Turners delays real-time online auctions

Turners has delayed the start of an online real-time auction system - dashing hopes of having the system up and running before next month's auction of a missing 1965 episode of Dr Who.

Turners has delayed the start of an online real-time auction system, due to unforseen complexities.

Turners had hoped to have a real-time online auction system up and running before next month’s auction of a missing 1965 episode of Dr Who. However, Turners business deve- lopment manager John Cochrane says the process has turned out to be more complex than anticipated.

Cochrane says the process becomes complicated when you’re looking at two-way communication on the Internet, particularly doing it in real-time. He believes there aren’t any real-time auction sites on the Internet.

Sites which call themselves auction sites are more like tender sites, as the “auctions” span a day, a week or a month, whereas Turners is aiming for real-time auctions.

He says the closest thing to a real-time auction is what Turners currently uses for its damaged car auctions each Monday.

It allows people to view online, the progress of a live auction — known as an outcry auction. At present people cannot bid on these auctions online, although they can participate by phone (or put in a pre-submitted bid) while watching the progress on screen.

“The online part of the process mirrors the outcry auction that’s being conducted at the time. That mirror image is produced on the Net in the form of all the details of the auction as it’s progressing. There’s an applet on the corner of the screen which tells you what the bid is, what the bid increment is and what status the auction is.”

The damaged car auction system started about four months ago as a trial, but is now being developed into a full service and may be extended. Cochrane says it’s been successful, with 170 cars sold last Monday, for example.

“A prospective buyer can sit and watch the auction taking place in their office, or wherever they may be.”

The same technology will be used for the Dr Who episode auction which is being held on September 17 at Turners in Auckland.

Turners’ is at www.turnersauctions.co.nz.

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