The 6 Different Types of Online Auctions

Thanks to the ease of the internet, participating in auctions has never been easier. Though many people still prefer the thrill of a live auction in Dania Beach, online auctions are quick and convenient — you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to place a winning bid on an antique or jewelry item. But virtuality isn’t the only thing that makes online auctions different from live auctions.

There are different online auctions with different rules and procedures for bidding and winning. If you are interested in heading onto an auction site, it’s important to know the difference between these different auction styles so you know just what kind of bidding environment you’re getting yourself into. These are the 6 different auctions that you could encounter online.

English Online Auctions

These are the most common form of auction both online and among established auction houses. During an English auction, one single item is put up for bid at a time. The first item is presented and the auctioneer announces the starting bid. The individuals who are interested in this item then make their bids. Bidders accept offers of increased pricing one at a time until no one can outbid the last bidder. The person with the highest and unmatched bid wins possession of the item.

This is an easy-to-follow style of auction, which makes it a very popular method in person. This style also translates effectively onto auction websites. Online bidders can clearly see the bid made before them. This transparency promotes the submission of higher bids. Some online English auctions put a maximum bid into place before the auction starts. If this bid is reached or exceeded, other bidders can choose whether they wish to top the last bid or forfeit the auction.

Though in-person English auctions end almost as quickly as they begin, online auctions often last for much longer. Online English auctions have been known to last for days or even weeks. This additional time allows auction sites the opportunity to attract many potential bidders. Some websites provide users the option to receive emailed updates or text alerts when bid updates are made.

Reverse Auctions

A reverse auction works in the opposite way that an English auction would. In an English auction, multiple buyers seek to purchase one seller’s item. The seller, in this case, is looking for a bid of the highest price. In a reverse auction, multiple sellers seek to provide their item to a single buyer. Instead of outmatching each other with higher bids, the bidding sellers try to give the lowest price possible until one of the sellers reaches a price that makes the buyer content.

Reverse auctions are not usually used for the selling of antique items. Instead, they are often used in business settings. For example; if a company needs to buy office furniture in bulk, it may use a reverse auction with several suppliers who will offer their products for a better price. The lowest price doesn’t necessarily mean a guaranteed contract. A bidder with a higher price but a quicker delivery time may win against a bidder with less expensive products and a long wait.

Online Penny Auctions

Penny auctions happen exclusively online. In a penny auction, a buyer must purchase the right to bid before the auction starts. During the auction, bids only drive the price up by a penny, hence the name. However, buyers who buy in purchase a limited number of bids before the start of the auction. These auctions are also set with a time limit. When the time is up, the highest bid wins. This is a popular choice of auction among bidders, as it allows them to pay significantly lower prices for items than their retail cost — so long as a high number of bidders aren’t driving the cost too high.

Dutch Auctions

Dutch auctions are like reverse auctions. The opening price is high and is lowered throughout the course of the auction until a buyer decides to accept. Though this method isn’t typically used in live auction houses, it is a very popular style online. The key difference between a Dutch auction and a reverse auction is that a Dutch auction involves only one seller offering their item or service.

Dutch auctions are used for business matters rather than antiques. Startup companies may opt to use Dutch auctions as a way to seek investors. The company begins by presenting a share price and then lowers it gradually over time to see who would purchase at each passing price. The share price with the highest number of bids for the most shares becomes the cut that all the winners pay.

First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions

These auctions are like traditional English auctions. The prize goes to the highest bidder. But rather than have a continuous bidding war, buyers give only a single bid. Once all the participants have made their bids, the auctioneer reads through them all. The highest bid wins the item. Sealed-bid auctions are less competitive because none of the bidders know the prices their competitors are offering until the winner is selected.

Vickrey Auctions

A Vickrey auction is similar to the aforementioned first-price sealed-bid auction. In this auction, the highest bidder gets to pay the offered amount that the second-highest bidder gave. Online auctioneers use this bidding style as a tactic to prevent participants from placing bids that are too high/low. The buyer must contemplate the item’s actual worth to make a successful bid.

Auctions Offer Exciting Ways to Buy and sell

Online auctions are an effective way to make sure you are paying a reasonable price for your antique, painting, or jewelry piece. Though bidding online is fun, coming to a live auction in Dania Beach makes for an even more exciting time. Do you have valuable items that you would like to sell? Bring your antiques to your local auctioneer for great auction appraisals in Palm Beach.