Preview: NO PREVIEW | Pick up Location: 176 N. Lake Ave. Phillips, WI 54555
Bidding Ends Saturday, March 28th beginning at 7:30pmView Catalog-BID HERE
Preview: NO PREVIEW | Pick up Location: 176 N. Lake Ave. Phillips, WI 54555
Bidding Ends Saturday, March 28th beginning at 7:30pmView Catalog-BID HERE
There is no greater thrill than bidding at an auction either online or offline. Of course, for some potential buyers, the idea of having to fight to buy something is unappealing. Auctions and bidding at an auction can also feel like a hassle to some. Then, of course, some people just don’t understand how auctions work. The purpose of this short guide is to give you a general overview of the many auctions out there and how to use them.
First is online auctions. When you think of online auctions, eBay comes to mind. eBay isn’t the only platform that has online auctions. There are many different auctioneers out there that have online auctions. Many of them use platforms like Hibid or Proxibid to host their auctions.
Online Auctions offer a simple system where you can place a bid that is higher than the previous one. These are much like a real auction as we will discuss below. For those not wanting to spend hours in front of their computer, they also offer a maximum bid feature. This is where you place the highest bid you will go. The system will automatically raise your bid if someone else bids. This does not mean that you will have to pay your max bid though.
Can you bid against yourself on an online auction? No. Placing in a new bid will either increase the maximum bidding or it will increase your current bid. Whoever has the highest bid by the end of the auction wins the item.
Live auctions have some similarities to online auctions. You are required to register for any live auction you attend and will typically be given a number on a sign.
Depending on the location, there will either be a seat provided or you will need to bring your own chairs. You should pick your seat as soon as possible to ensure you can see and hear the auctions. You are able to view the items before the auction starts to make sure they are in the condition that you want.
Bidding at a live auction is much more competitive. The auctioneer will list a price and to bid you raise your sign with the number. If no one else raises their sign before the auction says sold, you will win the item. Because of the fast-pace of the auctions, being able to listen and raise your sign as fast as possible is a must.
Much like online auctions, you can’t bid against yourself when you are in the lead. However, there is an exception to this rule. Sometimes, couples will both have the same number to bid with. If the couples aren’t together and don’t realize the other one is bidding on the item, the auctioneer may call both bids. This isn’t done on purpose. If the auctioneer knows the couple or sees the numbers are the same, he won’t take both bids.
As seen, bidding at auctions no matter if online or offline is a simple task. Some people might like online auctions more for the ease-of-use. Others may prefer the live auctions for the atmosphere and the people they get to meet. Regardless of which you prefer, bidding at an auction can be a fun way to spruce up your next buying experience.
(Points to self)
(Looks around to see if there is anyone else)
Yes, you…Absentee bidder number 256.
(Checks pocket bidder number and shrugs “what?”)
Well, would you like a tip for the next auction that you can’t make it to?
(Vigorously shakes head yes)
Good. Here it is: Learn how to place a maximum bid.
A maximum bid. You know, the largest amount of money that you are willing to pay to purchase an item that you see on-line.
Ok. Let’s think back to the last on-line auction you “attended”. Now think hard: was it an on-line only auction, or a live auction where you could place an absentee bid on-line before the live auction started?
(“You mean there’s a difference?”)
Oh yeah. There’s a difference.
(“I don’t get it.”)
Then let me help you understand.
On-line only auctions: These are auctions in which ALL the bidding is done on-line. You have probably done this in the past, and are familiar with the practices involved in bidding in this type of auction. Here’s how it runs down:
Live Auction with the option of absentee bidding on-line: This is a bit different in that while you can place an opening bid on-line (like a regular on-line auction), you will not be able to continue to place bids on-line once the live auction starts. A staff member from the auction house will bid on your behalf for the item you want against the people who were able to attend the auction. In order for you to have the best possible chance of being the winning bidder, you MUST place your maximum bid before the on-line absentee bidding closes. The auction house has to close the on-line absentee bidding about 30-60 minutes before the live auction in order to prepare for the auction. Let’s see what this looks like.
