Unmet Reserves – Sell or Relist: A Case Study

WireBids allows sellers to place reserves on higher value items to ensure the seller gets a fair price for their equipment. Each reserve must be approved by WireBids prior to the auction launch. 

These reserve prices are kept private are not revealed to bidders. Our website will indicate whether or an in item has met the reserve price both in the catalog and bid box.


But what if the item doesn’t meet the reserve?

Sellers have a few choices if an item does NOT hit the reserve:

  1. Sell the item to the highest bidder
  2. Relist the item in an upcoming auction.

WireBids does not recommend relisting the item without taking better photos providing more information on the product, including rigging and shipping information or lowering the reserve. We have found that if an item does not hit the reserve on the first try, the price will not climb above the initial closing price upon relist unless the listing is dramatically altered or the reserve is lowered.

Case Study

In this case study, we followed 6 different lots with reserves prices. Each lot in this study failed to meet its reserve price the first time. Each of these lots were included in 3 consecutive auctions. As you can see, the closing prices of these items largely trended downwards with each subsequent relist. In some cases, the item garnered a slightly better price the second time, without actually hitting the reserve. By the third time, buyers lost interest in the item.


There are  a few reasons for this:

  1. WireBids has a loyal userbase following each auction. When they see an item relisted, they assume that there is something wrong with the item and are hesitant to place a bid.
  2. Users assume the reserve is inflated beyond market value.
  3. Reserve prices discourage bidders from bidding all together.

In short – WireBids advises against relisting items without making serious changes to the reserve or listing itself. Bids will not increase unless you give buyers a reason to bid more, through better, more focused photos or more details on condition and shipping.

For more tips, view our previous post: 5 Tips for Getting the Best Price Possible for your Used Printing and Bindery Equipment.

Please contact WireBids  at (888) 229-5733 for more information on buying and selling your used printing equipment.

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