Whisky-Online Auctions is a family business and the family has been associated with auctions for two generations. A question we are often asked is whether or not to have a reserve.
It's the auctioneers job to create as much competition as possible, (remember that’s what you are paying them for) and engagement is a key factor. A fixed reserve will remove a percentage of the competition that creates a great auction.
Setting a reserve takes away the competitive edge and the buyer feels that the auctioneer or the seller is being greedy and will therefore avoid bidding or not engage in bidding too far beyond the reserve in protest. Bidders have to feel they have a chance to get a bargain, engaging in the bidding process is what draws them to an auction in the first place.
The evidence suggests that lots without a reserve will attract more bidders than those with a fixed reserve (ask yourself a question, as a buyer why would you bid on an item with a reserve when there is the same item without a reserve?).
We have seen in the past where items with a reserve have failed to sell, yet in the same sale an identical lot without a reserve has sold at a much higher price than the fixed reserve lot which subsequently went unsold.
We are proud that 98% of the items offered in our auctions are sold at very good prices, frequently achieving world record prices. A record unmatched by any other auction.
Reserves can still be set by request of the seller at a fee of £5 per lot.
Tip! If the potential seller has done their research and they choose the right auctioneer, letting the auction run its course will pay dividends. If the auctioneer has given estimates they will be based on current prices recently achieved and the seller should be confident that the Auctioneer will deliver similar results or even better.