Absolute = Without Reserve; Without Reserve = Absolute

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer Blog

Is an absolute auction the same as a without reserve auction? Is a without reserve auction the same as an absolute auction?

In theoretical mathematics, if A = B and B = A, then A and B are the same thing, thus this question posed here about absolute auctions.

The UCC 2-328 describes only two types of auctions:

  1. With reserve
  2. Without reserve

No mention of the word, “absolute” at all in this doctrine.

Yet, in common usage with auctioneers all over the United States and territories, the word, “absolute” has come to mean an auction “without reserve.” And, if an auction is deemed “without reserve,” then it is commonly deemed an “absolute” auction.

Why this discussion, then, if it is so easily answered?

Some argue, and with some merit, that a without reserve auction has certain rules, such as no limiting conditions, no minimum bids, no reserve amounts, no withdrawal…

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