Website Enhancements Coming Soon to MineralAuctions.com
NEW UPDATES - Effective June 13, 2023
With continuous improvement in mind, we recently conducted a user survey from a randomly selected group of active users on our website. Based on the generous feedback we received, we've developed some quality of life improvements to better meet the needs of our customers and are rolling out the first batch of updates. Please read the updates below for complete details of these important changes. A few minor changes have already gone live (as noted below). Previous updates that rolled out in late 2022 are noted underneath the new updates, for reference.
BIDDING UPDATES - EXTENDED BIDDING TIME THRESHOLDS
Based on user feedback, we've made the decision to adjust our extended bidding time thresholds to reduce the thresholds.
- Adjusted cut-off for extended bidding from 5 minutes to 3 minutes
- Adjusted the timer extension from 5 minutes to 3 minutes
PREVIOUSLY - If you placed a bid within the last 5 minutes of an auction, an additional 5 minutes was added to the remaining timer. For example, if a bid was placed with 4 minutes remaining on the clock, the new end time would have adjusted to 9 minutes. This would have repeated for any bid placed within the last 5 minutes remaining, until there were no more bids.
NEW, UPDATED TIMES AS OF JUNE 13 - Now, the timer will not extend unless a bid is made within the last 3 minutes, and will only add 3 minutes to the remaining time. For example, if a bid is placed with 2:30 remaining, the updated amount of time remaining would be 5:30.
This adjustment should help in the rare cases extended bidding continues for long periods of time and will quicken the pace at closing.
SHIPPING UPDATES - NEW FREE SHIPPING THRESHOLDS
Beginning on all orders on or after June 13, 2023
- DOMESTIC SHIPMENTS WITHIN THE US: All orders valued at $2000 or more before any applicable taxes/shipping will now ship free.
- INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS: All orders valued at $5000 or more before any applicable taxes/shipping will now ship free.
**Please note: The Arkenstone is not responsible for any customs fees or taxes charged by customs offices in international locations. These fees are the responsibility of the buyer**
All orders below these thresholds will continue to be billed at our discounted cost (for FedEx options), based on destination location, package weight/size, and value. Due to the risk of shipment, we utilize insured and signature-required USPS Priority Mail or FedEx Express as these methods have the best success rates and protection for your purchases. Please see the Payment and Shipping Info page for more detailed information on what methods we use, based on location and shipment value.
We are happy to combine multiple orders in order to meet these thresholds, however due to Texas law, we are only able to hold shipments up to 180 days. Please discuss any holds at the time of billing to coordinate.
USER PROFILE DASHBOARD CHANGES
- Added watchlist link to the top of the page for easy navigation when logged in. This change will also benefit mobile users, reducing time and steps to navigate to this page for an overview of watched items/items you are bidding on. This change is already live now! Reminder: any item you have placed a bid on will appear on the watchlist automatically, so you do not need to manually add them. You DO need to manually add items you are NOT bidding on, which is possible by clicking the the star in the upper-left corner of the image when hovering over a listing OR by clicking the 'add item to watchlist' button when viewing the individual item.
- Updated the watchlist page on user profile to separate items based on whether they are currently live or closed. Additionally, live items will sort prioritizing items ending soonest first. Closed items can be viewed by clicking on the 'closed auctions' tab. This will keep your default watchlist clean of any closed auctions so you can focus on only active, live items. Items you are the high bidder on will continue to be outlined in green. Items you have been outbid on will be outlined in red. Items you have not bid on will have no colored outline. This change is already live now!
- Updated the bid history page to prioritize showing winning bids only by default. Added tabs to align with design across the website for consistency. Complete bid history can be viewed by clicking on the 'all bids' tab. This change is already live now!
- Moved logout to user profile menu. To navigate to log out from the home page, click on 'profile' on the top of the page, and then select 'logout' from the menu. This change is already live now!
- Added 'Collection' as a search field for closed items. In this field, type the last name only to search closed items from a specific ex collection. Please note - the ex collection field was added to individual listings at the end of 2022, so items from auctions prior to this time may not display in these results. For items older than this, search via the general text search field for best results.
- Added a link to custom base information to the bottom of each listing. To request a custom base be made for auction wins, please inform us during the billing process. Please note - custom base lead time varies depending on current volume and complexity/size of the order. This change is already live now!
- Added new options to navigation menu under Auctions:
- Changed the name of 'Current Auctions' to 'Live Auction Items'
- Auctions Gallery now displays current auctions in gallery view, with a tab to view closed auctions in gallery view for context and reference.
- Added 'Benefit Auctions' to display benefit auctions separately. Closed benefit auctions may be viewed by clicking on the closed auctions tab.
- Moved the contact form from the Billing and Shipping information page to the About Us page. This change is already live now!
- Enlarged photo/video size when opening to view larger on individual items to accommodate larger, higher resolution screens. These larger photos/videos should also allow for better inspection of items. This change is already live now!
