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What are the different types of products available in auctions?

Types of auctions and products available banner

Over the past decade auctions have increased in popularity and are becoming more accessible with buyers being able to place bids online at the tip of their fingers.

People are often surprised at the different categories of auctions and the diverse selection of items you can buy and sell through auction. From tractors to trainers, fragrances to fridge-freezers and apartments to artwork, you can find almost anything in an auction with big savings to be made.

Charity auctions

Charity Auctions are a popular way of raising money for charitable causes and involve selling products and services donated by generous individuals. They often include novelty and intangible items, such as having dinner with a celebrity or signed memorabilia.

One of the most interesting items sold in a charity auction was a black dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge sold for an astonishing $125,000 at a Passion of Fashion charity sale.

Global Auctioneers have hosted several charity auctions including a sale in May 2021 dedicated to Gamers Beat Cancer, who provide interactive gaming solutions and technology for cancer sufferers whether they are at home, hospital or in hospices to alleviate feelings of isolation.

Real Estate

Real estate auctions are a fast and effective way of buying and selling property to alleviate much of the hassle associated with estate agents.

The numerous advantages of property auctions include the faster speed of the sale, which can reduce long term costs like local authority rates, greater clarity when a property will be sold, elimination of long negotiating periods and erasing the burden of viewings.

Did you know the grade I listed castle in North Wales used to film the reality show I’m a Celebrity was purchased at an auction in 1946 for £12,000?

Antiques

Awareness of antiques auctions has increased among the General Public with the popularity of antique television shows. Due to the specialist nature of the products, these auctions are an ideal way of connecting buyers and sellers with an interest and expertise in antiques from across the world.

A fascinating product sold through auction was an 18th century Chinese Qing Dynasty Vase, which sold for $51 million after a family in suburban London cleared the attic of a house.

Consumer Goods

People are increasingly turning to consumer goods auctions for furniture, appliances, soft furnishings, garden products, white goods, home improvement goods, baby wear, electricals and fashion.

Traders, car boot sellers, eBay traders, members of the public and landlords can all take advantage of the bargains available at these auctions, which can include new goods, liquidated stock, customer returns and graded products.

Global Auctioneers’ Wednesday General Sale, Saturday Mega Auction and Trader Tuesday Sale are brimming with bargains from leading brands like John LewisSwoon, Made and Wayfair.

Police and Law Enforcement

Police Auctions consist of goods that have been seized by the Police and law enforcement agencies. Police Forces utilise auction houses as a last resort for stolen or misplaced goods where the original owner cannot be traced.

The Police have a limited storage capacity so after a certain period of time unclaimed items are sold via auction where there is no realistic prospect of them being reunited with the owner.

You can find a variety of items ranging from vehicles, jewellery, homeware, electricals, clothing and much more. On the other hand, some Police auctions have included weird and wacky goods like prosthetic limbs, chocolate bars, sledgehammers and VHS tapes.

Food and beverages

Food and beverage auctions include an array of lots that are close to the expiry date, excess stock, liquidated items or novelty gifts. The fast-paced nature of an auction sale ensures food can be sold, distributed and consumed before expiry dates are reached to prevent the goods from perishing.

A rare bottle of Romanee-Conti Burgundy was sold in an auction for $558,000. The value was extremely high given only 600 bottles were made in 1945 before the grapevines were dug up. We highly doubt the winning bidders cracked open this particular bottle of wine to celebrate.

Cars and vehicles

Auto auctions are still one of the most popular types of auctions with over 12,000 vehicles sold each week in the UK.

Both car traders and members of the public buy and sell an assortment of cars, classic cars, vans, motorcycles and commercial vehicles through auction. They include ex-demonstration, part exchange and used cars so bidders are always encouraged to do their research and inspect lots they are interested in.

Auto dealers often purchase vehicles in need of attention at a low price through car auctions then make the necessary repairs and improvements before re-selling to the public.

Luxury Items

Many consumers opt to purchase luxury goods through auction so they can live the high life and experience designer brands without paying retail prices. They often include a selection of brand new and graded goods ranging from jewellery, watches and designer clothing.

Global Auctioneers Thursday Luxury Sale is packed with designer handbags, jewellery, watches and accessories from leading fashion houses like HermesLouis Vuitton, PradaGucciDiorBurberryChanelFendi and Balenciaga.

Livestock

Livestock auctioneers work closely with farmers to appraise, list, advertise and sell cattle. These auctions are often live with buyers from the farming community attending to view the range of cattle.

Livestock auctions include a selection of cattle from different farms, therefore offering a key advantage compared to buying directly from breeders with a limited range of livestock.

The most expensive cow sold at auction was a pedigree heifer bred name ‘Posh Spice’ bred Shropshire, which sold for £262,000.

Art auctions

Art auctions trace their roots back to the 18th century with one of the first major sales consisting of the art collection of Edward, the Earl of Oxford in 1974 at Covent Garden.

From the point of view of the seller, the nature of an auction simplifies the sale process, ensures art collections sell in a timely manner and the items have potential of selling for a high value. On the other hand, buyers are able to view, compare and bid on different collections, find specialist rare pieces and potentially make big savings.

Industrial Plant and Equipment

A wide selection of specialist machinery, office equipment, manufacturing apparatus, agriculture equipment and office furniture can be sourced through industrial auctions.

Industrial auctions vary widely with new products, surplus stock, ex-rental and used equipment for specialist industries with auctioneers and buyers using dedicated platforms.

Why not give auctions a go?

You can buy a huge selection of products from auction, and they are the perfect way of grabbing a bargain at a fraction of the RRP.

If you are a newcomer to the world of auctions, then take a look at our ‘How to’ guides to know how to get started and bid in confidence.

Here at Global we have a variety of different auctions including furniture, appliances, luxury goods, white goods, fashion and homeware from leading brands so don’t miss out.

Important Information

We are an auction house and not a retailer therefore we do NOT accept any returns. All items are sold as seen and therefore no refunds will be granted . Please make full use of our appraisal service