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The perfect scenario. The new auction art collector cruising the endless page after page of art, sculpture, wrought iron tangibles, wild extravagant paintings of interesting mixed media artworks and then he stumbles onto your page and viola!: this person is drawn in.....

Impressed right off the bat because your page loads fast they can now start the examination process of absorbing the valuable data contained within this precious document. Your titles are clear, the size of your piece is noted, and you have offered a prime concise image of your artwork. They are so excited that you have touched a special nerve with them as there were no fancy obstacles interfering in the thought process of why they are cruising in the first place.... to possibly buy something. Now they are completely ready. They zoom to the "place bid" area and contribute to a process that many can call history.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? If you can say yes, then you are most like on the right track with doing the right things with your auction pages. If you (at this point) are scratching your head wondering why your auction pages are not working for you then chances are that maybe there is something wrong. It can be many things, from the placement of your data to the over achievement of the cool new javascripts that are available for free.

Here are a few "S-O-N-Y-A-S T-I-P-S" to help you out:

Sounds. Unless they are an active part of what you are selling and in most cases they aren't then lose the noise. Sounds are unnecessary.

Over Achievement. Excessive Javascripts fancy rollovers and flashing things in your face. Bad very bad. These things can tie up someone's browser and can cause some computers to crash. Don't think that any person will be visiting your site again anytime soon. These are distracting useless toys that are bad for the auction page environment. Don't do this to people, they really can care less about these fancy whatchamacallits. Large scrolling 40 foot long pages with a ton of ads and the big giant "sell" aren't popular either. The best formula is to think about you driving a car and how long you have to read a billboard on the side of the road at 55 mph. Same effect, keep focused, no distractions and less "is" more.

Not everyone has high speed Internet, so please take that into consideration when creating your page. Keep image files small and content quality high. What I mean by "content quality" is to take the time to indicate the details of your piece and this also includes your shipping parameters and any special notes. (For shipping information see last month's ebsqzine)

Your Images. Now here is a biggie. This is what is going to help you be the most successful with your auction pages because this is what people want to see. Whether you are using an intense photo image application like Adobe Photoshop or a simple image editor like Photo-Edit you can still produce a nice image for your viewers. Exporting the images to .jpg with a result of quality from 5 to 7 is sufficient (this all varies with your photo editor application). Try not to think that making it the highest quality is always better because then your image will take longer to download to screen.

Animations are annoyances. Two words. Loose 'em. Hopping doggies and bouncing smilie faces do it for me.... I am outta there.

Stealing. (okay, let's for the sake of harsh words let's call it "borrowing" shall we.) Sure, we can all get inspired from many different outlets whether it's another artist site or page or some unique clever wording that someone be as original as possible, make a statement or add verbiage that is pertinent to your persona. Our ability to create descriptive words to enhance our art is as original as the art itself.

Templates and Technique. A simple HTML editor can assist you in designing the architecture for your page and you can keep your template and use it for all your auction pages, this way your look will always be consistent and then you can always add or delete data easily. Most editors do not have a spell checker, take the time to review your grammar.

Interests and Inspirations. Based on the way that eBay handles keyword spamming it would be best to note any additional interests, admired art legends, areas of inspirations on a separate page. In eBay they give you a place where you can own and maintain a personal "me" page if you are a registered eBay user. This way you won't have eBay emailing you accusing you of keyword spamming and you can still get your point across to your viewers.

Practice and patience. Take your time. Learn basic HTML commands for your pages, get the most out of the cool tools available. There are a lot of handy free resources on the Internet :o)

Stop. Look and Listen. If after reading and taking these tips into consideration you need a second set of eyes to review your content and give some constructive criticism then go for it. Ask a friend to take a peek, it's better that they give you the thumbs up before your viewing audience gives you a thumbs down.....


Sonya Paz is a professional fine artist/painter living in San Jose, California. Sonya is also an established web and graphic designer and has written many articles based on her experiences in the corporate world and how she manages her fine art business today. In 1996 - 1998 Sonya wrote the "Funky Thought of the Week" for the on-line publication Soho Saltmines.

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