FAQs For Internet Live Auctions

Unlike eBay where sellers are often individuals, live auctions frequently represent people who are tasked with the responsibility of liquidating large holdings in a short amount of time. Because of this need for expediency, well informed bidders will be able to pick up quality items for unbelievable prices.

Now that live auctions are increasingly available online, experienced auction goers, as well as novices, have questions about how online bidding works in conjunction with a live auction.

How Can Online Bids Compete with In-Person Bids?

Although auctions might look chaotic, they are very organized events. Large live auctions usually have spotters who pay attention to the crowd. When someone places a bid, the spotter will notify the auctioneer.

To make it possible for people to bid online, auction houses have an additional spotter equipped with a computer. First, the spotter inputs bids as they are accepted by the auctioneer. This allows people online to see the current bid.

Second, the spotter notifies the auctioneer of incoming online bids. After the auctioneer accepts an online bid (that is, he calls out the bid), this spotter uses the computer to notify the Internet audience of the new bid. By bidding online, you are essentially allowing the spotter to bid on your behalf.

How Much Does it Cost to Bid Online?

Registering and placing a bid should always be free. In fact, the only time you will have to pay for anything is when you win an item. However, bidders should be aware that sellers may have premiums and fees attached to the winning bid.

If these details aren’t included in the listing, make sure to ask before the live auction begins. The item listing or live auction catalog should have information on how to contact the seller.

How Do I Pay For My Item?

Payment varies based on the seller. Potential bidders should contact sellers before the beginning of the auction to ask about preferred payment methods. Payment type may also vary depending on the cost of the item.

For example, it is likely that sellers will request wire transfers to pay for things like cars, houses, and farm equipment. For less expensive items, most places accept credit cards or even secure payment sites such as PayPal.

How Do I Get My Item?

Again, this depends on the seller. Some sellers offer shipping services, but in many cases, the buyer will have to make arrangements to pick up the item. Make sure that you bid only on items in your geographic area.

But don’t let this deter you. Internet live auctions benefit the online bidder because you only have to travel to the auction house if you have won an item that needs picking up. In contrast, traditional bidders risk traveling to the auction and coming away empty handed.

Participating in Internet live auctions is a great way to find excellent deals on just about anything. While it is true that live auctions are less familiar than places like eBay or Bidz.com, they are well worth the effort of a little extra planning.

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