyway.

  • Maybe they aren’t very ambulant because of age or sickness.
  • Maybe it is the only way to get that rare stamp they need for their collection.
  • Maybe they just find it more convenient.

Whatever the reason, they are probably doing it - or at least a large portion of them probably are.

So why not take advantage of these stats and expand your donor base by taking your auction to the next level and making it an online auction?


Topics: Online Auctions, Tips and How To's

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