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How to Make A Successful Auction on Digital Point (quick guide)

Discussion in 'General Business' started by Lorelei, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. #1
    [​IMG]

    After I have made quite a few successful auctions for my wordpress themes here on Digital Point forums, I decided to share some tips with the beginning designers who also make free themes and sell footer links. DP community game me a lot of opportunities so I felt like giving something back in a way of a tutorial for others. Unlike many others in this business I don't think my success comes at the cost of other's failure, so I will gladly share all my knowledge in this sphere. So, let's get started.

    When to post?

    Do not post auctions on weekends, from personal experience I can tell you that all the serious sponsors with deep pockets actually do take a timeout from the web at the end of the week so putting the auction when the activity is low will result in quick sinking of your post to 5th or 6th page and no bids.

    How to post?

    You are trying to sell design, so visual appearance is a lot. Make your post very easy to read, specify the name of the theme, include a high quality screenshot, live demo, specifications of the theme, where will it be promoted, price per link, BIN price (if any) and payment methods acceptable.


    Pay attention to the list of sites you enclose where you commit to promote your theme. For instance, many designers say they will promote on themes.wordpress.net and v7n.com/forum. These two websites (and some others) do not allow promotion of sponsored themes, so either your theme will be removed, or the sponsor would know (and they are mostly up to date with such information) that you irresponsibly just post a list of sites without even knowing if you can't submit there or not, so be careful. The more websites you include -- the better.

    [​IMG]

    Also remember, that the competition is enormous, dozens of new themes are release for sponsorship daily. Your theme and auction should not only be good, but also be better than the rest. Make sure you include all the keywords in the title of your post (such as "sponsor" or / and "wordpress") to catch sponsor's attention.

    How to set a price?

    Sales often depend on the price you set; you would see some average level themes getting sold at BIN and awesome themes not getting any bids at all. The core of the problem is the pricing level. Don't set the starting bid too high, and make BIN's reasonable and affordable. Of course you made the design yourself and think it's best, but sponsors tend to disagree with our (designer's) taste and it happens that a theme we worked on a few weeks gets undervalued. For an average design, starting bid of $20 and BIN -- $60 is a good price, while for a truly high quality unique layout you can start with $30 per sponsor's link and set BIN's to $80.

    Remember sponsor's psychology, $19 looks much, much, much cheaper than $20.

    Should you sell the designer's link?
    SEMrush
    Well, this is a question only you can answer. If you are making themes to promote (mainly) your web design company and establish your name in design sphere, then of course do not sell designer's credits. If, however, this is a mere revenue channel for you, a quick way to fill your paypal account and pay your bills, then why actually to keep the designer's link when you can easily get $60-$150 for it, depending on the layout. Designer's link is more likely to be sold, because it would get more clicks and bring not only link juice, but also traffic to the buyer, hence designer's link is often slightly (about +20%) more expensive.

    Reputation is everything


    [​IMG]


    None of us likes doing business with someone who has negative iTrader, therefore avoid getting into troubles when it comes to money. If you can't complete the work or distribute your theme (for whatever reason), or it got removed for copyright violation -- refund your client's money. Yes, it's unpleasant and somewhat embarrassing, but far better than to have a few negative iTraders from respectable clients, which will put a big X on all your future selling links career.

    Needless to say, avoid ripping other's themes. If you want to base your layout on someone else's theme, contact the original designer, ask for permission and give credits in the CSS description field or footer (if the designer of the original work insists). Don't make use of unlicensed photos or artworks, it all may eventually cost you in -- at best negative iTrader, at worst -- lawsuit. Does it worth the risk? NO.

    Auction posted, what now?

    Now, sit back and wait. Remember that bumping is not allowed and 10 infractions will get you banned for a few months, so needlessly "updating the bids" can throw you out of the business.

    Carpe Diem

    Be fast, when the auction is over, PM your sponsors right away, and once you collect all the links and payments, put the theme online asap. Don't forget to drop your sponsors a line once the theme is up with the promotion report. Remember, prompt and reliable business is always preferred!

    Hope this helps the newbies to improve their link sales here :)
     
    Lorelei, Mar 7, 2008 IP
    Gigacore, Sevenheartz, Isaac and 9 others like this.
    SEMrush
  2. inatmo

    inatmo Active Member

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    #2
    I haven't seen such a nice looking post for a long time. Thanks a lot for the information)
     
    inatmo, Mar 7, 2008 IP
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  3. Sevenheartz

    Sevenheartz Peon

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    #3
    Great info Lorelei!
     
