What Are the Different Types of Industrial Auctions?

Industrial Auction Industry Auctions

Once upon a time in England, you could win yourself a ship if your bid was the highest placed by the time a candle went out. Though candle auctions are no longer in vogue when it comes to industrial types of equipment and materials, there are various other types of auctions that you might wish to consider for selling or obtaining materials.

The English Auction

Most people are familiar with the English auction or its variables. An English-style auction involves an “an open outcry or an ascending price auction.” (1) The ascending price auction is one that is typically employed for industrial equipment as well as other items such as art, real estate, and so forth. Ascending-price auctions are largely employed for both online and on-site auctions.

Multiunit Auctions

Multiunit auctions are common when identical items are being sold. These units may be sold at a set price or at different prices depending on the auction format and terms. Multiunit auctions are frequently used for industrial-types of items that are of identical make/quality (i.e. solar panels).

On-Site Auction

On-site auctions were popular before the internet. Of course, they are still employed but generally will only attract regional interest. This type of auction makes sense “only when there is certainty that all the buyers are local, and the assets will stay regional. A good example would be assets that go to small businesses in the same city, like restaurant equipment.” (2)

Webcast Auction

A webcast auction is a terrific hybrid of onsite and online auctioning. Although the auction venue is local, bidders can bid online if they can’t physically be present at the auction. This type of auction allows bidders to decide whether they want to be present or not. Having the capability to bid remotely opens up the auction to many more bidders.

Online Auctions

The online auction has become popular as it allows for a global audience. Online auction sites can attract many more bidders than local auctions can. It does have some drawbacks, of course, as bidders cannot physically inspect the items they are bidding on; however, reputable sellers and highly regarded auction sites decrease any risk associated with buying online.

Whether you are interested in buying or selling industrial materials, these types of auctions and formats are the ones you are likely to encounter. Keep in mind that there are other types, so it’s always a good idea to get to know the format before buying or selling.


1. eConPort, “Types of Auctions,”

2. Heritage Global Partners, “Auction Methodology: A Guide to Sale Type Selection,”

Signup for free to be the first to receive exclusive free links. Now in your mailbox!
Join over 15,000 subscribers
Send me links

Your information will not be shared to anyone