Not too long ago, when Angus breeders had cattle to sell, their access to potential customers was often limited by geography or technical and marketing know-how. At the same time, when someone wanted to locate or buy Angus genetics or specific Angus cattle, they often had to travel long miles to attend a sale or view the animals first hand.
All of that is changing with the official launch of Angus Production Inc.’s (API) online auction, Angus Trading Post. The website, which will allow Angus breeders to buy and sell individual Angus cattle, groups of Angus cattle as well as semen and embryos, is a timed, E-bay-style format. Down the road, the auction will also allow sellers to list machinery and equipment, horses, real estate and Angus memorabilia.
For buyers and sellers, the first step in participation is visiting the website and creating an account. Once registered, bidders can browse and search sale entries, view and bid on items, and place absentee and maximum bids when they can’t be online when the auction closes.
“The online auction provides a wide array of capabilities for sellers to describe individual lots, everything from registration numbers — linked to www.angus.org — to performance information and photos and videos,” says Terry Cotton, general manager of API. “Sellers can also determine when they want their individual auctions to sell and when they want the auction to close. The supplier can also protect their items by predetermining bid increments and setting minimum prices.”
During the auction, a bidder will receive a notification email if they have been outbid. Both buyer and seller are notified via email when bidding is complete and the financial transaction between them is handled quickly and securely online.
Best of all, there are no fees for listing items or registering as a buyer or seller. Commission fees through the Angus Trading Post are 5% of gross for cattle, semen and embryos.
During the early stages of the auction’s roll-out, Angus producers with items to sell are encouraged to contact API’s web services department with assistance in uploading items and launching their online auctions.
As inventory builds and Angus breeders become more familiar with using the software, capabilities for sellers to upload their own items without API assistance will be gradually phased in over time.
“Keep in mind the techniques of a successful online auction coincide with traditional seedstock merchandising: The more information, the better chance lots will sell,” Cotton says. “That process begins with good photos and video — and accurate descriptions of what’s for sale. It ends with top-flight service, speedy and efficient delivery of items, and continuous service for customers.”
A powerful tool
Take a serious look at www.angustradingpost.com when developing marketing plans this fall. Not only will it help transcend geographic boundaries, helping reach out to a much wider audience, it will also provide unprecedented opportunities for both small and large Angus breeders alike to expand their customer base and to build a stronger position in the marketplace.
For more information about www.angustradingpost.com, contact the API web services department at 816-383-5200.