English Auctions


Most people who have attended or seen an auction on television have experienced only one type of auction, the English auction, in which bidders publicly announce their successive higher bids until no higher bid is forthcoming. At that point, the auctioneer pronounces the item sold to the highest bidder at that bidder’s price. This type of auction is also called an ascending-price auction. An English auction is sometimes called an open auction (or open-outcry auction) because the bids are publicly announced; however, there are other types of auctions that use publicly announced bids that are also called open auctions. English auctions that offer multiple units of an item for sale and allow bidders to specify the quantity they want to buy are called Yankee auctions. When the bidding concludes in a Yankee auction, the highest bidder is allotted the quantity he or she bid. If items remain after satisfying the highest bidder, those remaining items are allocated to successive lower (next-highest) bidders until all items are distributed.

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