Reserve prices can be enabled for both Live and Timed Sales, and can either be specified in single or batch lot upload. For single lot upload, fill in the Reserve Price field with a numeric number. Please exclude any currencies or decimal places.
For batch lot upload, include a column titled Reserve Price. As with the other numeric inputs, please keep these inputs to whole numbers like ‘1000’ and exclude commas or periods. A sample sheet can be downloaded here.
Reserve prices are applied in automated notifications during absentee bidding and timed sales. During absentee bidding, bidders will be notified if their bid is under the reserve amount. This same alert status will be reflected on item pages and the bidders’ My Bids page. Once the reserve is met or exceeded, the alert status will no longer appear.
During your Live Sale (sales operated by a live clerk), there will be no automatic reserve alerts, as that function is manually controlled from the clerking console.
All Timed Sales can and will implement the reserve pricing updates. All catalogs on the Online Auctioneer plan run automatically as a Timed Sale. Catalogs on the Auctioneer plan, which are opted into running a Timed Sale will also have reserve pricing updates. You can opt into the Timed Sale on the 'Video' tab of the auction upload.
Lots with designated reserves during Timed Sales will not sell unless the reserve price is met. The lot's asking price will continually progress toward the reserve price by increasing the asking price in increments of half the difference between the current bid and the reserve price. As an example, a bidder who places a live bid $500 on a lot with a $1,000 reserve, will be asked to bid $750 on their next bid. Absentee bidders are not progressed to an asking price but are simply alerted that the reserve has not been met. All asking prices influenced by a reserve will land on-increment.
Important Note: At no point in the bidding process are reserve prices revealed.
What are some best practices for listing reserve prices?
- Reserves should not be higher than the low estimate. The low estimate should be a reasonable and achievable outcome for the final price of an item.
- Reserves cannot be changed after the item has already sold.
- Per the above, lots can not be canceled post-sale due to them not reaching a perceived value. A reserve should be the minimum for which a lot will sell; once the reserve is met, the bidder has met the base requirement for winning the item.
- Conversely, bidders should not be able to cancel a sale if they bid above the reserve and won the item at or above that amount
- Buyers should always be informed on our site when there is a reserve on an item. Utilize the reserve price feature to inform bidders.
- It is not appropriate for an auction house to bid on their own items past the reserve price.
- Changes to reserves should be made no later than two hours to the start of a sale.
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