Live auctions are an exciting feature on StampWants which allows StampWants members to watch and bid live during Public Auctions across the country, and world! StampWants Live Auctions brings all the fun and excitement of being on the floor of a Public Auction to your very own computer screen!
How to Find a Live Auction
By clicking on the "Buy" in the main header, and then "View Public Auctions & Mail Sales", you can find a full list of Public Auctions and Mail Sales available on StampWants.com. Certain Public Auctions will be denoted as Live Auctions, which means that not only can you place absentee bids (as you can with regular Public Auctions on StampWants), but you can join the bidding live during the actual Public Auction. Live Auctions on StampWants will also include the date and time the Public Auction is scheduled to start, or multiple date and times if there is more than one session. Live Public Auctions on StampWants can easily be distinguished from regular Public Auctions be looking for the Live Auction! logo:
When a Live Auction is about to start, or is in progress you can also find a link to the upcoming/in progress Live Auction at the top of the StampWants homepage, as well as the top of the seller's store page.
How to Join a Live Auction
Once the Live Auction is about to start (as indicated by the scheduled start date and time) you can join the Live Auction by clicking on the "Join this Live Auction" button which will appear anywhere the Live Auction is listed. This includes from the "Public Auctions & Mail Sales" page, the top of the StampWants home page, or the top of the seller's store page.
Requirements to Join the Live Auction
To join a Live Auction on StampWants you must be a registered member, with an active account (not suspended). Some sellers may require that you also have a valid credit card on file with StampWants. If this is required, and you do not have a valid credit card on file with StampWants, you will be prompted to enter you credit card information before you can join the live auction.
The Live Auction Page
Once you join the live auction, you'll be presented with a screen similar to the one below:
Top Pane (Title Information)
This pane will include the title of the Live Auction, and session number (if applicable). There is also a link at the top right which will return you to the main area of www.StampWants.com.
Left Pane (Messages / Bid Activity)
The pane will show you the current bidding activity of the current lot. Bids from StampWants members will be indicated as "Internet Bid"s and all other bids will be indicated as "Floor Bid"s. Additionally, the auctioneer may also add messages here, which will be indicated as "Auctioneer" messages. "System" messages also appear here.
One of the most important "System" messages is the "Your bid was sent" message. When you bid on enter a bid, as soon as it is recognized by the system you will see "System: Your bid was sent", this indicated that your bid has successfully been sent to our system. However, please note that an indication that your bid was sent, does not mean that your bid was accepted by the auctioneer. Your bid should only be considered as accepted by the auctioneer one your see "Your Bid" (highlighted in dark green), followed by the bid you sent. There are many reasons why a bid that has been sent may not be accepted by the auctioneer. One reason may be that the auctioneer closed the lot before your bid could be acknowledged. This is why it is essential to bid as soon as possible, and not delay your bidding. This is a live auction and lots will close as soon as the auctioneer closes the lot because he feels the bidding has stopped.
Another reason your bid may not be accepted is if another StampWants member places a bid for the same amount that you did, but there bid was placed slightly before yours. Additionally, if someone on StampWants or the floor bids higher than your bid, your bid may be skipped over.
Lot Status Bar
At the bottom of the Messages Tab, you may see a yellow or red status bar indicated any of the following options:
- Last Call For Bids...
- GOING ONCE... GOING TWICE...
- GOING 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. SOLD
Most sellers will use either the Last Call For Bids and the GOING ONCE... GOING TWICE... options. Some sellers will also use the GOING 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. SOLD option. You should be able to get an idea of what status options are being used and how they relate to when the current lot will close, by observing a few lots as they progress from open to closed. However, it should be noted that not all seller's will use these options, and that as soon as you see any yellow or red status message you should always immediately place your bid. While the StampWants Live Auction software is live, someone must be working with the auctioneer to enter in the live information on the StampWants as it happens. As a result, the status or bid you see may be slightly out of date compared to what is actually going on, which may mean the lot will close sooner than you would expect. To avoid missing any bids, always enter your bid as early as you can, and do not wait any unneeded amount of time between bids.
In the left pane, there are 3 tabs at the bottom which you can toggle between. The second tab is the Realized tab, and will show you the list of prices realized so far for this Live Auction, along with if the lot went to an "Internet" or "Floor" bidder.
