How You Can Benefit From Federal Government Auctions

Federal government auctions are very common. In fact, each year the federal government offers thousands of cars and other items up for sale at greatly reduced costs to the public. You will easily be able to find furniture, cars and other household items at an online auction hosted by the government.

Why Are These Items Cheap?

The items that you find at federal government auctions are cheap because the goods have been confiscated or repossessed by the government to help pay for arrears, such as taxes, than an individual owes. Typically, the items that are available through a federal auction do not include items like foreclosed homes or repossessed cars, but instead include plenty of household items and cars that have back taxes due.

In exchange for your winning bid, you will receive the goods without any taxes due on them. You can use these items yourself, or you can resell them for profit. There are hundreds of goods that can easily be resold for much more than you will pay at an online government auction.

Why Shop Government Auctions?

One of the simplest reasons why you should consider shopping at an online federal government auctions is the low cost. The items that you will find range from name brand, top of the line items to items in need of repair. If you are handy around the home, you can pick up major appliances and tools for as little as five dollars at an online auction, and them make the simple repairs yourself. There are also items that are ready to be used in the home.

Shopping federal government auctions can even bring you closer to owning your dream car than ever, with affordable pricing and all documentation, such as the car title, included with the purchase. If you dream of owning a luxury automobile, but don’t want to pay outrageous prices, then an auction is the perfect place to begin looking.

Placing Your Bid

To begin bidding on items at any federal government auction, all that you need to do is to register for the site that you want to use. You will need to have a credit card, debit card or bank account that can be accessed online to pay for any items that you win. You can shop and bid at online auctions anytime of the day or night, giving you the added convenience of being about to bid on you own schedule. The auction site will automatically bid on your behalf up to the highest dollar amount you have entered.

What is an Online Discussion Forum?

An online forum is a way to hold an ongoing discussion by multiple users over time. The term has also been used when referring to the software application that creates the forum. Other names for an online forum are message boards, discussion groups, forums, and electronic bulletin boards.

The predecessors to online forums were the internet newsgroups and dial-up bulletin board systems, which were accessed by dialing a specific number. Online forums have a unique sense of community that is very different from that of a blog or website, and have regular devoted members. Today’s online discussion groups are focused on a variety of areas from politics and technology to dog training. Many established online forums are actually a group of smaller forums that are grouped around a central theme. For example, a dog training forum could have smaller forums covering large dogs, small dogs, Labrador retrievers, German shepherds etc.

Online Forum Software features

A discussion that is held in a forum is called a thread. Some online forum threads can be a one or two comments long to multiple pages of comments and replies going back several months or even years. The threads will remain on a forum indefinitely or until a moderator removes them. Many of the more popular threads become what is known as a “sticky” or a permanent forum entry. Sticky’s are usually the result of a large number of forum members asking the same question over time. By posting a sticky, this eliminates the need for the same question being asked repeatedly. One of the most common stickys’ found are usually the forums posting rules.

Today’s forum software will allow more than one forum to be created which act as a discussion room focused on a specific area of a larger topic. These individual rooms contain the threads started by the various group members. You can compare the structure of a forum to a school. Each room covers a different topic, i.e. math, English etc. and the school structure holds each of these classes in one building. Online discussion forums are structured in much the same way.

Forum software can be grouped into two general categories. The type that allows visitors to make anonymous posts and the type that requires visitors to be registered in order to view or make a comment to a forum thread.

The type that requires a visitor to register usually only requires a valid email address in order to join the online discussions going on within the forum. Some additional features of this type of forum software may allow for personalization of the forum skin, signatures and/or the users’ avatar or image associated with their username. The forum software that allows anonymous posts usually does not allow any type of customization to the user interface.

Forum software applications are available in a wide range of programming languages like PHP, JAVA and Perl. There are different features available and depend on the type of programming language used and whether the posts are stored as text files or database entries. The features available range from the basic text-only to the use of things such as emoticons, which are little smiley face type, images that can be inserted to a post.

Some online forum software packages allow administrator to setup filters and automated scripts that will remove any undesirable words such as cursing, or strip any hyperlinks placed within a forum thread. This helps to prevent abuse of the discussion group.

Discussion Group Administrators and Moderators

The administrator of an online forum has privileges that no other member should have. Some of those privileges allow administrators to edit, delete, move or modify any thread on the forum. Forum administrators also have the ability to close the board, make major changes to the forum such as changing the forum theme, add or delete discussion groups or sub forums within the main forum as well as remove, add to or ban members from the forum.

Moderators are usually given privileges by the administrators and are usually delegated the responsibility to oversee or “moderate” specific forum areas or topics. The moderators of a discussion group help the forum administrator by editing, deleting, and moving threads as needed. They also act as hall monitors warning members for any offenses to the forum posting guidelines. The presence of responsible moderators can enhance the quality of an online forum.

