Live Auctions: A Beginner’s Guide

live auction

EBay and its competitors have renewed the popularity of auction-style sales, but many online auction devotees have been too busy or too intimidated to try the real thing – a live auction. They are the equivalent of football fans who have never seen their team play in the stadium.

Even if you have never used a computer as a tool of commerce, live auctions can be fascinating experiences, especially if you’re interested learning the monetary value of things or seeing an alternative form of commerce in action. Plus, auctions are full of hidden treasures, great deals, and the excitement of competition. If you haven’t yet attended a live auction, give it a try!

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7 Responses to Live Auctions: A Beginner’s Guide

  1. scfr says:

    Thanks – This article was very well-written and informative. How do auctioneers typically get their commission: Is a buyer’s premium added on to the winning bid amount, or do they take their cut out of the sales price?

  2. Shannon Christman says:

    The source of the commission varies by auctioneer. Most take a commission from the sellers, but some have started to charge buyers a portion of the commission, as well, to entice sellers to bring more good stuff to sell.

  3. mark says:

    I enjoy storage unit auctions. You never know what you are going to find in one of those boxes.

  4. fjp says:

    You can also bid in live auctions from your PC just like you were there in person. Check out for a listing of webcast live auction events.

  5. vren says:

    I find that there are so many people that are trying to resell on eBay these days that prices are much higher than they used to be. It’s hard to find the great bargains you once could.

  6. Ryan says:

    A new approach to real-time live auction is coming soon. During beta release all listing fees will be waived. site domain is Any comments are gladly welcome.

  7. Jim says:

    Some good advice. HOWEVER, some advice that may be illegal.
    At auction, there is a general rule: No one sells anything, except the auctioneer. There is a reason for this.

    You can not form any kind of agreement with another bidder, as it may stifle the potential bidding. This is called “collusion” and it is a felony, under the Sherman Act, which carries a $350,000 fine & up to 3 years in jail for an individual or a $10 million fine for a corporation.

    If someone outbids you on the item you want, you might ask if they intend to sell it and ask for their business card or phone number. However, don’t discuss the particular item or price or anything else at the auction. It could appear that you are in collusion with them. Remember, it is the auctioneers job to get the Best Price for the items. Anything that causes someone not to bid on something that they might have otherwise bid on, is unethical and possibly illegal.

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