The changing times for the Auction Gavel.

There’s just something about going to auctions. The advertising leading up to the upcoming sale, can create an exciting spectacle. Auctions are a great strategy to buy or sell.

Auctions have been changing in the past few years though. In the recent past, a person could take part in the proceedings without actually being on site. This new method of bidding via a phone call and then later by personal computer started as a convenience to bidders. The recent pandemic made this the new normal due to social distancing.

Now in recent times, auction companies are conducting their sales more like the method Ebay uses. The bidding is taking place online for a certain amount of time, with a set closing date.

This new style opens up buyers in a much larger arena. The larger audience may have its pros and cons though.  If a buyer is the type with need to actually “kick the tires” this new method may not be to their particular liking. Auctioneers do have open houses displaying the for sale items.  The con is travel to the open house. This convenience helps insure the buyers confidence. Otherwise consideration in pictures and videos determine maximum bids. Further con is the travel may double.  Generally there is a date to pick up the items after the sale has closed. Shipping is more the buyer’s concern.

A few auction houses have started filming the prospective purchases. This helps demonstrate “real time” authenticity. This helps eliminate questions for distant prospective purchasers.

A buyer needs  confidence in the auctioneer. My personal recommendation is dealing with reputable known companies.  The good ones ease the sale burdens by helping arrangement of shipping, answer questions, and address concerns. Sales managers are only a phone call, text or email away.

A new method of extended bidding has been introduced in the online style of auction. The whole sale continues beyond the scheduled closing time. This gives bidders a last minute chance to place a winning bid. I’ve heard conflicting opinions towards this practice.

The times are changing, we all need to embrace this new reality. What will be sad is live on sight auctions becoming a thing of the past. Listening to an auctioneer chant may become a forgotten song in the wind.

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