What are Auction Sites?

Diane Goettel

Auction sites are places where goods or services are bid on and awarded to the highest bidder. The original auction sites were actual locations where people would congregate to bid on goods and objects. Though many people think of auction sites only as places on the Internet, in fact, the history of auctions is many centuries old.

Woman doing a handstand with a computer
Woman doing a handstand with a computer

There is historical evidence that auctions were held as early as 500 B.C., millennia before the invention of the Internet, which is a new platform for auction sites. Online auction sites are very popular places for the buying and selling of goods. Unlike auctions that take place in person during which items are auctioned off in a matter of minutes, online auctions sometimes last over the course of a number of days or even weeks.

Auctions that take place in the virtual sphere of the Internet as well as auctions that take place at physical auction sites can be divided into a number of categories. It is common for both virtual and physical auction sites to specialize in certain kinds of goods. For example, some auction sites only handle art, while others handle only antiques, which sometimes includes art. Another common type of auction site is one that specializes in the sale of cars.

In addition to these specialized auction sites, there are also many sites, both virtual and real, that will auction basically anything that can legally be purchased and sold. One interesting aspect of online sites is that people have tested the law by trying to auction items that are illegal for sale or trade. At certain points in history it has been legal to auction human beings. Although this has been outlawed in most countries for centuries, there have been instances in which women have attempted to auction their hands in marriage online. These attempts have usually be quickly shut down by the auction site, but not before attracting the attention of the media and making a few headlines.

The rules of an online auction site are quite similar to the rules of a physical auction site, although the process or system might vary slightly from site to site. The basic idea is that one party lists an item for auction along with a starting price for bidding. Then other parties can begin to make bids on that item. When a bidder wins an auction, payment must be made promptly. The party auctioning the item also must deliver the item, exactly as described online, within a reasonable amount of time.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for EasyTechJunkie, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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