The Value of Data in a Digital Age: A Cautionary Tale for Auctioneers


In the digital age, data is a valuable asset for businesses, providing crucial insights and driving strategic decisions. However, when you share your data with a third party, it becomes part of their Big Data, potentially benefiting their business more than yours. This exchange of data can have significant implications for auctioneers who list their auctions on third-party marketplaces and choose to use them for marketing and technology services.

Safeguarding Your Business in a Digital Landscape

Protecting your intellectual property and data from exploitation by larger corporations is crucial to the ensuring the longevity of your business. It is essential for any business to be aware of the risks associated and consider the long-term implications that such data-sharing partnerships can have on their operations and competitive positioning. Opting into higher selling fees and compromising the safety of your data with a large marketplace provider can have long-term consequences.
Especially when the marketplace provider you rely on has shareholders and balance sheets to answer to before your own needs. For instance, Amazon recently increased its seller fees in an aim to shift its platform towards direct seller-buyer connections and sourcing products directly from brand owners. As industry trends have shown, we expect the marketplaces in our sector to take a similar route as industry pressures grow. We urge auctioneers during this time to think about what their service providers really bring to the table for their businesses before it is too late.


Protecting Your Business & Evaluating Strategic Partnerships


Relying on third-party marketplaces as technology providers means surrendering valuable data that could be used to optimize your sales (and your business) instead of someone else’s. As market dynamics evolve, auctioneers may find themselves questioning the need for traditional auction models when faced with timed-only platforms or direct seller-buyer connections, but this doesn’t mean that is the be-all end-all!  While this is an important consideration, it is equally important to consider the value of your business data and bidder insights and how your choice of technology provider will either help you protect them or give them away for free. Investing in an independent white-label platform outside of a marketing with a timed bidding solution will allow you to protect your place in a changing industry without losing buyers or opportunities to grow your business. 

The Risks of Sharing Data with Third Party Marketplaces

When you list your auctions on a third-party marketplace, you not only share your buyer data, but also enable the marketplace to track and profile your bidders. This profiling allows the marketplace to understand buyer behavior, preferences, spending patterns, and more. Such insights empower marketplaces to sell more assets from your competitors to your buyers
without you, potentially risking your ultimate position in the process and as a business altogether. 


Shifting Market Dynamics

We are already witnessing a shift in real estate, where marketplace platforms are choosing to facilitate direct connections between real estate buyers and dealers through a timed auction format. In other words, we are already seeing marketplace platforms successfully removing the auctioneer out of the mix in one sector… Which begs the question… what comes next? This evolution gives dealers the ability to offer competitive pricing without intermediary auctioneer fees, which would reduce costs, enhance bidder appeal and potentially sideline auctioneers in favor of increased profitability for marketplaces. If one sector is demonstrating the profitability of this model, then what is there to stop marketplaces from moving all of their platforms in the same direction? If you choose to align with a marketplace for both your auction technology and marketing services, you are ultimately giving your buyers away to dealers for free and writing yourself (and the future of your business) out of the equation for good.


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