How To Bid
Bidding on the internet is much the same as bidding for an item on-site in a live auction room. There are many different styles of auctions and an online auction seeks to replicate each experience, for buyers to participate from anywhere in the world. For those who have not taken part in an online coffee auction before, here’s how the process works.
How does the auction work?
The most important part of any auction is the bidding. In a traditional auction the bidding starts for one lot at a time, with bids increasing until the highest bid, with no further bids above it, wins the lot. Specialty coffee auctions are different – they work as a ‘Helmsman’ style auction also known as ‘multi-unit’. It works like this:
- Open bidding starts and continues on all lots simultaneously until each and every lot has received an initial bid.
- As soon as every lot has a first bid on it, the clock starts ticking for the whole auction and all lots are set with a 3 minute countdown.
- Each time a new bid is placed on any of the lots the clock resets to 3 minutes for all the lots. o The auction continues until the clock hits zero with no further bids to reset it.
- In this way the bidding on the auction as a whole sets the price for all the lots. Because the outcome of each lot is dependent upon the clock and the competitive bidding on the other lots, the clock is reset many times over.
How long does the auction last?
The usual time allowed for the initial period (before all lots have received a bid) is an hour, but will be determined by the number of lots and participating buyers. Once the clock starts ticking, it all depends on the level of demand. Do not be mistaken into thinking that this style of auction is over very quickly - expect several hours for specialty coffee auctions.
Do I have to register?
Yes, to bid in our auction you have to first register with us. This means we know who you are and that you understand and accept our Terms & Conditions. Once your registration has been accepted you can begin bidding.
How can I keep track of the auction in progress?
Our online bidding updates in real time – this means that you do not have to reload or refresh the website page to find out what the current highest bid is - the page will update automatically every 3 seconds. Your winning and losing status will be updated in real time as bids are entered by other users against your bids.
Real time updates are essential in a coffee auction where the auction clock is counting down quickly between bids, and it is what makes online systems perfect for this type of auction. We recommend that you have a fast stable internet connection for your auction participation.