Auction Term Glossary

Do you need to know what types of auctions there are? Read below for more details.

No reserve auctions

Item is sold to the highest bidder. This is the most popular type of online auction.

Auctions with reserve

Many online auctions start at $1.00 but have a higher reserve price so buyers will not win until the price has been reached.

Buy it now auctions

An online item is offered for instant purchase. This is now popular with mobile applications as a quick result.

Make an offer auctions

Items can be listed online, but the buyer can offer a lower price for a quick purchase.

Penny auctions

Most auctions now start at $1.00, but many sites start at 1 cent and are called penny auctions.

Police auctions

These auctions are held by police to offer at no reserve items seized in police raids.

Lost property auctions

Many utilities like transport departments received hundreds of items a day lost by travelling puplic and these are offered at public auctions.

Public auctions

These auctions are generally not online and are offered at no reserve.

Charity auctions

Many dinner parties end with charity auctions for worth while causes.

Dutch auctions

Is a descending auction starting at a high price and goes lower till a bid is placed.
It is popular for flower auctions and is very quick.

Sealed auctions

An item can be offered for auction but buyer has to place a sealed confidential bid.
Property auctions are common processes to sell property and are generally held at the property but now buyers will go mobile to make bids also.

EBay auctions

EBay was the pioneer for online auctions and are still popular today but many sites now offer same auction platforms.

Sotheby’s auctions

Also a pioneer in upmarket items with buyers purchasing from all over the world at these prestigious auctions.

Spectrum auctions

These auctions are held by governments to sell licenses to large corporations.


E commerce auctions and online auctions now account for majority of online purchases from jewelry to cars and farms!