Here are the types of auctions you will encounter on this site.
English auctions are probably the most common type. Users bid the highest
price they are willing to pay for an item and bidding activity stops when
the auction duration is complete. The item is sold to the highest bidder at their bid price.
English auctions also allow the seller to specify a reserve price below
which the item will not be sold.
The Vickrey auction allows for selling single items as does the English
Auction. The difference is that the highest bidder obtains the item at the price offered by the second highest bidder. This is a good format because bidders have the incentive to bid what they think the item is worth and not worry about what others will bid.
Dutch auctions are special type of auction designed to handle the case
where a seller has a number of identical items to sell. The seller
should specify the minimum price (starting bid) and the exact number
of items that are available at that price. The bidders bid at or
above that minimum price for the number of items that they are
interested in buying. At the end of the auction, the highest bidders
earn the right to purchase those items at the minimum successful bid.
Here is an example, say there are twenty-five widgets being sold
at $75.00 and forty-five bidders bid for one widget each, at $75.00.
In this case, only the first twenty-five people will be the bidders
who get their product successfully. Since the bid amounts are the
same, the earlier bids will take merchandise.
Now, let's say that one of those people bids $100 for one widget.
Since his bid is higher than all the others, he will certainly be
one of the bidders to get the merchandise.
If bidders continue to bid higher than the starting price enough
times, then the final bidding price will increase as well. In
another instance, if less than twenty-five people bid in our
example "widget" auction, only that number of widgets will be sold
at the opening price of $75.00. For the selling price to increase
past the opening price specified by the seller there must be a
higher or equal level of demand than the supply indicated. In our
example, the selling price would only increase if twenty-four or
more widgets were bid on, no matter what the amount of each bid.
In a case where a bidder bids for multiple quantities, the bidder
who bid the lowest will not always get the merchandise that he/she
bid on. If the bidder who made the lowest bid requested a quantity
of four widgets, he/she may not even be entitled to one widget.
For instance, if 12 other higher bidders each bought two widgets,
there would only 1 widget left. In this case, the original bidder
would only be entitled to one widget, even though he originally bid
for four. The way around this problem is to ensure that you are not
the lowest successful bidder. Note: A bid's value in the auction is
determined by the total number of items bid on, multiplied by the
A Yankee Auction is a variation of the Dutch Auction where successful
bidders pay what they bid as opposed to paying the price determined
by the lowest qualified bidder (as in a Dutch Auction).