Hello empowr citizens,
Several months ago we discussed how the empowr engineers would be working diligently to build a series of features that would help take out the majority of the friction from buying and selling in the empowr marketplace in order to further accelerate the growth of the empowr economy.
Today, I’m excited to introduce the launch of the first feature in that series - something we’re calling ”Photo bidding”.
What is “Photo bidding”?
Photo bidding is the ability to start an auction by simply clicking on something in a photo!
Just take a photo of anything you think others might be interested in purchasing.
From those clothes you’re no longer using…
…to that group photo with your buddies from high school.
Or even that messy garage that you’ve been meaning to clean out.
By posting photos, of course you’ll still earn by posting, but now you can even receive bids on the things shown within the photo. The more items in the photo, the more possibilities are opened for you.
Yes – it’s as easy as it sounds! You simply take a picture, post it, and the community can immediately start bidding on items in it. That’s it! You don’t need to do anything else before the bidding can start, and you can find out what the community is willing to pay!
Bidding with “Photo bidding”
While going through your circle of trust, as you see photos of items that you might be interested in purchasing, you can bid on the items.
To place a bid, simply click the “Bid $1” link (below the photo) and then, using your mouse, click the item in the photo you’d like to bid on.
As soon as you click on the item, a green price tag pointing at the item will be shown:
Below the photo, you’ll have the option to “Drag to Adjust” the photo…and give the item (that you’re bidding on) a title that clearly describes it:
As soon as you place your bid, a 7-day auction with a starting price of $1 will begin!
Now that you started the auction, others can place their bids on the item too, by clicking the blue “Place your bid” button below the photo…
… OR by simply clicking the green price tag.
As you visit people’s profiles and close loops, when you see a photo that already has bids on it…
… you can bid on as many existing auctions as you’d like – just click the green price tag in the photo…
… or click the “Place your bid” button...
… or click “Bid $1” to start a new auction (if the item you want to purchase doesn’t already have a live auction on it).
If you’d like to see other listing details that the seller may have added, simply click “Details”…
… and you’ll see everything related to the item (including remaining auction time, current bids, item description if the seller’s added any, and shipping details). You can also check out the seller’s feedback rating before you choose to bid on anything.
If a seller has confirmed a listing, a blue check mark will go next to the title of the listing, as well as at the top of the price tag inside of the photo (we’ll discuss “confirmed” listings shortly).
Do you see multiple items within the photo that you’d like to purchase? No problem!
You can bid on as many items as you like!
Are you having second thoughts about a bid that you’ve placed? Don’t worry, as the high bidder, you can cancel your bid within 24 hours after the seller has confirmed that they do, in fact, wish to sell the item.
And if the seller cancels the auction, you (and any other bidders) will have your bids returned to your balance.
What do the different tags in the photo mean?
A green tag placed on an item in the photo means the item is currently being auctioned. Feel free to bid on the item by simply clicking on the green tag!
A yellow tag on an item in a photo means that the auction currently has less than 24 hours remaining. So, hurry and bid if you’re interested in purchasing the item!
A red tag on an item in the photo means that the item has been rejected by the seller (or marketplace moderators) and is not something that will be available for bidding.
A blue tag on an item in the photos means that the item has sold and is no longer available for bidding.
Selling with “photo bidding”
Selling things with photo bidding is just as easy and requires little effort on your part - all you need to do is upload photos of things you might want to sell, and you’ll be notified as soon as someone places a bid.
(Note: for your photos to allow photo bidding, they must be uploaded as a single photo. Photo bidding does not work on group photos.)
By visiting your “I’m Selling” page, you can view the auctions that have started on your photos in the tab "Photo bidding awaiting your review", and decide whether to cancel the auction or “confirm” it.
“Confirming” an auction, simply means that you’ve agreed that an item that has bids on it, is something that you may be interested in selling.
To “confirm a listing”, click “Actions” dropdown on the item you’re interested in selling:
You can adjust the photo and give the item a better name.