In the left pane, there are 3 tabs at the bottom which you can toggle between. The third tab is the Attendees tab and will show you the total amount of people who have joined the Live Auction and are currently either watching or bidding, as well as their StampWants usernames.
Middle Pane (Current Lot Information)
The middle pane will display the lot number and title of the item currently up for bid (the open lot), as well as a large image (when available). The full description of the item can also be found under the image. If your computer monitor is set to a low resolution, or the description is large, you may need to scroll down the middle pane to view all of the available information.
Right Pane (Upcoming Lots)
The right pane will display the upcoming lots. You can click on any upcoming lot's title to display it in a separate tab in the right pane. This window will allow you to see a full image and description of the lot you clicked on. You can also update your absentee bid in this tab. However, please note that if your computer monitor is set to a low resolution, or the description is large, you may need to scroll down in the tab to view the "Update Your Bid >>" button. You can close any of the tabs you open in the right pane by clicking on either the "X" at the top right of the tab, or the "Close Window" button.
Bottom Pane (Bid Live Now...)
The bottom pane displays information relating to the price of the current lot, as well as allows you to bid through the bidding buttons.
Current Price and High Bidder
The left hand side will display the starting price of the current lot, as well as the suggested bid (as specified by the seller). The right hand side will display what the current bid is, as well as if the current bidder is a floor bidder, internet bidder, or you!
The middle of the bottom pane will first display a "Click to Enable Bidding" button, which helps to prevent accidentally bidding on items (see the "Viewing Mode Only" section below). Once you click this button the bidding buttons will appear.
Once bidding is enabled, you will see one large bidding button, and three small bidding buttons. The large button represents what amount need to be bid in order to place a bid based on the bidding increments, and the current price. If you would like to place a bid for this amount simply click on the button.
The three smaller bidding buttons represent higher amounts you can bid, if you wish to bid higher than just one increment over the current bid. Please note that this is not a proxy bid, and if accepted, the bid you place will automatically raise the current price to your bid.
Additionally, when the current price is updated the bidding buttons are all disable for approximately 1/2 of a second. This is to ensure that the bid you place does not change while you are in the middle of placing it. Please check that after you click on the bid button you see in the Messages pane "System: Your Bid Was Sent" and ensure that the bid buttons are now disabled again (after you place a bid, unless you are outbid your bid buttons will remain disabled so that you can not bid against yourself). Otherwise even though you clicked on the Bid Button your bid may not have been sent because it may have been disabled when you clicked on it (for example you click on "$100", but by the time you finish clicking the bid button has changed to "$110", so it is disabled for 1/2 second and your bid does not go through).
Recommended Screen Settings
We recommend that your monitor display size be set to at least 1024x768, if not higher. We also recommend that you run your browser in full screen mode when participating in a StampWants Live Auction.
Resizing the Live Auction Page
The left, middle, right and bottom panes can be re-sized to allow one particular pane to be larger. To do this, click and hold down with your mouse on the four dots which appear at the center of the gray dividers between these panes. Then, with you mouse button still held down, drag the divider. An example of where to click to re-size the left/middle panes is displayed here:
Viewing Mode Only / Bidding
When first entering a live auction, you will be in "Viewing Mode Only". While in this mode you can view the entire auction, but you won't be able to bid. This is done to prevent accidental bidding. To enable bidding, just click on the "Click to Enable Bidding" button at the bottom of the page. Once you click this button the bidding buttons will appear. You can switch back to "Viewing Mode Only" at any time by clicking on the "Viewing Mode Only / Disable Bidding" button, located at the bottom left (when bidding is enabled).
How to Bid
To review how to bid, please see the Bidding Buttons section above. Please note that all bids are legally binding, and you will be responsible for paying for any items you bid on and win, including any applicable buyer's premium and/or other specified fees. Please note that if you have your three year old daughter or grand-daughter sitting on your lap and she bids on an item, you are responsible for that bid!
How to Listen/Watch Live Audio/Video
If live audio and/or video is available for the Live Auction, it will automatically be enabled when the auction starts. To adjust the volume, or mute the volume, click on the "Live Audio/Video Volume/Settings" tab on the right hand side. You can click on the small speaker icon to mute the volume, and use the sliding bar to adjust the volume accordingly.
Please Note - If you do not see the live audio/video tab, this means that there is no live audio or video available for this live auction. Not all live auctions will have live audio and/or video.