Essential Information to Avoid Auction Scams Online

September 10, 2008

The rise in popularity of online auction websites has led to an increase of online auction scams being used by ruthless, unscrupulous sellers. These scams can sometimes be hard to spot and therefore it can be easy to be caught out.

The Internet provides a degree of anonymity for sellers of ‘dodgy’ merchandise, which is why some auction sites are working hard to ensure their customers are both happy and secure. For example, CQout, the UK’s second largest internet auction site, employs some sophisticated measures to help combat fraud.

‘SecurePay’ is one such measure, giving 100% peace of mind and protection for the Buyer so that in the unfortunate event of a transaction going wrong, you can reclaim your money.

Another is the ‘CQTrusted’ scheme which entails a number of checks to establish the background of Sellers in order to make sure they are genuine before being allowed to display the ‘CQTrusted’ logo in their auctions.

A third is the ‘TradeSeller’ scheme which ensures that Buyers know whether they are buying from a private individual or a trader and ensures that distance buying regulations are honoured.

There are common sense things you can do yourself in order to protect yourself when using online auction websites:

  1. Use the Q&A feature to communicate with the Seller, giving you the opportunity to discuss details of the sale to make sure you are totally happy with how things are proceeding.  If you don’t tell the Seller there’s a problem, they can’t sort it out!
  2. Always check the seller’s ratings to ensure that they do not have any negative comments or feedback about their transactions. If the Seller has little or no feedback, use the SecurePay option for peace of mind.
  3. Don’t try to save a few pennies by agreeing to do a deal ‘off site’: if the sale isn’t carried out through the auction site, you won’t be protected.
  4. Everyone likes bagging a bargain, but if something looks just too good to be true, ask yourself why and protect yourself with SecurePay if you decide to go ahead with the transaction.

All of the above methods provide effective protection. Although there is no way of being 100% protected, 100% of the time, CQout works hard to protect both Buyers and Sellers


Auction Sniping and How to Beat It

September 9, 2008

Online auction websites have become a hugely popular source for people to buy and sell their unwanted items. Some people even forge businesses or expand existing ventures through the medium of online auctions. This has led to increasing numbers of people bidding on similar items and furiously clicking at the last minute in order to win their chosen item.


It may well have happened to you. Your bidding on something you have your eye on and it gets down to the last minute. You are the highest bidder and you are going to win the item, but wait! Right in the dying seconds of the auction, you are pipped at the post by someone who bids higher than you, winning the item, and leaving you disappointed, having to start searching, and bidding all over again.


It is at this point that it can become frustrating and leave you wondered how someone else’s fingers could be so much faster than yours? The simple answer is that in the majority of cases they weren’t. In fact, it is probable that they were using an auction sniping tool.


Auction sniping is a method of placing a bid as late as possible on an item being sold. This can be done by various means for example, by a person, computer program or website service. It involves waiting until the last possible moment and then placing a higher bid than the previous bidder. In the case of sniping software and web services, the user will predetermine this figure so that the agreed limit will not be crossed.


In many cases, auction sniping is frowned upon as it can be seen as an unethical means of winning an auction. It’s not only the Buyer that loses out: sniping means that the Seller doesn’t get the full value that their item might have reached if the auction had been allowed to run for longer. It is for this reason that some online auction websites have taken it upon themselves to add anti sniping features into their website framework to avoid such practices. CQout is one such online auction that has employed type of feature.


It does this by automatically extending a running auction if a last minute bid is placed, so giving all concerned in the auction the opportunity to react and counter bid if necessary. This gives the best chance of avoiding snipers that ruin an auction for everybody else.


So if you’re interested in buying goods through an auction site that prides itself on being there for its customers, choose CQout.

Furniture Auction Sites: The Cheaper Home Furnishings Solution

July 31, 2008

With the housing market facing a slump many homeowners who were considering selling their homes have now decided to stay and make further home improvements to their existing houses and gardens. For some this means a lick of paint, whilst for others it may be an extension or simply a change of furniture but whatever improvements are being made you can guarantee that they will cost!



But is there a cheaper way to source home improvement materials and furnishings? It would be to obvious to say that yes, the Internet is an ideal place to find cheaper home furnishings but with the web being such a huge platform of information and products what is the easiest and importantly cheapest way to buy quality goods for your home?



The answer is through an online furniture auction. With everything from rugs and carpets to electrical appliances and sofas a home furnishings auction is a great source of inspiration when it comes to home improvement. There are even plenty of storage options available too helping you create more space and keep things tidy!

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Save on Motoring Costs through Shopping Online

July 30, 2008

Recent changes have left many of us worried about the continuing rise of petrol and car tax prices but with so many of us relying on our vehicles in order to work, and generally live our lives, it seems as though we either pay more or try to use our vehicles less.


Another solution is to sell our existing car and buy a smaller and more environmentally friendly car reducing our tax and fuel usage thus saving us money. One way to find these money saving vehicles is online, and there is nowhere more convenient than an online auction site.