Then, add up to 4 additional photos of the item, select a marketplace category, and make any auction setting adjustments (including the Reserve Price – which indicates the least amount you would be willing to accept for it).
· Note: To keep it simple, all photo bidding listings are also listed as "FREE Shipping" - as a seller you will want to incorporate your shipping cost into your reserve price.
When you click “save” you’ll be brought to the confirmation page where you can decide to save your listing for your later, or confirm the listing.
If you’d like to save your selected settings for later, just click “Save (don’t confirm yet)”. You can confirm the listing at any time by revisiting your “I’m Selling” page.
If you’re ready to confirm the listing, select “Confirm”.
Once the listing has been confirmed, you’ll receive credit towards your daily listing goal just as if you had created a new marketplace listing.
From there, everything is the same as you’re already accustomed to:
When the auction ends and the item sells, you’ll work with your buyer to successfully ship the item to them and will receive your earnings once the item is marked as “Item Received”.
Don’t want to sell the item? That’s fine too! Simply do nothing after receiving bids (IE: Don’t confirm the listing) and the auction will automatically cancel when the time is up.
If you’ve confirmed your listing, but don’t sell it because the bidder cancelled OR the reserve was not met, we will relist the item as a marketplace listing for you automatically once the auction ends.
Photo Bidding moderation
Once a Photo Bidding listing has been confirmed by the seller, it will then be moderated by the seller’s Success Coach.
If the listing is rejected in moderation, it will:
- Negatively affect the seller’s marketplace approval score for the seller (just like all listings currently do)
- Remove the listing from the marketplace
- Remove the daily goal listing credit
- A red tag will be displayed on the item in the photo
Photo bidding should only be used to buy and sell actual products. Any listings that are in violation of the empowr marketplace listing guidelines will be rejected, and will negatively affect the seller’s ability to have his/her listings auto-approved.
How does photo bidding affect your Daily Goal?
When you’re the first to bid on an item in a photo, you’ll get Daily Goal and Trust flow credit in the amount 6 shares. (In this manner, citizens are rewarded for finding useful things to bid on and starting an auction).
For a photo bid that you place where you are not the initial bidder, you’ll receive credit for 3 shares.
You’ll also be granted an additional credit of 1 bid towards your Daily Goal within 24 hours after the seller completes their listing. (In this manner, citizens are further rewarded for bidding on things that the seller truly wants to sell).
Once a listing has been completed by the seller, it operates just like a normal listing – meaning you can bid on it like a regular listing and will immediately receive 1 bid credit towards your “closing the loop” and your Daily Goals, just like you do with existing auctions.
Even more benefits
Not only is photo bidding extremely easy for both buyers and sellers, but it also saves both parties time:
Sellers no longer need to fill in all the details of an item before finding out what the community would be willing to pay for it…
Sellers can simply sit back and watch all of those bids come in from their photo without ever being committed to actually selling anything…
… and only Confirm it when they see the item getting momentum.
AND buyers can hit their Daily Goals faster since 1 photo bid is worth much more than a bid on a regular marketplace listing (because photo bidding also provides 6 or 3 share credits, as described above, in addition to 1 bid credit after the listing has been Confirmed by the seller).
As mentioned above, as a seller, you might want to take just a few seconds to adjust the item's name or the target area in the photo, to make everything more clear and attract more bidders and higher prices.
Only bid on things that make sense
In the photo below, notice that bidding on a “Sunrise” is not something that makes sense, since a sunrise is not something that a seller is actually able to deliver to anyone:
If this should happen, what Stephanie (the owner of the photo) could do is “turn photo bidding OFF” for that item in the photo:
The consequences of “photo bidding spam”
When a seller indicates that the item is not something that should have been bid on, specifically saying that the item is not something that can be bought or sold…
… everyone that had bid on that item in the photo is temporarily suspended from photo bidding. (A first suspension lasts only 2 hours, and each additional suspension lasts for a longer period of time).
So, as a matter of good community etiquette, please don’t bid on things (like sunrises, people, famous buildings, bridges and other things that the seller obviously cannot sell).