(“Ok, I think I get it now…maybe…”)
Here, how about you watch it in action.
(“Ok…so, I can’t just type in $1 as my bid and expect to win it.”)
Nope, you can’t.
(“Not even if I double check it right before the bidding closes and no one else bids higher than $1”.)
(“Because someone at the actual live auction might bid more than $1.”)
Now you’re getting it.
(“So, I need to enter the biggest amount of money that I want to spend on the Barbie, I mean, whatever it is I want to hope to win.”)
By George, I think you’ve got it!
(“Now I know why I didn’t win the item for only $1. I thought that was too good of a deal.”)
Great! Now you can do on-line absentee bidding with confidence.
(“Yes! I have just one more question for you.”)
(“Did Morgan get the guitar?”)
What do you think of when someone says the word “auction”, or says that they are going to an auction? Do you immediately think of a bunch of upper-class people dressed to the nines, sitting on fancy chairs, silently holding up a paddle to bid (or lightly touching their nose or giving an almost imperceptible nod of the head) while an auctioneer is dressed in a tuxedo with tails and the ringers in evening gowns and tuxes show off the items like Vanna White? Or do you envision of a bunch of county farmers chewing on strands of straw, standing around a barn yelling “Yep!” each time they want to bid on a bunch of old rusty stuff? Or perhaps you think of a bunch of items on a table with a piece of paper on them and people write down their bid and then keep walking around enjoying the fair, coming back on occasion to see if they’ve been outbid?
Obviously, the word “auction” means different things to different people.
So, if you’ve looked at some of the past blogs, you’ll notice that we’ve referenced a couple different types of auctions. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this blog, you’ll understand what each main type of auction is, and why that type of auction is chosen. The easiest reason why there are so many different types of auctions? Different reasons may lead you to try a different type of auction. Different strokes for different folks.
Live Auction: A live auction is your traditional auction. Within this, you have a couple different variations. There is the auction house / ballroom format, and the on-site or on-location auctions. These are open or transparent auctions in that people know what the other person is bidding and who is doing the bidding because you can see them. Let’s take a closer look at both of these.
Auction House: At an auction house or a ballroom auction, the auction is held in a large room. The auctioneer stands at the front of the room and items/lots are brought to the front by ringers to be auctioned off by the people in attendance. Each auction house has its own “flavor”. Some favor a very quiet bid floor where people hold up their little paddles and nobody other than the auctioneer says anything (or much of anything). Other auctioneers like a bit more life in their auctions and encourage people to move around and be vocal about their bids. This type of auction lends itself best to consignments and may have several different sellers. If you only have a couple choice items to sell, this may be the way to do it.
On-Site / On-Location: If when someone says “auction”, this is what most people envision. You drive out to the location, usually someone’s home, and the auctioneer conducts the auction, often moving around from one area to another to auction off items. Sometimes this is called an estate auction, as people are auctioning off a great many items from their estate to the highest bidder. To paraphrase Forest Gump: “An estate auction is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to find to bid on”.
On-Line Auction: This has become more popular as the internet has gained popularity. Perhaps you have items to sell and want to reach a larger audience than just your city and surrounding burgs. Yes, now, you too can enjoy some of the benefits of an auction in the comfort of your own home. You don’t even have to change out of your jammies if you don’t want to. To take part in an online auction, you simply register as a bidder (including your credit card number to secure your bids), then scroll through the items for that auction. Then if you see something you really like, you type in the amount you want to bid, click a button and Viola! You are now the high bidder on a basketful of great-grandma Johanna’s handmade aprons and embroidered dishtowels! Or not. You might have already been outbid by someone who placed a higher maximum bid. But more on THAT in a latter blog.
Sealed Bid Auction: This is usually when something of greater value (selling a home perhaps) or a contracting a service (like the city is looking for sealed bids on the construction of the new pavilion in the city center) is being considered and when confidential bids are preferred. People put down their bid (and sometimes terms) in an envelope, seal it, and deliver it to a certain place by a specific time. The party involved in the selling/purchasing will then look at the bids and make their decision.
