What is "Losing a Tie" and how to avoid it.
Brookline, New Hampshire
in conjunction with Scott Czaja
(A) What is "Losing a tie":
Live Auctions that accept "absentee bids" will sometimes have a "tie". This happens to absentee bidders only. If someone is bidding Live Online they will always have the option to advance the bid on their bidder console. Likewise, floor bidders always have the option of making one more bid.
The "losing a tie" only happens to absentee bidders. We have had people show up to the auction house after an auction expecting to pay and pickup their items. These guys see $80.00 in the prices realized list and that was their high bid, therefore, they must have won the bid. Not so.
(B) How it happens
"Losing a tie" takes a few forms.
(1) If there is a tie of $60.00 by 2 different bidders both using in-house or LiveAuctions the internet clerk or in-house clerk will announce an opening of $60.00. With no advances by the floor or online, the FIRST bidder at $60.00 will win the lot.
(2) Random start - please note that when ANY lot has multiple absentee bids the starting bid is always one bid over the #2 bidder. If we have $30 and $90, it starts at $35 (one increment over $30). If we have no absentee bids, it starts at $25. Note that it can be random who gets in at $25. It could be the internet clerk, it could be a floor bidder and it could be the in-house absentee clerk. This is a live event and floor bidders can jump in before either clerk. There is no way to guarantee who will get the first bid.
If I have an absentee bid of $70.00 I will try to start at $25. I may get the $25 opening bid for you. If a floor or internet bidder goes to $30, I will go to $35. If another bidder bids $40, I will bid $45 for you. If another bidder bids $50, I will bid $60 for you. If another bidder bids $70. I am stuck. We can't stop and explain that we have a tie. There is NO way to explain to LiveAuctioneer bidders what has happened. What has happened is that somebody other than you is at your maximum bid. You will lose this tie.
In example (1) above if we have $60 from an in-house and $60 from LiveAuctioneers, it is the random nature of the auctioneer recognizing which clerk chimes in first that will determine who the winner will be.
(C) What to do about losing a tie
I know from personal experience that in any given auction there are some things I want more than others. When something means a lot to me I will add one increment to the highest amount I was going to bid. If it's just a case of a minor upgrade in condition on an item, I might not bother to add one more increment. I know when I get a bid sheet with amounts like $110 and $210 that the bidder has probably lost some ties at the $100 and $200 levels. I am not suggtestig that you always add an increment but consider that you might lose a tie at your exact high bid amount.
Last update: 1/16/2017
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