- Removed timed cut-off for the display of ending bid amounts on closed items. Backdated display of ending bids to January 2020. Items older than this date will not display ending bids. Moving forward, ending bid values will be displayed for closed items indefinitely.
- Added sort options to auction gallery view. When viewing individual auction pages, you will now be able to sort by a few options for easier navigation.
PROXY BIDDING REMINDER
We received some feedback and questions regarding our proxy bidding procedures. Please take a moment to review the proxy bidding section on the Bidding Rules page for details and examples of how this process works.
Note: your proxy bid is the maximum you would like to pay for an item. However, this does not necessarily mean that is what you will end up paying. If you win an auction at a lower amount than your maximum proxy bid, you would pay the ending bid amount. With any additional questions, please reach out!
PREVIOUS UPDATES - Effective November 12, 2022
MINIMUM BIDS AND INCREMENTAL BIDS
For many years, the minimum/incremental bids have remained the same. As MineralAuctions.com continues to evolve, we've recognized the need for additional tiers of minimum bids. We will be adding three additional minimum bid tiers to our existing cutoffs in order to help limit lengthy extended bidding on higher value items. There are no changes to minimum bid amounts on items $5000 and under, and we will continue to have NO HAMMER FEES for our customers.
The new minimum/incremental bids will be:
$5 for bids of $10 to $50
$10 for bids of $51 to $500
$25 for bids of $501 to $1000
$50 for bids of $1001 to $5000
$100 for bids of $5001 to $10,000
$250 for bids of $10,001 to $25,000
$500 for bids of $25,001 or more
BIDDER NAME VISIBILITY CHANGES
Last year, we changed all bidder names to default to 'Private Bidder' on the public website in order to protect the identity of our bidders and bring us in line with other major auction houses. At that time, we allowed bidders to change this setting to display their username if they preferred, however only a handful of users across our entire customer base chose to do so. Since the vast majority of bidders display as 'Private Bidder' on the website, we have opted to remove the bidder name field from the website entirely. We realize that this may raise some questions about tracking what items you are a high bidder on, so we are implementing a few enhancements to our interface to better highlight when you are the high bidder or have been outbid.
For listings where you are the high bidder, the item will appear with a green border around it in browse view as well as have a green text box stating that you are currently the high bidder. On the specimen page, there will be an additional green text box in the bidding section to also indicate this.
Alternatively, for listings where you have been outbid, the items will have red borders in browse view and red text boxes indicating that you have been outbid on both the browse view and the item pages.
Of course, you will still receive email bid notifications in the event you are outbid, as you do today. This is only a visual change on the website.
NEW DATA FIELDS - MASS/WEIGHT AND EX COLLECTION
With the removal of bidder names and to provide additional flexibility for listings to show additional data as necessary, we've added two new fields for mass/weight and ex collection. These details will display at the top of the listing, along with the title, locality, and dimensions.
Mass/Weight: This field will primarily be used for cut gemstones to detail carat weight. Weight when applicable will be listed after the item dimensions, separated by a comma. For example: 2.5 x 1.4 x 1.3cm, 45g
Ex Collection: This field will more prominently display ex collection information to feature relevant provenance in a more organized manner.
NEW - AUCTION GALLERY VIEW AND AUCTION FILTER TITLE CHANGES
In order to make navigating to a specific auction more intuitive and user-friendly, we will be implementing two small changes:
Auction Gallery - Under 'Auctions' in the header navigation, you will now be able to view current auctions as a gallery view and look at each auction individually. Navigating to specific auctions in this way will isolate a specific auction and provide additional background information and a description of the auction in the header. These auction descriptions often contain valuable contextual information, especially for special auctions or 'ex collection' auction sets.
Auction Filter Titles - On the left-side filter menu, we will replace the currently displayed lot numbers with the auction names. This will make filtering a specific auction much more intuitive as customers can now easily determine which auction is which and check or uncheck auctions based on what they would like to view.
NEW - WINNING BIDDER FILTER ON CUSTOMER DASHBOARD
As of now, we currently have records available for customers to view their entire bid history on their dashboard under the 'Bidding History' tab. However, we realized that many customers may want to easily see a list of items that they won without sifting through many pages of bids, which can be especially frustrating for many of our long-time customers! We are adding a new filter to show winning bids only to this page to make finding this information quick and easy for our customers.
UPDATED - SHIPPING & PAYMENT INFORMATION, CONTACT FORM, AND ABOUT US
Shipping: With many of the COVID-related shipping difficulties resolved, we have revised our shipping details to reflect our current shipping policies. This revised shipping information is currently live and in use. Click here to view.
Contact: We will now have a contact form that will route your message to the relevant party based on the subject you select. This form will be located on the shipping and payment information page at the bottom. Please make sure you select the correct subject when sending your message and allow 1-2 business days for a response.
About Us: We've updated our About Us section.