The Benefits of Hosting a Reverse Auction

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A reverse auction can help businesses and consumers lower costs while providing utility companies and brokers a way to acquire new business. While some may feel that a reverse auction system is a short race to the bottom, this is frequently not the case.

In the energy industry alone, the reverse auction system can be beneficial to both buyers, producers, and brokers while promoting efficiency and lower costs overall.

What is a Reverse Auction?

In a traditional auction, the seller is in control. In a reverse auction, the buyer is in control. What this means is that during a reverse auction, suppliers bid to provide a buyer with the thing they want. The buyer then selects an offer to accept.

Though the lower cost bids may be set up to appear at the top of the results, the buyer is free to choose a higher-cost proposal that may provide some additional benefit.

Transparency for You, Your Suppliers, and Customers

By using the appropriate online reverse auction software, the entire auction process can allow both providers and customers to see exactly what their options are and what competition is out there.

This competition, however, is also mitigated by the reverse auction process. Over time, suppliers that are unprepared or that consistently produce low bids cannot sustain themselves. Those that make a valid offer based on market price and analysis of their own costs tend to remain competitive in the long run and prove themselves reliable overall.

Any platform that allows a buyer to note the attributes of a given supplier, other than the price they offer, will help improve this process.

A More Efficient Procurement Process

For buyers, it’s easier to find suppliers who can offer what they need at a price they can afford and any other necessary criteria they need to be met.

For a supplier, it’s a lot easier to focus on buyers that are ready to buy rather than spend time setting up quotes and scouting buyers who may be committed to other sources or unable to afford the supplier’s services.

This ability for buyers to come to suppliers rather than the other way around can help a supplier reduce the costs they typically have when it comes to finding new customers. It can also help them avoid sunk costs in a buyer decides to back out of an arrangement.

An Even Playing Field

One of the most significant ways a reverse auction can change things up is by allowing a newer business or supplier to enter the field and offer what they have. This also means that a company that has been around for some time may find it easier to grow and find new customers.

Overall Benefits in a Reverse Auction System

In the long term, a reverse auction system built on a platform that allows buyers to consider price and non-price issues has been shown to support greater efficiency in the supply process. The critical thing to note here is that the platform chosen to host the auction is critical. Some do emphasize price more than others, and buyers will take a cue from this.

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Samantha Acuna is a writer based in San Francisco, CA. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post,, and Yahoo Small Business.