Editor's Note: Yahoo! Auctions officially stopped posting auction listings on June 3, 2007, with all auctions terminating later that month.* We suggest you refer to our review of eBay , or see a side-by-side comparison of other reviewed online auction websites.
There is just one thing to say about Yahoo! It provides one of the most complete, affordable and easy to use auction services on the Internet.
We found Yahoo! Auctions to have some of the most informative detail pages available to buyers. They include detailed postings of bidders’ history and questions to the seller. Their extensive browsing and searching features, allow you to narrow your search options by subcategory, price, location and payment. Furthermore, there are no seller fees. All listings are free.
Although Yahoo! Auction services are excellent, they do not allow sellers to open stores, there are a lot of product restrictions and their popularity pales in comparison to that of the top two services.
Yahoo! makes buying easy. The details pages are very informative. They include information about the product, seller, payment, shipping and general auction facts. There are additional tabs located above the picture of an item for sale and the details section describes the item’s bid history and a complete question and answer log from other buyers that have contacted the seller with questions about the product. This is one of the few auction sites we found that was so complete in its item disclosure.
We also found the Countdown Ticker to be useful. It counts down the time of the auction in real time. You do not have to refresh your page every few moments to see when time is running out. However, you do need to refresh your page if someone else bids on the item.
In order to avoid buyers swooping in and stealing an auction at the last minute, sellers have the option to have five minute extensions placed on items. This means the auction will not end until bidding is inactive for a consecutive five minutes.
We found Yahoo! Auctions to be the best free auction service on the internet. Yahoo! does not charge a listing or final selling fee for sellers.
Yahoo! does not allow sellers to open a store and you can only list your item in one category. They also do not allow you to customize the layout on your details page. However, you can change the font and text color in your item descriptions.
Yahoo! Auctions has many listing restrictions. You cannot sell adult material, illegal drugs or paraphernalia, prescription medications, illegal or restricted weapons, or hate memorabilia base on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation and more. Please check the Yahoo! guidelines if you have questionable items.
Yahoo! also offers a free download of Yahoo! Seller’s Manager, which allows you to manage your inventory without being online.
The My Auctions user account manages watch lists, bids, wins, loses and sales. You can also save your favorite searches. Yahoo! also allows you to adjust your notification preferences. You can be emailed when an auction closes, someone leaves you feedback, you’re outbid and questions are answered. You can modify these notifications to receive as many or few as you choose.
Yahoo! includes a simple, yet effective feedback center and although you can ask a seller a question, Yahoo! does not provide an internal message center for members to communicate with each other. They must rely on the question/answer format or contact the seller through a personal email address.
Yahoo! Auctions accepts many forms of payment, but ultimately the seller or buyer decide on payment plans. Yahoo! encourages all sellers and buyers to participate in Merchant’s Auctions. This is Yahoo!’s secure credit card program that automatically pays the seller from the buyer’s account. This helps to minimize fraud and scams.
Yahoo!’s browse and search capabilities are its best features. We found it produced relevant and comprehensive results while browsing through categories and using the search box.
While browsing through Yahoo! Auctions categories you can narrow your search with several subcategories. Additionally, you can further define your search by price, reserve, buy now, Pay Pal, location and listed today.
You can perform a simple keyword search at the top of the page or you can use the advanced option to search by closed auction, Yahoo! ID, item number, price range, location, payment or reserve.
You can also include or exclude sellers depending on your previous experience with them.
Our overall experience with Yahoo! Auctions was excellent. The service is easy to use whether you are buying or selling. Yahoo! provides all the necessary auction information on an item’s details page and a useful help section makes sales and purchases safe and successful.