Many people think of auctions as loud, crowded rooms with collectors and their assistants shouting over one another, straining to outbid each other on priceless items as the auctioneer rattles off steadily rising numbers. Movies and TV shows depict auctions as bustling and competitive affairs, where valuables can be claimed and lost in the time it takes to raise a bid card. This traditional form of placing an auction bid- live and in-person- is still a popular and efficient way to participate in auction events, and many people enjoy the process. However, for those collectors and buyers who don’t want to travel to physical auction locations, or who are unable to do so, there are actually quite a number of ways to place an auction bid virtually from the comfort of home.
3 Ways to Place a Virtual Auction Bid
Collectors and buyers who are interested in specific items, such as classic cars or Victorian-era furniture, will find pieces that pique their interest at auctions around the world. However, it may be inconvenient or even impossible for some people to travel to every event and location that features items that they want to add to their personal collection. In order to allow people to bid from remote locations or even the comfort of their own home, many auction houses offer three different options for making an auction bid without being physically present at the auction:
1. Absentee Auction Bid
When a buyer decides on an item they want to bid on, they can make the trek all the way to the live auction and bid in person. Or, they can place an absentee bid and rest assured that their bid will never rise above their maximum price point and that they will still have a chance at taking home the item that caught their eye.
Here’s how it works: the buyer registers with the auction, and then designates their maximum auction bid for the item they want. When bidding begins, the absentee bidder’s offer will be increased by one bid increment until they reach their maximum bid. If the absentee bidder has the highest bid, they will be awarded the item. The absentee bid is never increased past the maximum that the bidder designates before the auction begins, so the buyer never has to worry that they will pay more for an item than they intended to. Their bid also increases along the same bid increments as live bidders. It’s like being at an auction, without the travel and hassle!
2. Phone Bidding
Phones have changed the way we do business in every realm, including auctions. Today, buyers can place a virtual auction bid over the phone when they are unable to be physically present at an auction. This option is popular with people who value their privacy, as well as people who are bidding from out of town and still want to participate in an auction.
To place a phone bid, a buyer registers with an auction and fills out bid forms which designate which item they wish to bid on, and gives their permission for placing phone bids. When the item the buyer wants to bid on comes up, an auction official calls them via telephone. The official relays the bidding action over the phone, and places bids for the potential buyer in real time. Like any live bidder, a phone bidder can increase their auction bid as much as they desire until they reach their maximum bid or they win the lot/item. In this fashion, someone can acquire a collectible or valuable item simply by being near the phone when the auction official calls in.
3. Online Bidding
Even more so than phones, the Internet has revolutionized the way our daily lives and business transactions operate. The auction world is no exception: one of the most popular forms of participating in auctions is through online bidding.
Ebay made this option mainstream, but placing an online bid is possible not just on popular eCommerce sites, but through prestigious auction houses as well. Many auctions offer online bidding as an option for virtual participation in events. It works similarly to live bidding. The auction house generally sets up a website that lists items and lots, complete with pictures and a portal for entering bids. From the comfort of their own home, a buyer can register for an auction event and place bids in real time through the online portal. This option is hugely popular, as it allows the buyer to participate in an auction live, without having to be physically present at the auction house.
Diverse Ways to Place an Auction Bid
The modern world is rapidly changing, and auction houses are keeping up by offering multiple ways to participate in auction events. At Four Seasons Auction Gallery, we offer live, phone, absentee, and online bidding for buyers who wish to engage in the auction process in any of these forms. These options also allow sellers to place items on consignment and rest assured that they have the best chance at getting the highest bid for their goods through a reputable auctioneer. If you are interested in selling through a certified and experienced auction house or want information on what is up for bid in upcoming auctions, call us today at 470-589-1653.