Rock Hill, NY — With yearling season upon the harness racing industry, and many states still implementing COVID-19 protocols and restrictions, many horse owners and trainers will look to the world wide web for solutions to quarantine issues and alternatives to “being there.”
The sales companies and auctions have been forced to take the lead in this electronic leap of faith, placing their annual offerings on an online platform so that buyers can feel safe and secure while still participating and bidding on the horse sale.
This has been no simple task, as many horsemen and women still want to inspect horses in person. To aid in this process, many top consignors and agents have added inspection videos with walking and conformation shots to their paddock action videos. However, the key to online bidding success may not rest solely with the end user’s browser and speed of web connection, but also the platform in which the sale is presented.
The Ohio Selected Jug Sale has aligned itself with one of the pioneers in online bidding management, CCI.live, which is owned and operated by longtime auction expert Christy Collins.
Christy Collins was born and raised near Frederick, Okla., on a family farming and cattle business that has been in operation since 1903.
“I grew up watching my mother put together sale catalogs at the kitchen table, and I remember having to sit at the side of the picture pen, when I was little, watching them take the sale photos for the annual production sales. My job on sale day was to be on my horse and wave to the people when they came up the drive.”
Today, Collins continues to represent and market livestock all over the United States, primarily through her bidding platform, which successfully partners with dozens of auctions each month.
“We are not originally computer people. We understand the auction business as well as breeding stock because we are also the owners and operators of a cattle farm,” Collins noted.
“This platform was born out of the necessity of phone bidding and the exponential growth of our industry. We just could not hire enough people to work the phone lines during the auction, so we built this platform to meet the increased demand.”
Having invested considerable time and resources into the project, in September 2017, CCI.live was launched as a “first of its kind” live bidding and sale day management service that allows registered users to view, bid and buy livestock during traditional live auction formats, with an auctioneer.
“This platform was not developed because of COVID concerns. We have been successfully enhancing auction sales for years,” she said.
This system provides a secure and reliable bidding experience. The platform is user friendly for the buyer and simplifies sale registration. An auction is viewable on any mobile device, tablet or desktop.
“We have created a system that is state of the art with the fastest capabilities, backed by the knowledge that I have accrued over the past 20 years in the business,” stated Collins.
“I created this system, primarily to be of benefit, not only for the buyer, but also for the sale managers and the sellers. This new application will simplify auction day sale management by a large degree. It will help sale companies, buyers and breeders alike. It has taken several years, but we have finally created the perfect auction day management tool.”
This is not a ‘flash’-based app, but a website driven platform that works seamlessly on any device. In fact, more than 80 percent of users are utilizing mobile phones.
“Bidding and driving is not recommended,” Collins adds. “Not only is that dangerous, but the necessity of a strong, consistent internet connection is key.”
And, the process is simple. Register, watch the auction and press the bid button. That’s it.
“The audio and video of the auction is as close to real time as you can get, operating at a latency speed in the milliseconds on the asking price. There is less than a three second delay in most instances,” Collins said.
But, along with a sound and robust bidding platform, the user must also have their technological affairs in order.
“First time online buyers may assume this is like an EBay sale; they may not realize that it is live. It is no different than sitting on the bleachers at the sale. They must act quickly,” Collins stated. “Be sure to register early, and remember your user name and password.
“And don’t let children hold the phone while the auction is in progress.”
Savvy bidders will want to check their devices and connectivity early to ensure that they are comfortable with how bids are entered and ultimately accepted. But that is only half the battle, as your web browser could have a dramatic effect upon your connectivity.
“The browser battle has been raging almost as long as the internet has existed,” according to Michael Muchmore, PC Magazine’s lead analyst for software and web applications.
Chrome dominates this landscape hands down, and claims nearly 70 percent of the browser market. Safari is the “go-to” browser within iOS (Apple) products, and can handle these online platforms seamlessly. Mozilla Firefox is quite capable, and had led the pack within the open source browser market. Microsoft Edge has practically replaced Internet Explorer, which is already antiquated with the sun setting on legacy support shortly.
In all these instances it is imperative to ensure that whatever browser you are comfortable with, that the software is up-to-date with the latest version available.
Simply put, this is a “phone bidding” application through the internet. CCI.live does not collect any money. All the successful bidders must settle with the sales office.
To register for the Ohio Selected Jug Sale, click here.