Internet Auctions: Frequently Asked Questions

Are you interested in selling your unproductive assets through Internet auctions with an auction house? Are you looking for information about the various forms of Internet auctions offered at an auction house? Then this article is for you. This article will answer frequently asked questions about Internet auctions including what is an Internet only auction, what is a simulcast auction and more.

Q: Should I sell my property through Internet auctions or traditional “live” auctions?
It depends on the type of product that you are selling. In some cases where you have a large amount of product to sell that would “flood” the market in your area – it is best to sell your items on the Internet. In other cases, where your products must be seen to be appreciated, a traditional auction fits your needs. There are times however when both marketing methods will meet your needs.

Q: What is an Internet Only Auction?
Auction houses commonly offer Internet only auctions. In these Internet auctions, all auction lots are listed in an online catalog with a description and a photograph and are available for viewing and proxy bidding by registered Internet bidders until the auction close date and time – there is no Simulcast Bidding for Internet Only auctions.

Q. What is a Simulcast Auction?
A Simulcast Auction, combines live auctions and Internet auctions. It is an auction where live bidders are physically present onsite at an auction location bidding against Internet bidders online who have either placed a proxy bid or are bidding live in real time from their computer.

Q: How does the Simulcast Auction work?
In Simulcast Auctions, all lots are listed in an online catalog with a description and a photograph and are available for viewing and proxy bidding by registered Internet bidders for approximately seven days prior to the live auction event. When the live auction event begins, Simulcast Live Bidding opens for online bidders so they can place a bid in real time and compete against the live auction attendees.

Q: What is a Proxy Bid?
A proxy bid is one you enter in the maximum field and represents the highest amount you are willing to bid for a particular item/lot. Once you enter a proxy bid, the auction house’s computer system will bid for you up to that amount, increasing your bid by the minimum bid increment only when you have been outbid by another bidder either Internet or Live bidder. So, you could win the lot for less than the proxy bid you entered or possibly be completely outbid. Many auction houses recommend proxy bidding over simulcast bidding when participating in Internet auctions.

Q: Why do you recommend proxy bidding over Simulcast Live Bidding?
Proxy bids save you time because you don’t have to watch the Internet auctions or attend the live auction – the computer bids for you. Proxy bids make sure that your bids are recognized, just in case you have to leave your computer, or your bid is not registered prior to item closing due to slow or delayed modem, or something happens to your Internet connection during internet auctions. Proxy bids are especially useful when you are bidding on many lots that are closing within minutes of each other. They will make sure that you don’t miss out on lots just because you are bidding on another lot. In addition, at the live event, a dedicated Internet Auction Clerk represents the proxy bids in increments as necessary to protect the interest you indicated, so it is just like being live in person at the auction.

If you have more questions about Internet auctions, contact an auction house in your area. A reputable auction house will offer the aforementioned services and will gladly answer your questions about their services.

Deb Weidenhamer is President of Auction Systems, the Southwest’s most active auction and appraisal company, as featured in TLC’s newest reality show, AUCTIONEER$ . Contact us for more information about internet auctions.

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