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What Is A Consumer Good Auction & How Can You Get Involved?

By: Sunny West


Laptop keyboard , shopping cart and auction hammer on table, online auction concept

Auctions aren’t new to both older and younger people. Such events involve holding goods or properties on a public sale, allowing participants to bid on them, and giving the item to the highest bidder. The platform for consumer good auctions has evolved from physical auction venues to online auction sites.

Aside from consumer good auctions, people can also participate in online high street good auctions. Auctions of consumer goods like this are suitable for those looking for rare luxury items.

In this post, you’ll learn more about consumer good auctions and how you can participate in this unique buying experience.

What Is A Consumer Good Auction?

Consumer goods refer to products that people buy and use on a regular basis. Anything you see at a farmer’s market, in a grocery store, inside a shopping mall, or in similar commercial establishments is considered a consumer good. The prices of these goods are largely determined by the supply and demand for them. With that said, consumer good auctions refer to bidding for consumer goods instead of buying them at fixed prices.

How Can You Get Involved?

One can be part of a consumer good auction through online and offline channels. The two vary in several ways.

Online Auctions

The Federal Trade Commision (FTC) has a short guide on how online auctions work. Participating in an online auction would entail committing your personal information and money aside from undergoing the bidding itself. For this reason, the FTC highly recommends doing the following to keep yourself safe:

  • Check – Avoid scams by checking the reputation of the online auction platform and the seller. Be wary of shill bidders who work with sellers to intentionally increase the price of an item for auction.
  • Decide – Before bidding, decide on and stick to the amount you can afford to spend. When computing your top bid, you also have to consider other costs such as shipping, taxes, and handling.
  • Document – If you end up as the highest bidder, save and print copies of the item description or listing and the final price.
  • Pay – Pay for your winning item on the auction site’s by seller’s deadline using a secure online payment system, your credit card, or a recommended escrow service on the auction site.

Offline Auctions

Traditional or offline auctions enable bidders to examine the available items closely. They can ask questions before the event to get a better idea of the products for auctioning and their asking prices. Some of the advantages of offline auctions is that they’re more fun and keep you better informed than online auctions since you get to see the actual items.

With offline auctions, one can find, buy, and walk away with their desired items and enjoy the rush of outbidding other people. What’s more, you can have the satisfaction of getting your goods within minutes after paying for them.

Here’s how offline auctions work:

  • The auctioneer calls out the item for auction and the bids.
  • Participants compete with each other and announce their price bids to see who wins.
  • This type of auction is more of a social occasion, like a charity event or a gallery opening, because buyers and sellers get to know each other.

Online Versus Offline Auctions

In an offline or traditional auction, you can see the items in person. Also, you can ask questions to clear any doubts you may have. Traditional auctions are perceived as an exciting experience due to the added social element than an online auction doesn’t have.

However, things have changed in the auction world, with online auctions becoming more social and immersive because of the following innovative technologies:

  • 3D Product Configuration – With application programming interface (API) technology, a set of programming codes allows auctioneers to create a detailed look of an item for auction. Auctioneers who have limited new or used items for sale can use 3D product configuration to highlight their offerings’ best qualities.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) And Virtual Reality (VR) – With AR and VR technologies, consumers can experience both the physical and digital worlds. These enable consumers to see items for auction in the same way one can in reality.
  • Video Conferencing Auctioneers make use of video conferencing for live streaming, allowing participants to bid prices on items they want to buy.
  • Social Commerce Live streaming auctions through social media sites are popular nowadays. Bidders can comment their bidding price instead of calling it out. Social commerce has truly revolutionized the retail industry.

Combining Online And Offline Auctions

Auction houses with both a physical or an online presence provide immense flexibility. Because of today’s fast-paced life and the current pandemic, consumers may find it difficult to visit auction galleries or to take more time to contemplate before making a bid decision. Fortunately, consumer good auctions can be done by combining online and traditional auctions through augmented reality.

With augmented reality, people’s views potentially change because one can look at items for auction exactly as one does at a museum or gallery. Technological advances also enable auction participants to touch consumer goods without restrictions.

While scientists and doctors are busy vaccinating the masses and finding ways to strengthen people’s immune system against the coronavirus, auctioneers and bidders must comply with existing safety protocols if they want to keep auctions alive. One of the best ways to do this is to combine online and offline auctions.


Consumer good auctions involve bidding for a particular item for the highest price, such as a collectible mug, bag, furniture, watch, or even high-end items. People with a common interest get to meet each other in traditional or offline auctions, whereas online auctions require the use of the internet.

While there are many advantages to attending traditional auctions, everyone needs to comply with social distancing and other health and safety protocols due to COVID-19. It’s a good thing that online auctions are available as they allow sellers and bidders to still engage in auctions. Combining online and offline auctions is now possible with AR, VR, and other advanced technologies.

Published: April 23, 2021

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Sunny West

Sunny West is a sales and marketing consultant for high-street goods. She imparts her expertise in marketing and product authentication through her web content and published articles in various business resources. Sunny enjoys camping, swimming, and cooking. She is married and has three lovely daughters.

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