What is Auto-Extend/Soft Close During an Online Auction?
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What is Auto-Extend/Soft Close During an Online Auction?

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What is Auto-Extend/Soft Close During an Online Auction?

So you placed your bid on an item during the last minute of an online auction, thinking you snatched it before anyone else had the chance to outbid you. But then the time on the item extends, and you’re left wondering, “What happened?” No, it wasn’t a glitch you experienced⁠—it’s called auto-extend/soft close ending and this feature is commonly used in online auctions.


What is auto-extend/soft close?

If someone places a bid in the last few minutes of an online auction, the end time for the property is extended. The process continues until there are no more bids made within the last minutes or seconds. At that point, that property closes. If more than one property is selling in an auction, the overall auction continues until each property has no other advances.

For example, the property has a closing time of 1:00 p.m. At 12:30 p.m. Bidder A places a bid. The auctioneer has set the bidding to auto-extend if any bids are made within the last two minutes. At 12:59 p.m. Bidder B outbids Bidder A. The countdown clock resets and now the property will close at 1:01 p.m. Bidder A and any other bidder have the opportunity to bid. If no bid is made within the last two minutes, the auction for the property closes and Bidder B wins the lots. If a bid is made, the clock starts over again. 

Why do auctioneers use it?

Auction professionals will use auto-extend/soft close to mimic the back and forth of a live auction. More importantly, this technology allows every bidder an opportunity to advance their bid. This more faithfully captures the true competitive nature of an auction and eliminates sniping or other online strategies or technologies. 

Is it fair?

The use of extending bidding allows every registered bidder the opportunity to bid and advance their bid. These systems also allow for bidders with slower or unstable internet connections to be on a more equal playing field. 

After reviewing the bidding terms and the purchase terms of sale, if you have questions about how the auction works, contact the auction professional in charge of the auction. They are happy to answer questions and will quickly clear up any confusion.

If you are interested in selling real estate, please allow Target Auction Company the opportunity to detail the benefits of our auction platform and provide you with a free consultation. We can offer the information and advice needed to make a sound decision regarding the sale of your property. We can be reached by email, at 1-800-476-3939 or visit us at www.TargetAuction.com.

Date: January 25, 2021/Author: National Auctioneers Association

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