It was just 20 years ago that the idea of an online auction seemed new and unusual. Today, buyers and sellers participate in these busy online marketplaces everyday. As online auctions gained popularity, so did new ideas of what could be put up for bid. Websites like Auction Masters specialize in business liquidation – you never know what items will be available months from now, because there is a huge variety of businesses that use our services. We might hold a real estate auction one day and a precious stone auction the next. There are no bounds to what is “auctionable,” as proven by the following things that people actually bid on:
Believe it or not, auctions for thin air are extremely competitive. OK, so maybe not the air itself, but the waves hidden within the air. Since 1994, the FCC has conducted auctions for electromagnetic spectrum. There have been 87 spectrum auctions, and they have raised over $60 billion for the U.S. Treasury. Bidding takes place completely online, and participants such as Time Warner, Comcast and Verizon are willing to pay big money for a piece of the pie.
You may be aware that real estate auctions are extremely popular, but did you know you could bid on rentals as well? In competitive housing markets like New York and San Francisco, apartment auctions are gaining popularity. The website Rentberry makes it easy for landlords to post available apartments and for potential renters to name the price they’re willing to pay. Just like any other auction, participants can see the highest bid at all times. Technology is quickly changing the way people live, and the way they look for places to live.
Ever wondered how Google makes a profit? Whenever you perform a search, the ads at the top of the page cost something to someone. Interestingly, as soon as you click submit on a search, you are triggering an auction for the space at the top of the results. The brand or company that is willing to spend the most gets the prime pixels on your screen. Below the top ad, there are a few more ads are relevant to your search, but bid less for their spot. It’s not just Google that uses ad auctions – Twitter, Facebook and Bing have similar systems to monetize their services.
When an item has historical significance, it usually also has value. If you want to get a close look at a rare historical piece outside of a museum, be prepared to spend plenty of money. Some historical items can fetch millions of dollars at auction. For example, a Cycladic marble figure from the Aegean Islands dating over 4000 years went for $16 million in 2010. Not every item is so expensive, and we sometimes hold auctions featuring affordable historical items. Before you purchase a piece of history, it’s important to inspect the item to see its condition and size in person. Getting the most out of your purchase means knowing the details and history behind it. From Roman artifacts to Cold War memorabilia, you can purchase the past at auctions.
From rare bottles to easy drinkers, wine is a commodity that’s always in demand. You don’t have to go to a liquor store to pick up a Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay, you can place bids on mouthwatering wine right at your home computer. Wine lovers have discovered the benefits online auctions – larger selections, easier transactions and hidden deals. For sellers, online auctions are a great way to make money and free up room in the cellar for new batches. Fitting into the modern era is no problem for this substance that ages so well.
Auctions have become a significant part of our digital lives, and it’s easy to forget how far they have come over the years. There was a time when the auction house was the only place you could go to place bids. Today, nearly anything you can fathom is available at auction, and finding those things takes just a few clicks.
Whether you need to purchase ads for your company, or look for the perfect apartment, an online auction makes it easy to get things done. Participating in an auction is easy, but it doesn’t hurt to do some research beforehand. Check out our blog post “Online Bidding Tips 101: A Beginner’s Guide” before you place your first bid!