What are Reserve Prices?

Reserve prices are the minimum price for which an item will sell. They are set by auctioneers to ensure that certain price targets are met. If the reserve price is not met, the item will not be sold.

How does the reserve price feature impact bidding?

Bidders will be alerted when their absentee bids are less than the set reserve price. These alerts can be viewed on the item lot pages and on your My Bids page.

Lot Page View

My Bids View

If your bid during a live auction is less than the set reserve price, you will be prompted to place a higher bid closer to the reserve price. To note: Auctions that are clerked by a live auctioneer will not prompt a higher bid. Auctioneers are strongly discouraged from this type of behavior.

Below are guidelines that our auction house partners adhere to when implementing reserves:

- Reserves should not be higher than the low estimate. The low estimate should be a reasonable and achievable outcome for the final price of an item.
- Reserves cannot be changed after the item has already been sold.
- Per the above, lots cannot be canceled post-sale due to the item(s) not reaching a perceived value. A reserve should be the minimum for which a lot will sell; once the reserve is met, the bidder has met the base requirement for winning the item.
- Conversely, bidders should not be able to cancel a sale if they bid above the reserve and won the item at or above that amount
- Buyers should always be informed on our site when there is a reserve on an item. Utilize the reserve price feature to inform bidders that there is a reserve.
- It is not appropriate for an auction house to bid on their own items exceeding the reserve price.
- Changes to reserves should be made no later than two hours prior to the start of a sale.