Buying a vehicle through an auction means that you have the option to pay only what you can afford without being cajoled into expensive finance agreements by pushy sales staff. The high security of online auction sites also leaves you with the peace of mind that you are buying a vehicle from a reputable source.


Another way to save money on fuel without buying a more economical vehicle is of course to utilise GPS technology. Satellite navigation makes journeys much easier and allows you travel in the most direct route preventing you from getting lost and wasting fuel.


But if the thought of selling your precious car is too much for you then online auctions offer some great deals on car parts and car body kits leaving you with more money for petrol!

Could Online Auction Sites be the Fashionable yet Affordable Answer to Fashion Dilemmas?

July 29, 2008

We all like to look our best and whilst we all have different ideas about what we think is fashionable one thing that unites us in our fashion dilemmas is the ‘to buy or not to buy’ question. We’ve probably all spent far too much money on a dress that we have only worn once or a pair of shoes we knew we would never be able to walk in but we buy them anyway.


But with all of us experiencing financial issues thanks to the current credit crunch is it possible that online auction sites can provide us ‘fashion fanatics’ with an affordable solution to our fashion dilemmas?


When it comes to being dedicated followers fashion most of us tend to hit the high street stores for our fashion fixes but recent financial problems has led to many of us keeping a closer eye on our purse strings. Online auction sites provide an effective way to get your hands on clothes items and accessories without the designer price tags.


In addition auction sites enable you to sell on any goods that you no longer wear or have never worn so long as they are in good condition, giving you not one but two major advantages over traditional bricks and mortar stores. The search facilities feature on online clothes auctions also mean you no longer have to trawl through rails and rails of clothes but can simply sort out the items by specifying your size, brand and colour preferences.


Another major advantage about shopping for clothes in an online clothes auction is that it is an ideal opportunity to find unique and vintage clothing, alongside regular high street fashion. What’s more it’s the perfect way to make a few extra pennies by having a sort out and selling any clothes, shoes or accessories that you no longer wear!

Antique Jewellery: The Victorian Age

July 28, 2008

Antique jewellery is highly desirable and very collectable and can demand very high prices when sold in an online jewellery auction. Victorian antique jewellery is no exception and is one of the most popular eras for antique jewellery collectors.


The Victorian era dates from around 1837 to the 1900’s and as such any jewellery items produced within this period are now classified ad antique Victorian jewellery. The pieces usually associated with this era are often categorised into three main periods, Romantic, Grand and Aesthetic and were heavily influenced by Queen Victoria.


The Romantic period took sentimentality and symbolism as its muse and began around the time Queen Vitoria married Prince Albert. Common motifs included song birds, hearts and flowers and favoured gems included pearls, coral and topaz with each piece having sentimental values lovingly attached.


Following Prince Albert’s death in 1861, a period of mourning was also reflected in the jewellery of that time which became much darker and heavy set with dark gem stones such as garnet becoming popular. This period is referred to as the Grand period and it was during this time that increased travel brought foreign influence to the UK’s jewellery market.


The year 1880 saw the beginning of the Aesthetic period and the resurgence of more light hearted pieces emblazoned with Crescent moons and butterflies with jewellery pieces being chosen for their aesthetic beauty. More significantly the Industrial Revolution which took place within this period brought with it mass production techniques therefore wider reaching jewellery ranges for the upper and middle classes.


Mass production also brought with it different standards and quality of jewels with the introduction of various gold carats. Today, Victorian jewellery is just as popular as it was back then, the only difference is that jewellery from that era is now considered to be antique thus affecting its value and cultural significance.


Online auction platforms have enabled antique jewellery dealers and collectors to exchange and sell highly valuable and collectable jewellery on a global scale and none more so than CQout, another significant jewellery period, the ‘Arts and Crafts’ era will be discussed in a future blog so keep posted!



Antique Jewellery in Profile: The Georgian Era

July 25, 2008

Jewellery has been around for as long as we have and like many fashions the type, style and materials used to make jewellery has changed along with social and cultural advances. Antique jewellery is typically any item of jewellery that was manufactured during six main time periods dating back as far as the Georgian times. The six main eras include Georgian, Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Edwardian and Art Deco.


Over the next few weeks we will look at each of these eras in more detail alongside the ways in which online jewellery auctions play a role in the popularity and collectability of antique jewellery, starting with the Georgian era.


In today’s market genuine Georgian jewellery is incredibly rare therefore highly desirable and collectable and can command very high prices when sold at auction. Dating back as far as 1714, jewellery made in this time period was hand made and highly detailed with nature forming its main inspiration.


The birds, flowers and leaves that are common with Georgian antique jewellery were encrusted with gems and precious stones and were considered more important than the metal used to form the jewellery. These days unique hand made Georgian pieces can be hard to find and many specialist pieces remain with collectors who have spent a great deal of time and money restoring and caring for antique jewellery.


One of the main attractions of antique jewellery and in particular Georgian jewellery is that many pieces are unique and handmade making them perfect pieces for special occasions but also making pieces extremely expensive. Over recent years antique jewellery has become more available through online auction sites and specialist jewellery auctions.