Self-promotion is an ugly word (albeit a hyphened word) and it isn’t overly compatible with mr modesty but when you’ve got something to sell and it has to be sold in a hurry then sometimes it’s Hobson’s choice.

I’d found myself in possession of two tickets to the Juice TV awards to be held in Auckland in 3 days. Of course, it would have been fun to go but flights alone would have been around $600 and require time off work and a night’s accommodation in the city of sails. Sure I would have loved to see The Dukes play but not at that price. So what’s the next logical option? The auction site we love to hate but can’t live without – Trade Me.

I had the challenge of getting top dollar in the shortest amount of time but with an item that no one would likely be actively searching for (it was an invite-only event not open to the public) it wasn’t going to be easy to get views let alone get the right people viewing it, and hopefully bidding.

I pulled out all the stops. I hyped up the ad, made it $1 reserve, even used Trade Me’s optional extras (which I never normally do) which included gallery, bold and top of its category. The extras set me back almost $4 so if I sold at reserve I was looking at a loss. Ahhh the sky really was falling. Would it work?

I launched the auction on a Friday afternoon and 30 minutes later there were only a handful of views but no bids. I needed something more. I didn’t want to pay the ‘sell-your-grandmother’ fees required for a homepage listing but I’d remembered seeing cool auctions, which also sit on the homepage. Who decides what gets selected to be a cool auction and how much does it cost?

From experience it seemed to be only charity auctions or ‘out of this world’ bizarre auctions (invisible ute anyone?). In comparison, a couple of tickets to a small-time music event didn’t seem up to scratch. A quick Google revealed that you could get your auction included just by emailing Trade Me support – it sounded too easy. But the clock was ticking and I had nothing to lose. One email to Trade Me support and 3 hours later, I checked in at Trade Me and there it was – my listing showing as a ‘cool auction’. Nice.

The effect was almost instant. The views (and the bids) started pouring in. Of course, as anyone who has had a high profile auction knows, lots of views attracts the crazies. The crazies aren’t interested in bidding on your auction – they’re just trolling for a bit of attention. Questions like ‘are you paying us to go’ and ‘whos scribe and savage’ which you only respond to so other bidders don’t worry something’s up when they see unanswered questions.

By the end of the auction I’d had over 2,000 views, which was a record for me, particularly for a 3 day auction. It sold for a good price. It sounded like the girl who bought it was stoked and everything worked out. By the way, due to the nature of the auction I also restricted payment options to PayNow so there weren’t any issues with waiting for monies to come through. Good thinking Jas.

The say build it and they will come but unless you’re replacing the twin towers they won’t come. You need to get the word out there. Worked for me.

A little bit of self-promotion never hurt anyone
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