Silent Auction: This is a very quiet auction. No talking aloud. Ok. Not really. But it is quiet in the sense that there is none of the traditional auctioneer banter and no one calling out bids. Often people donate items for a silent auction in the hopes of raising money for some charity or event. In front of each item is a piece of paper. Often the paper states the approximate value of the item. People then write down their name and the amount of their bid. Then the next person sees it, decides they want it, and records their name and a higher bid amount. The silent auction has a set ending time when people can come to see if they managed to win the gift certificate for a pedicure, pay for their pedicure voucher, and take it home.
Now, obviously, there are a few more specific auction types within these auctions mentioned above. There is the absolute auction, the reserve auction and the minimum bid auction, just to name a few. But I won’t confuse you with those now. I’ll save that for another time.
In the world of auctions and estate sales, it is sometimes confusing as to how things work with technology becoming more and more a part of our lives. We hope to be able to help you get a deeper understanding of these things by answering common questions to the best of our knowledge. One question that we get asked a lot is “What is the difference between an online auction and online absentee bidding?”.
Online Auction: An online only auction is automated and takes place solely online. The bidding for each lot is opened at the price set by the auctioneer. It usually starts at a set time, stays open over an extended period of hours or days, and closes at a set time. During this period of open bidding one will be able to see the current high bid on each lot. You will not be able to see what the other bidders’ max amounts are. You may place a higher bid at a defined bidding increment you choose. The bidders are sent an email if they are the high bidder, or if they have been outbid by another competing bidder. At the end of the bidding period, if the highest bid offered meets the minimum price designated by the seller as acceptable, the lot is sold. Bidding on all lots in a online only auction begin to close at a specified time. They usually have lots closing at regular intervals until the auction has ended. Some timed auctions allow extended bidding. This is often referred to as soft closing. This happens if a bid is placed on a lot within a specified time before closing; the bidding then may automatically be extended for a set period of time. Length of extended bidding is set by the Auctioneer before the opening of the auction.
Online Absentee Bidding: Say you find a lot (item) that you really like but you can’t make it to the live auction…You don’t have to! Instead you can place an “absentee” bid.
The process works as follows:
When you find a lot on which you want to bid, register to take part in the corresponding auction. Once you’re approved, go back to the lot page and input the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the particular lot in question. This amount is your absentee bid (left bid).
Approved bidders can place absentee bids up to one hour before the start of the live event. Once the auction starts, we then “process” all the absentee bids and calculate the winning absentee bid. This is the second highest bid plus one bid increment. This winning absentee bid value will then be communicated to the auctioneer.
Here is an example of how that would work:
• Corrie places an absentee bid of $1,000 for Lot #123
• Bob places an absentee bid of $1,500 for Lot #123
• Frank places an absentee bid of $2,000 for Lot #123
• Once we clear all the absentee bids, Frank will emerge as the winning bidder. The winning absentee bid amount for $1,600 ($1,500 plus one bid increment of $100).
When the live auction starts, we tell the auctioneer about the Internet absentee bid for $1,600. If no higher bids are received during the auction, Frank will be the winner. If a floor bidder places a bid above $1,600, the computer software (or the person bidding on the absentee bidders behalf) will then bid on Frank’s behalf up to his maximum of $2,000. We will never bid higher than Frank’s maximum amount.
Sometimes bids will be caught in the middle or what is also sometimes referred to as footing.
Here is an example of that:
• Bill places an absentee bid of $1,300
• Brenda is on the floor bidding live
• The auctioneer opens the bidding at $1,000, which goes to Bill
• The next increment is $1,100, which Brenda raises her paddle for and wins
• The computer (or person) proxy bids to $1,200 for Bill
• Brenda places the next bid and wins the auction at $1,300.
So even though Bill has a max bid of $1300, Brenda wins the item at $1300 because she had the high bid at that point .
Hopefully that helps give a clearer picture of what is going on with online auction bidding and online absentee bidding. We will have another common question soon for you to look at. Also, if you have questions that you would like to see answered on this blog, just send us a message.