The Pros and Cons of Reserve Prices

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 give sellers the peace of mind that their equipment won’t sell for less than they are comfortable with- but could these reserves be reducing the final selling price of their lots?

We have previously discussed the downward trend of reserve prices upon relisting in subsequent auctions but we hadn’t delved into whether or not reserve prices result in the best possible price for the seller.

Although it is impossible to tell what the same lot would have sold for in the same auction without a reserve, we can analyze other reserve metrics.

From May 5th 2016 through January 26th 2017 there were 357 reserve items placed in 13 multiple location auctions. Only 37% of these items met their reserves. Of these met reserves, only 55% of them matched or exceeded the reserve by $100. 45% of these reserves climbed more than $100 over the reserve price.


This suggests that more often than not, users across the board slow their bidding once the reserve price has been met. On average, each WireBids auction lot has about 8.12 users vying to purchase. The number of interested users bidding on items with reserves drops to 4.14 bidders per lot. This data would indicate that nearly half of WireBids users won’t bid  on reserve items- and when they do, they are unlikely to bid much more than the reserve price.





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