If you’ve never heard of a live bid online auction, then you need to take a moment to read this introductory paragraph. Otherwise, feel free to skip ahead to the good stuff where we’ll tell you all about how to make such auctions work for you and for your personal interests. Now, if you’re still with us, we’ll assume you’ve never heard of a live online auction. Fair enough.
Similar to a traditional auction, live auctions held online are designed to sell off various objects that someone else no longer wants but hope you do want. They also work in exactly the same way that a traditional auction works by using an auctioneer who calls the bids as they come in and are held in “real time,” meaning that you get to bid in such auctions as they are happening, not like eBay auctions where you bid any time. Okay, now that we have that introduction out of the way, here’s the good stuff.
Making Online Auctions Work for You
We’ll assume here that you know all about going to a live bid online auction and that you simply want to know how to make them work for your needs. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, see the paragraph above. Live online auctions aren’t just a more convenient way to do your auction purchasing. Yes, you can get great deals at such auctions the same as you can at traditional auctions and you don’t have the fuss of getting in the car and driving to an auction house.
However, the best thing about an online auction is that you can easily purchase from auction houses that are thousands of miles away since everything is done online. This is a boon for collectors who have specific items they look for. The trouble is, with all the online auctions out there, how do you find the ones that specialize in the antique fish lures that you love collecting? Simple – just use Google Alerts and RSS.
What is Google Alerts and What is RSS?
These are two separate technologies that actually work together to make things easier than ever for those who enjoy bidding at a live bid online auction. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is a fairly old technology (in Internet terms that is – it was created for Netscape Navigator and the My Netscape web portal back in 1999 – an eternity in Internet years) that allows you to grab content from different web sites and to see it all in your e-mail or in an RSS reader. The system is most often used for collecting articles from news websites and blogs.
Google Alerts is another system that will tell you when a new webpage is added to the Google index which contains specific keywords. Therefore, you could, for example, have it do an alert every time a page is added which mentions “antique fish lures.” However, that will simply bring you a ton of pages and doesn’t really differentiate between what is out there and what you’re looking for.
Using Google Alerts
What if you only want to find any live bid online auction that happens to feature antique fish lures? You have two choices: Either you can put both of those into your search by putting them in quotation marks (i.e. “live bid online auction ” ” antique fish lures”) or, if you know of specific online auction sites that sometimes have them, you can tell Google Alerts to let you know only when those sites add in something of interest using the “site:” command (i.e. site:myfavoriteauction.com “antique fish lures”). Try that with a traditional auction and you’ll just get blank stares! Oh, and the best part? Google Alerts will even send you an RSS feed when it finds the auctions you’re interested in.
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