Automatic auction length feature is designed to increase the number of views and sales of your auctions. It is located under products -> products promotion view -> auction rules tab.
The auto-extend feature can also help get better value out of your promotions by allowing you to extend listings for 10 days (for which TM charges 25c per listing). You can find more details in this guide.
How does it work?
When set to Automatic, an auction will be created for an initial period of 2 days. As soon as the auction gets close to the final hour of the 2-day period, OMINS will automatically extend the auction for another 2 days.
When the auction gets close to the final hour of the 4th day, OMINS will extend the auction again for another 2 days. When the auction reaches the final hour of the 6th day, OMINS will auto extend it for another day.
This way, the listing gets extended three times until it has been active for the maximum free listing period which is 7 days.
Let’s take the example of an auction which I list for 7 days using Automatic Length.
Auction lists 11.00pm Friday night, initially it is listed for 2 days. The End date 11.00pm Sunday night. At approximately 9:40pm Sunday night the auction is about to expire, but OMINS extends the auction so it is now a 4 day auction. End date is now 11.00pm Tuesday.
At approximately 9:40pm Tuesday night the auction is about to expire, but OMINS extends the auction so it is now a 6 day auction. End date is now 11.00pm Thursday.
At approximately 9:40pm Thursday night the auction is about to expire, but OMINS extends the auction for another day so it is now a 7 day auction. End date is now 11.00pm Friday.
The auction ends 11.00pm Friday.
Why use Automatic Length?
The benefit of using Automatic length is that listings will appear in the Closing Soon category on OMINS and will get maximum exposure, thereby chances of getting noticed and sold. Consider the normal category view for a fairly normal category: http://www.trademe.co.nz/home-living/laundry/irons-and-ironing-boards
At the time of writing, there are ~300 auctions in this category. The default order is featured first which shows the featured auctions at the top, then they are ordered by time to close with the closest to “closing soon” being the highest. At the moment the last item on the 1st page is 24 hours till end time and there are 6 pages of auctions.
So using our method the auction will be ending within 24 hours for 4 full days and they are also prime viewing days (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and when it finally closes on Friday). If i just listed this for 7 days, then it would only have spent 1 day (Friday) on the front page, whereas if you use Automatic length you get four times as long on the front page!
Why on the front page?
Because buyers search in two ways:
Typical behavior of a customer
They will search for a product and they will open maybe 5-10 items on the first page (they usually wont bother even going to the 2nd page. Very very few will go to page 6. Out of f those 5-10 items, they might use the BuyNow button on 1, they might put some on their watch list and wait for an offer. Just as SEO for Google is important, so is being on the first page of Trademe.
They search by search term:
How well your auctions do here depends on how good you are at describing your auctions using title and description. Having the right search terms can help here (tmSEO is cooming soon).
They search by category:
Choosing the right categories helps. If you choose the right category for your auctions, then using Automatic length can really help. Buyers search on the first page and are more likely to notice your auction, more likely to open your auction and more likely to buy it.
Not suitable for $1 reserves
Any auction that has one or more bids placed on it cannot be extended any further and will subsequently close in the number of days for which it was last extended. The reason Automatic length is not suitable for $1 reserve auctions is that they are more likely to attract bids and due to the restrictions put in place by TradeMe, OMINS will not be able to extend them after a bid is placed.
It is better to use either “Specify standard length” or “Specify custom length” for $1 reserve auctions.
This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified)