Did you know you can create your OWN online auction?

With just a few steps and a Google email account, you can set one up and run it for your items — and avoid the auction fees and other hassles of big-box auction networks.

Just follow these steps:

CREATE AN ENTRY FORM

  1. If already have a Google email account (Gmail), login. If you don’t, sign up at www.gmail.com and login.
  2. Click on “Documents.” (ILLUSTRATION)
  3. Click on “New” and then select “Form.” (ILLUSTRATION)
  4. Create a title for your auction item, and a description for the item. Add the information you need to collect from the bidders, such as bid amount, their name, email address, etc. Click here for the illustration on how to use this form generator. Make sure to designate “required” fields as necessary; i.e., whatever information you need to fulfill the auction.
  5. Do a “form check” by clicking on the “view the published form here” link at the bottom. Be sure to copy the link and put it in a text file for future reference.  ADD ONE TEST RECORD and send it.

MAKE THE BIDDING ACTION PUBLIC

  1. Your form automatically created a spreadsheet in your “Documents” folder. Open the spreadsheet associated with the form, click the “Share” tab then select the “Share with the world” link.
  2. From the pop-up menu, select the radio button “Let people view without signing in” and then copy and paste the spreadsheet URL. Save it in a text file so you can reference it later.
  3. Your auction spreadsheet can now be seen by anyone who has the URL.

SOME IMPORTANT TIPS

KEEP BIDDING PUBLIC, BUT INFO PRIVATE

  1. Open the new form’s spreadsheet by going to your Google documents and opening your auction spreadsheet.
  2. Select the column(s) to remain private by clicking the “letter” of the column(s), then right-clicking to open the column menu, and then left-clicking to “Hide column.”
  3. ALERT! When your auction is live, don’t violate the privacy of your bidders by “un-hiding” the columns (such as their real names, addresses, etc.)! If you want to see detailed information from the spreadsheet, make a copy of it and then un-hide the information in the copy. (Remember to delete the copy when you are done, because it won’t update from the original spreadsheet as the auction progresses.)

    FOR BEST RESULTS, EDIT THE FORM AND NOT THE SPREADSHEET

    ADVERTISE YOUR AUCTION

    Now you are ready to ADVERTISE your auction for free on Iwanna.com. To make your auction more reader-friendly, shorten the URLs of your bidding form and spreadsheet that you copied and saved earlier. A few good services for this are:

    http://www.tinyurl.com

    — shorturl.com

    — snipurl.com

    You can find a great blog post about shortened URL services here and another one here.

    Now that you have your auction all set up, visit Iwanna.com to post your ad for FREE or call 828.274.2222.

    Be sure to include the shortened URL for your auction in your ad text!

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