If you bid on things that obviously cannot be sold, you’re creating unnecessary work for the seller, and the system takes note of that – suspending you for longer and longer periods until you’re completely unable to photo bid.
Of course, feel free to bid as much as you like on items that appear to be things the owner of the photo might own, and may have the ability or desire to sell.
Photo bidding is optional, but we highly recommend that sellers keep their photo bidding settings ON so that they’re giving themselves the opportunity for many more potential sales (without any effort)!
If you wish to turn photo bidding OFF at any time, simply visit your account settings.
You can also turn off photo bidding for any single photo that you’ve posted, by clicking the dropdown menu and choosing to turn it OFF:
Let’s start photo bidding!
And that’s everything you need to know about photo bidding!
This feature is now live for Red Star Power Users and above, and should be available to everyone within the next several hours.
Be on the lookout very soon for even more features that should help further accelerate the empowr marketplace and economy.
Based on the number of features currently being worked on by the empowr engineers, I predict that next month, April, together we will set a new record for the number of new, really important (game-changing) features launched by empowr!
In fact, JC will be making a very important announcement about those features in just a couple of weeks, starting with a strategic discussion about where the world is headed, aided by technology…
… and how the new upcoming features (all of which have been requested by you, our community)…
…will take us into that new world, while simultaneously attacking head-on almost all of the “pain points” you’ve discussed with us, including:
Eliminating the hassle of packaging and shipping
When you sell something, you need to find a box, and then make the time to go to the post office.
We’re working on a solution so you don’t have to do that anymore.
Eliminating the cost of shipping
When you sell something, you have to go out-of-pocket to pay for shipping.
We’re working on a solution to eliminate that out-of-pocket cost for you.
Earn much more revenue for your products
Imagine being able to earn over and over again, using the same product.
We’re working on a solution for you to earn recurring revenue from the things you list, as opposed to sell each item once and it’s gone forever.
Don’t have products to sell?
We’re getting ready to unleash Services, so you don’t have to just sell products to earn AMCO cash outs.
Eliminate the hassle of listing Services
As soon as you can earn cash outs from Services, you’ll want to eliminate the hassle of listing a service.
See a service that someone else is offering – that you think you can offer too?
With only one single click, now you’re offering it too.
Much larger variety of products available to you (as a buyer)
Imagine having ten, fifty or even one hundred times the variety of products for you to access, as a buyer, in the empowr marketplace.
We’ve got a solution in the works to make that happen.
Much lower cost of products you want
At the same time, imagine the cost of accessing the products you want dropping by as much as 80, 90 or even 95%?
Believe it or not, a solution that will do just that is in the works for you.
Literally hundreds of new ways for you to earn
Now imagine hundreds of new ways for you to earn.
With the launch of our app platform, developers will be able to dream up new ways, and compete with each other to bring you new ways to earn.
Making it easier to learn
Let’s face it, empowr is complicated. We’re working on solutions to make it easier for the newest citizens to learn and get going.
Making it easier to invite your friends
Simply take a photo of a friend, and let the community start bidding on her shirt, his bike, her old cell phone.
What better way for your friend to get introduced to empowr than to see its members wanting to help them earn, even before they’ve joined?
Making it more efficient to teach
A number of tools are in the works to make success coaches more efficient and capable of helping their students.
Less frustration with empowr’s decisions
Along with our president continuing to be elected by you, with think enabling you to elect your local leaders is the way to go.
Your local leaders need to be able to modify the platform in all the ways that matter to you.
And of course all the above is happening simultaneously to all the other issues, bugs and improvements you are reporting on a daily basis.
As I mentioned, JC will be telling you all about those features in just a few weeks from now!
In the meantime, thanks for being so committed to the mission, for your continued belief in your fellow community members (success coaches, employees and citizens) and for working so hard to build the empowr economy!
And as always, like with any new product feature launch, please expect that there will be bugs and issues. If you come across any, please report them by clicking the top right corner of any page:
If you're the first to report it, you'll even earn $20. Please be sure to be as detailed as possible so that we can resolve any issues quickly.
Any questions? We’re here for you.