November 29

Start Low, Sell High


  • Setting a low starting price brings in more bidders.
  • More bidders create more competition, leading to higher sale prices for your items.
  • There is absolutely no risk in setting a low starting price.

"Although I was skeptical as all get-out, I followed Municibid’s recommendations and posted the minimum bid at about 10% of what I hoped to get for each item.  In the end, my trucks exceeded expectations by about $13,000 each, and the paver and grader that we hoped to sell for parts, exceeded my expectations by $4,700 and 7,300, respectively!  Thanks for your advice, expertise, and guidance!”

-Bruce R. Light, Penn Township Secretary / Manager

We understand. You want to make sure you're not giving away your items. In order to prevent this, you might think about setting a high starting price. While it seems logical, a high starting price will do more harm than good.

The idea is to get as many bidders involved as possible and setting a low starting price is what entices more bidders to bid. These bidders, in turn, become competitive against each other which is what drives the price of your item higher and provides you with results that may be better than you expected.

Also, please remember you are never obligated to accept any bids. You reserve the right to reject any bids for any reason. Our bidders understand this and agree to this each time they bid.

One of the most common questions we get from sellers is “okay then, what starting price should I set?”  We typically recommend starting auctions at about 10% of the expected value of the item, the lower the better. So if you think your item is worth $10,000, the starting bid should be no more than $1,000. Many times, when we make this recommendation, it’s met with great skepticism.   But once we explain our reasoning, our sellers try it and are thrilled with the results.

A further explanation:

Have you ever gone to a live auction or watched one on TV?

Did you see the auctioneer try to start off an auction with a ridiculously high starting price?  No one bids, right? Then the auctioneer yells “give me a dollar bill” and all of a sudden, a bunch of hands go flying up and the bidding ensues.

Unlike live auctions, we can’t start high and work our way back down to a low price that motivates people to bid, we need to start at the lowest price.

The idea is to bring as many people into the auction as possible.  This includes bringing in folks hoping to get a deep discount on items. Once there are several people involved in the auction, the competition amongst bidders heats up.  The mindset changes from “that’s a steal at that price” to “ah, what the heck, what’s another $20.”  This competition is what drives the price up.

The bottom line is we are on your side! The success of our business is directly inline with your auction results.  We want you to sell your items for the highest possible amount.  We are here to help, so never hesitate to ask for recommendations or an opinion.

Here are several other examples:


Listing ID

Starting Price

Sale Price

1997 Case 580 Backhoe




1999 Ford F550 4x4 Drill Truck




2001 Case 590 Super M Backhoe




2001 International 4700 with 20,000lb. Stellar Shuttle Hook




2006 International automated side loader




2005 International 7300 single axle plow/dump truck




1998 International VacAll Sewer Flush Truck




1999 Mack RD-690P single axle dump trucks w/ aluminum beds




1999 Mack RD-690P single axle dump trucks w/ aluminum bed




1997 GMC C-8500 Dump Truck




1999 Wirtgen W600DC Milling Machine




2002 John Deere 310 SG Backhoe




2006 International with Labrie Side Loader




2005 Case Loader 621DXT




2005 Case 590 Super M Loader Backhoe 4x4




1996 John Deere 554G Wheel Loader




1999 Mack Single Axle Dump Truck




Vac Con Combination Sewer Cleaner




Last Updated on November 29, 2022


You may also like

How to Start a Dump Truck Business

How to Start a Dump Truck Business
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}