Online Forum Users

The members of any online discussion group usually have the same basic abilities. They can make comments or posts into existing discussion threads, start new threads, and assign an image or avatar to be posted with their name. Depending upon the forum software, users may also be able to send and receive emails or personal/instant messages from other forum members. Members can also create their individual forum signature where they can add a link back to their personal website if they wish. This practice also leads to abuse by members making multiple posts just to increase the number of links to their website.

The Positives and Negatives of Online Auctions

Internet auctions have become increasingly popular over the years for a number of reasons, from their broad geographical reach to their absence of time limits. If you are contemplating moving into this area of selling there are a wide variety of attractive benefits to consider, but also some negative aspects to take account of. Here is an outline of some of both the pros and cons:

Cost-effective

Auctions can be one of the most cost-effective ways of selling goods online. There’s a plethora of cost saving measures sellers and auctioneers can take. It is considerably cheaper to organise an online auction than an offline auction event – with an offline auction money needs to be spent on a venue, a professional auctioneer, item storage and various other necessities. There are comparatively few expenses to worry about online… Auctions can also be an excellent way of liquidating old or excess stock. Selling these items by auction tends to bring in significantly higher profit margins than selling them off at a fixed discounted rate. Marketing is another area in which Internet auctions can save on costs. Marketing materials in the offline world can be costly and time-consuming to produce and distribute. Online marketing is relatively cheap, and has numerous other advantages.

High profits

Online auctions are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can go on for weeks (or even months). This is in contrast to physical auctions, which typically last for no longer than a few hours. This lack of time constraints is a great asset. It means that bidding can carry on for longer and thus lots are likely to sell at a higher price. Bidders find the competitive environment of auctions exciting and exhilarating. This is true of Internet auctions just as it is of auctions in general. This atmosphere can encourage participants to bid for items at significantly higher prices than they would in other situations. It is not surprising that online auctions have often been compared to gambling. As in gambling, participants can become caught up in the excitement of the event and become increasingly reckless with their money. This can lead to prices being driven well above and beyond market value.

Wide reach

Whereas in the offline world auction attendance is limited to those who can manage to physically be present at the event, auctions on the Internet can potentially be accessed by a vast and diverse audience of people from every corner of the globe. Items can be sold to people sellers would never have had access to previously. The larger the number of participants in an auction, the higher the prices that items are likely to sell for. There can also be a larger number of products up for auction. The increased reach of online auctions can allow sellers and auctioneers to create new specialist markets within their sector. Online auctions provide an astonishing degree of access to unusual or niche items that rarely turn up for sale in normal circumstances. For example, in the offline world machinery tools may become available for sale only occasionally and go for a high price when the do come up for sale. There is a wide geographic market for these items online. If marketing is targeted effectively, you can make lucrative sales.

Efficient marketing

Trading online offers the opportunity to market products in an exceptionally efficient and effective way. Data from your website can be used to identify customers’ and visitors’ buying and viewing habits. This means you can make highly informed decisions based on your customers’ interests and tendencies, and target your marketing activities more accurately. Social networking and blogging are very useful tools for anyone with an online business. Social networking can provide a steady stream of contacts and sales leads, as well as allowing you to publicise your auction site in a general way. If you frequently take part in online discussions relevant to the goods you sell you can offer your advice and expertise in the area and encourage people to put their confidence in you as an auctioneer or business partner. Writing a blog can also provide excellent publicity and customer interaction, as well as another route to your site for search engines.

Downsides

However, Internet auctions can also have their downsides…

• All websites are vulnerable to technical glitches. Technical glitches could cost you significant amounts of money, and customers who encounter a glitch when using your site may be permanently put off from buying from you.

• Criminal activities are something else to which e-commerce websites can be susceptible. If customers pay for items through your own site it is important that you scan the server for any potential security risks and comply with PCI DSS requirements.

• It shouldn’t be forgotten that there is still a significant number of people (particularly older people) who are not adept at, or not enthusiastic about, using the Internet to buy goods. Basing all commercial activity online may cause companies to lose these customers.

• Online auctions tend to lack the bustling, highly-charged, highly competitive atmosphere of auctions in the real world. This could lead to less competitive bidding and thus lower prices. Online auctions tend to see a dramatic surge in bidding activity towards the end of the auction, rather than sustained competitive bidding throughout the auction.

• Some bidders engage in a practice known as “sniping” – not placing any bids until the very last moment of an auction (when it is impossible for other participants to place competing bids) so as to avoid a bidding war that will drive the price higher. Naturally, this is not very beneficial for sellers and can result in lots selling for well below market value when in a physical auction they would have sold for a higher price.

Overall, the benefits of online auctions tend to outweigh the risks and downsides. However, it is important to research and consider all aspects of online auctioning before making the decision to move into this area of commerce.