Do live online auctions offer catalogs of their products or do you just have to show up when the auction happens to see what’s being sold? That’s a question we recently heard from someone and we’re going to answer it in a moment.
First though, for those not familiar with the concept and who haven’t seen our other articles on this subject, live online auctions are not like any other auction site on the Internet. They’re not an eBay-like event where it is, in essence, a silent auction. Instead, these auctions are run on the spot (i.e. live) and are run by a professional, licensed auctioneer.
Auctions ran live and online by a real auction house (at least those that are legitimate – there will unfortunately, as in every business always be scammers) will conform to all the standard auction rules that are used in regular, live auctions. Now, on to the question we were asked.
Online Auction Catalog
Most often, an auction house that runs live auctions via the Internet will not publish a catalog the way the more traditional auction houses do. They do not want to send out piles of fat books, most silent auction ideas of which will be a waste anyway. However, that doesn’t mean you just show up and see what’s being sold.
Instead, you will find what we call an online auction catalog. In essence, this is a catalog which exists entirely online and which is browseable and searchable just like when you might visit a web site. In fact, many online auction houses will actually offer you a catalog where you can mark off your favorite items and then be reminded that you were interested in bidding when it actually comes up for sale.
However, for those who still like the traditional catalogs, there are some who will send out a catalog and in other cases, you can get a catalog in the form a PDF file which you can read on your iPad or other tablet computer so you can feel very 21st century while still getting the feel of an auction catalog.
Better than Regular Catalogs
Speaking of those online auction catalogs, did you know that they are, in fact, better than the traditional catalogs? Take a catalog off your shelf and start flipping through it. See what they have for sale that you think you might be interested in. Then take a look down at the descriptions. Do you notice that some things say “picture not shown?” That’s because every color page costs a lot of money to print.
However, with an online catalog, everything gets shown and you may find a gem you’re interested in that you didn’t even know about. Plus, you can do absentee bidding for it as well.
Bidding On the Spot and Absentee Bidding
So what’s this about absentee bidding we mentioned? Well, you can of course simply be sitting in front of your computer and placing bids on the spot for whatever it is you happen to be interested in purchasing, or you can arrange for an absentee bid the same as you would at a more traditional auction house.