November 29

Start Low, Sell High

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  • 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:

Title

Listing ID

Starting Price

Sale Price

1997 Case 580 Backhoe

5725493

$200.00

$36,500.00

1999 Ford F550 4x4 Drill Truck

1580608

$500.00

$36,900.00

2001 Case 590 Super M Backhoe

3913068

$1,000.00

$37,900.00

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

4353371

$1,000.00

$34,200.00

2006 International automated side loader

1996280

$2,000.00

$40,300.00

2005 International 7300 single axle plow/dump truck

5505922

$2,000.00

$33,550.00

1998 International VacAll Sewer Flush Truck

6905568

$2,500.00

$37,500.00

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

1216258

$2,500.00

$35,200.00

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

1216395

$2,500.00

$31,800.00

1997 GMC C-8500 Dump Truck

1084647

$3,000.00

$46,000.00

1999 Wirtgen W600DC Milling Machine

1976520

$3,000.00

$37,200.00

2002 John Deere 310 SG Backhoe

4652508

$3,600.00

$38,200.00

2006 International with Labrie Side Loader

3877179

$5,000.00

$50,100.00

2005 Case Loader 621DXT

2812938

$5,000.00

$45,200.00

2005 Case 590 Super M Loader Backhoe 4x4

897355

$5,000.00

$40,100.00

1996 John Deere 554G Wheel Loader

7224797

$5,100.00

$39,100.00

1999 Mack Single Axle Dump Truck

5767524

$5,500.00

$40,601.00

Vac Con Combination Sewer Cleaner

6496987

$6,000.00

$38,600.00

Last Updated on November 29, 2022


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