    Sevenheartz, Mar 7, 2008 IP
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  4. hexadecimal00110

    hexadecimal00110 Peon

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    #4
    Very nice information!

    Great for when I can finally post.

    Thanks alot!
     
    hexadecimal00110, Mar 7, 2008 IP
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  5. Zero

    Zero Peon

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    #5
    Really great post: Very helpful. :)
     
    Zero, Mar 7, 2008 IP
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  6. mhmtozek

    mhmtozek Peon

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    #6
    excellent post, thank you lorelei
     
    mhmtozek, Mar 7, 2008 IP
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  7. rontol

    rontol Peon

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    #7
    Good post right there Lorelei ~~

    Will be very usefull fto other DPers....
     
    rontol, Mar 7, 2008 IP
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  8. comati

    comati Active Member

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    #8
    great tutorial and very healthy business philosophy!

    thank you!
     
    comati, Mar 7, 2008 IP
  9. emha

    emha Banned

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    #9
    usefull info.you can make it as ebook lol
     
    emha, Mar 7, 2008 IP
  10. Isaac

    Isaac Peon

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    #10
    Great post, rep given. :)
     
    Isaac, Mar 7, 2008 IP
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  11. maste`

    maste` Peon

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    #11
    Great post, repped ;)
     
    maste`, Mar 7, 2008 IP
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  12. Pro Scribz

    Pro Scribz Banned

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    #12
    Thanks for the post, as I am a new member to the DP Community, this has really helped me for when I am able to post in the Marketplace.
     
    Pro Scribz, Mar 8, 2008 IP
  13. GTL

    GTL Banned

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    #13
    Great post, I might be posting a vBulletin skin for sponsorship soon so this is really helpful :)
     
    GTL, Mar 8, 2008 IP
  14. internetforme

    internetforme Guest

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    #14
    great post,information which will really help me a lot
     
    internetforme, Mar 8, 2008 IP
  15. hrfind

    hrfind Peon

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    #15
    Very nice post, thanks a lot!
     
    hrfind, Mar 8, 2008 IP
  16. Emperor

    Emperor Guest

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    #16
    You get green just for that lovely well organized post :D
     
    Emperor, Mar 9, 2008 IP
  17. Lorelei

    Lorelei Notable Member

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    #17
    Thanks everyone for your awesome feedback and the greens! :D
    I am really happy to see so many positive responses and hopefully it will also help you all in practice! :)
     
    Lorelei, Mar 9, 2008 IP
  18. daizisheng

    daizisheng Guest

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    #18
    thanks for such a good posts
     
    daizisheng, Mar 9, 2008 IP
  19. feng

    feng Peon

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    #19
    Good article:

    A few things you might want to consider as well:

    Dont leave an auction running too long (if no-one bids within a few days for sure they wont afterwards anymore), better close it and try the same theme in a few weeks again.

    Especially once a bid is made close the auction within a few days, if you just keep it running until you have sold all links you risk the initial buyers to have forgotten about your auction and invested their money on another theme.

    Prizing:
    Like you say, think about how much your theme is worth (starting bid/bin)
    But lowering your prizes during an auction is not always a good thing.
    Yes, you will sell your theme, but it also means that buyers KNOW that when they wait with bidding YOU will lower your prizes and they have a cheaper buy again.

    Remember buyers always want as cheap as possible.

    You thought about your prizes, so dont lower yourself by selling your theme cheap, if its quality it will sell.

    Its not about the quantity of themes you produce but the quality of it.
    One unique theme can bring you more then 5 cheap ones.

    Also with constantly lowering your prizes, you are "guilty" of killing the hand you feed from.
    Buyers will start expecting cheap, and they will settle for nothing less then cheap...and remember: they always wanna go cheaper again, so at the end all themes will go for $ 5 and ALL the designers suffer from it, and the wp-theme market has killed himself.

    Basically, if it doesnt sell, first start thinking on WHY it doesnt sell?...Is it quality?...is it attracting?....main important: would you buy it for the prize you ask for it?

    Again, good article, some green added
     
    feng, Mar 9, 2008 IP
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  20. Pinup Girl

    Pinup Girl Well-Known Member

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    #20
    you did a great guide!!
    i'm a wordpress theme designer and its being hard to get sponsors,your guide will help me

    rep added!
     
    Pinup Girl, Mar 9, 2008 IP
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