Bidding Helpful Hints
Registering: The link to the auction site will go up about a week before the sale starts. If you bid last year, the names were all erased and you must create a new account. You do not need to register to watch the sale, but you do need to register if you want to bid. Create a “handle” and fill out all the required information. You will receive an email with a link to the confirmation website so we can verify the identity you entered. To be able to bid, you must follow through with the confirmation. If you have trouble, give us a call and we’ll help you out.
Bidding: Bidding is done by the “maximum bid” method. It is basically like phoning in to an auction that you can’t attend. When you phone in before a sale, you tell the auction manager, “I’d go as high as $10 per straw.” The sale happens and the auction people bid for you up to the $10 and you get them or you don’t. The “maximum bid” happens the same way. You indicate what you’d most be willing to pay, and the software bids for you up to that amount, only when somebody is bidding against you. When the auction opens, you can set your high bid and forget about it for the rest of the sale. Your maximum bid is not published to other bidders, so they don’t know where you’d quit. You are notified by email if your maximum bid has been overtaken and gives you a chance to bid higher later.
Here is an example of the process:
Bidder X likes lot #1 and wants to bid on this lot. He thinks they are worth $10 each, so that’s what he enters for his maximum bid. The opening bid is $3, and that is what’s indicated on the software.
Bidder Y comes along later and likes lot #1, so he wants to bid. He thinks they are worth $20 each, and sees that they are only at a $3 bid currently. So, he enters $7 for his maximum bid, trying to get them cheap. He is immediately informed that he has been outbid, since bidder X has a maximum of $10. The software indicates that lot #1 is at $8 and he needs to raise to at least $9. He then thinks, OK I’ll go to $9. He enters that and once again is told he’s been outbid and he must decide to keep raising his maximum or quit.
So, our advice is to not sit at the computer raising $1 at a time for 4 days, but go ahead and put your high bid and let the software do that work for you. Bidder X didn’t have to keep watch.
The big reason for this process is because it is a timed auction with a set expiration time. There could be 30 people all bidding on one lot as it expires, and it is unfair for people with faster internet connections to have the bidding advantage and slip in under the wire. Whoever has the highest maximum bid as the lot expires is the winning bidder. The highest maximum bid could have been made 4 days ago or 30 seconds ago.
If you are uncomfortable with the process, give us a call and we can walk you through it step by step, or we can accept phone bids up until the last day of the sale, Jan. 18th. We’ll enter the bids for you under the handle “buyeragent” or “buyeragent2”.
Reserve prices: Most of the lots have reserve prices set by the consignors. We do this rather than setting a minimum price to start, and the reserves are not published. We chose this way because when it comes right down to it, maybe consignors will make a deal if it’s close to the price they are wanting. If we did minimum prices, and people interested in the consignment think the minimum is too high, they don’t bid and we have no idea who was interested.
So, bid what you are willing to pay and let the chips fall where they may. For example, let’s say your highest bid was $10 per straw, and you were the winning bid but still didn’t reach the reserve. If the reserve was $12, you can bet that after the sale we’ll be in contact and try to make a deal.
Good luck and happy bidding!