I can remember when online only auctions first started making the rounds in the industry.  You heard things like, “they are just a fad” and “people want to attend live auctions”.  While the second one can be the case in certain instances, I think it is safe to say that online auctions (in some form or other) are here to stay (at least until something new takes their place).

This isn’t going to be history lesson of online auctions but more of a comparison of different forms of online and live auctions and why the asset and potential buyers help determine the format used.  There are 3 formats that will be covered and those are live, online only and simulcast auctions.

LIVE AUCTIONS

This is exactly what it sounds like.  A live is where the bidders must either be present to bid or they could have the option of submitting absentee bids or placing phone bids during the live event as though they were present.  We use live auctions for selling assets such as higher end real estate because we have found that most bidders, when given the choice, choose to either be present or bid by phone.  We have found that many are not comfortable placing bids for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars online and we want to make sure that every potential buyer is participating.  Live auctions also work well where you are selling to people that like and are accustomed to attending live auctions.

ONLINE ONLY AUCTIONS

You only have to look at the success eBay has had over the years to see that online only auctions are here to stay.  Don’t confuse an online only auction with someone selling items on Facebook and calling it an auction.  Real auctions are conducted under Federal and State laws,  and include licensing, advertising, accountability, insurance and reporting.  Online auctions have grown because buyers can view the items, bid and pay from their computer, tablet or phone.  Buyer’s today want their items without having to drive to 5 different stores and they prefer to shop online.  Online only auctions make that possible.

SIMULCAST AUCTIONS

Simulcast auctions are live auctions that is also online and gives online bidders the chance to bid just like they were sitting at the live event.  There are many different applications for a simulcast auction such as car auctions, equipment, industrial and collectibles.  Real estate is another asset that can require simulcast.  In real estate, if the buyers will most likely come from a long distance away, simulcast auctions work well.  It keeps them from having to travel to tour the property and then come back to bid.  Simulcast auctions sometimes provide audio and or video of the auction so that you get the feel of being at the live event.

Redfield Group Auctions has a tremendous amount of experience in all 3 formats and have sold thousands of items and properties all over North America using these formats.