All About Auctions 2017

Our annual guide for anyone interested in the world of auctions includes:
  • Bid and Buy Guide - advice on how to bid, buy and sell through auctions
  • 2017 Auction Calendar - pre-plan your 2017 auction diary
  • Auctioneers Index - your quick reference to the UK's most reputable auctioneers
  • Articles and editorials on the UK's leading auction companies
  • Property Auctions - A 5-page feature by property professionals RICS you won't want to miss!


TYPES OF SALE

Auctioneers use a variety of sales methods in order to realise the best price for the goods at their disposal. Below follows a brief description of the most common types of sale. The exact procedure may vary between one auctioneer and the next, so it's always good practice to familiarise yourself fully with the auctioneers guidelines and terms and conditions before placing a bid.

Online Auction

All bidding is conducted online over a specified time period typically ranging from a few days to several weeks. There will be a defined start and end time, although different lots may have different start/end times. Last minute bids will usually result in the closing time being extended, so the highest bid always wins.

Live Auction

The traditional auction conducted by an auctioneer either in their saleroom or at an on-site location with bids submitted from the floor or by telephone. All potential buyers need to register in order to bid and may need to leave a deposit. Bids are accepted in ascending order with the winning bid signalled by the auctioneer, usually with a call of “sold” and a drop of the gavel. These sales do not support online bidding.

Live/Online Auction

As for the live auction but in addition to bids from the floor, the auctioneer will also take online (sometimes referred to as “Webcast”) bids submitted and relayed to the auctioneer in real time via a computer screen/terminal. Potential bidders are usually vetted at the registration stage to make sure they are genuine.

Tender

The selling agent invites one-off written or online bids from interested parties, to be submitted by a given deadline, with the sale going to the highest offer. This is often the preferred method of sale for highly specialised items where the potential market is limited.

Private Treaty

This is a traditional sale method which may be conducted on or off line. The seller invites offers for the goods and then negotiates with interested parties to obtain the best price. 

Fixed Price Sale

Some auction platforms now have an Ebay type “Buy Now” option, which gives the buyer the opportunity to purchase at a fixed price. This method is ideal where the seller has a price at which they are willing to sell and the buyer is happy to purchase at that price, avoiding a bidding war with the competition. If conducted offline, potential buyers will attend the sale site where the price will indicated on the goods for sale, for example "25% off marked price".


SOURCE OF ASSETS

Where do the auction assets originate ? Here's a brief description of where the goods might have come from.

Insolvency Practitioners:

assets from liquidations, administrations, receiverships and bankruptcies

HMRC and Police Departments:

confiscated and impounded goods

Ministry of Defence:

surplus, unwanted and end of life assets including vehicles, plant, machinery, equipment

Post Office and Transport Operators:

lost, stolen, unclaimed and property from Royal Mail, airports, bus and railway stations, etc.

Public Utilities, Local Government Departments:

excess, over-stocked and unwanted equipment, vehicles, machinery and stocks

Finance Companies:

repossessed goods from businesses unable to meet the repayments

Trustees and Executors:

from the winding up of estates

Auctioneers:

specialist and general collective auctions held at the auctioneer's salesroom or at a dedicated outdoor site

Solvent Companies still trading:

assets no longer needed due to relocation, restructuring, overstocking.

High Street Retail Outlets and Chain Stores:

demonstration and damaged items, mail order and catalogue returns, end of line goods, etc.

Dealers and Traders:

who buy goods at a discount, often in bulk to resell at a profit



Asset Categories

The auctions listed on the site are categorised into the top level sectors listed below.
Click on the category names to see the sub-categories and details of what's included in each. 

Manufacturing

Construction

Agriculture

Vehicles & Motor Trade

General & Collective

IT & Office Equipment

Catering & Food Production

Science & Medical

Property & Land