Based on the responses there seemed to be a strong overall response to the idea or, at least, some delayed skepticism. The beta test auction was run and it certainly had some areas for concern, and several collectors raised valid concerns too. However, when the findings were shared there was no response.
It may be because collectors were content with the findings. However the greatest weakness appeared to be in vetting/registering buyers:
– Buyers. Vetting sellers would have no concerns, but vetting buyers would have some challenges. Instead of listing the numerous problems, it is probably best to share the most effective solution – Impulse bidders would have their bids removed. This means that any potentially interested parties would need to pre-register to participate. This would not mandate a bid, but it would allow participation in any auctions that are listed. Any bids placed by non-vetted bidders would be immediately cancelled.
At first it appeared that an informal registration process would need to take place. However, it now appears that bidders could be managed by a more formal method. Any person interesting in being a participant in a UofM Auction could be given a UofM user account.
The accounts could only be added by a website administrator. The accounts would also be able to be added during an auction. There is potentially a second step that could be added, which would be ideal from an administrative standpoint.
Any potential account would need to make a one-time $2 registration payment. This would insure all bidders have active, valid PayPal accounts. It would also validate all of the user information that is submitted for the account. Lastly this simple multiple hurdle approach to using UofM Auctions would help to insure only serious, motivated buyers are participating. So the new question becomes,
“Would you be willing to sign-up for a UofM account?”
If there are any additional questions or concerns about UofM Auctions, then please post them in the Comments section below.