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Auction statistics and website analytics

Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 - 10 am | Aaron Traffas, CAI, ATS, CES

In our radio commercials, brochures and other collateral, we frequently reference statistics like the number of potential bidders and registered customers. Quantifying website traffic can be immensely valuable for sellers, and we recently began sharing some of these numbers publicly in a photo gallery on our Facebook page at Let’s take a closer look at some of the statistics that we track and why we feel they’re important.

November 2011 auction statistics

November 2011 auction statistics

Unique visitors
The unique visitors to a website are the number of unduplicated visitors during a period of time. We track our unique visitors each month using Google Analytics. While there are a few technical caveats, that number is essentially the number of potential bidders on the items in our auctions, as each visitor may register to bid. During the month of November 2011, Google Analytics tracked 145,783 unique visitors.

A single visitor who visits our site twice each day for a month will be counted for 60 visits that month. Visits are counted every 30 minutes, so a visitor remaining on the site for an hour will record two visits. During November 2011, Google Analytics recorded 381,514 visits.

Page views
Another straightforward statistic, page views are simply the number of pages delivered by the website. Each item listing is a page, as is our auction calendar and the auction details pages. During November, we recorded 7,391,597 page views, or a little over 19 page views per visit.

Registered customers
Purple Wave boasts the largest community of bidders on no-reserve Internet equipment auctions, and today we currently have over 76,500 customers who may place bids on the items in our auctions. These bidders know that our no-reserve policy means that when an item is listed in an auction, they have a real opportunity to purchase it without any tricks associated with buybacks or seller reserves.

Bidders per item
Those of us who have been to live auctions know that there are usually two or three people, on average, bidding on any particular item. Occasionally, we notice as many as five or six participants at a time. In November, Purple Wave’s bidding community averaged eight unique customers bidding on each item, with many of the more interesting items seeing even more bidders. More bidder participation by a larger customer community directly translates to higher recoveries for our sellers.

Bids per item
Another interesting comparison to live auctions is the average number of bids per item. An item with a lot of bidding activity may receive six or eight bids before all the bidders are done bidding. Occasionally, an item may receive 12 or 15 bids. Our November average was 17 bids per item.

Bids per bidder
Our bidding community is very active. Bidders who participated in auctions closing in November each placed an average of 9 bids.

The map on the auction statistics report places a single purple pin at the center of each ZIP code that contained at least one unique bidder. Many ZIP codes contain more than one bidder, but these are only represented by one pin. Google Analytics tells us where the visitors came from, and in November we had visitors from 50 US states as well as 165 countries.

We plan to occasionally look at these types of numbers over time, and when we do you can find them here or on our Facebook page. November’s report can be viewed as a picture or downloaded as a PDF.

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