Selling to the Highest Bidder|价高者得

Selling to the Highest Bidder

by Daniel Howard

Auctions add drama to the buying and selling of pretty much anything.

  In their simplest form, auctions are events where customers bid on items, and whoever is willing to pay the most gets to take them home. There are many variations of auctions, but the most common is the English auction. People call out the prices they are willing to pay in an open room and compete against other bidders. An auctioneer runs the event and keeps track of the bids. Another common version often found in fundraisers is the silent auction, where bids are written down. Occasionally, the auction will be timed by something with an uncertain time limit, such as a candle burning down, to prevent people from making last-minute bids.


  Auctions are traditionally used to sell valuable objects, such as works of art, antiques, and real estate. The world's largest auction houses, Christie's and Sotheby's, have both been around since the 1700s. The tradition of auctions goes back even further, though, as goods won in war were auctioned off by the Roman Empire. The largest auction in all of history was when the Praetorian Guard killed Emperor Pertinax and sold the entire Roman Empire to Didius Julianus.


  Since then, modern auctions have undergone some major changes. While people still gather for traditional auctions, the Internet has made it easier for people to participate online. The best example is eBay, a website which allows anyone to auction anything from socks to cars, with items selling from only a few dollars to a few million. Customers furiously compete with each other to get bargains on things they want until the last minute. Thanks to these mini-auctions, eBay has become a multi-billion-dollar company.

 

价高者得

拍卖会使得买卖之间变得更加戏剧化。

  拍卖最基本的形式,就是让客户竞标各项商品,谁愿意出最高价就能把它们带回家。拍卖有各种不同类型,但最常见的就是『英式竞标』。人们会在一个开放空间里大声喊出他们愿意付的价钱,来与其他竞标者竞争。会有一位拍卖商主持这项活动,并注意出价投标的动向。另一种『纸上拍卖』(编按:不用喊价,而是将你要投标的价钱写在纸上)常见于募集资金的活动上。拍卖有时候会用象是蜡烛燃烧这样不确定时间的物品来计时,这样的作法是为了防范有人在最后一刻才出价。


  拍卖通常用来出售象是艺术品、古董以及房地产这类贵重的东西。全球最大的拍卖行,佳士得及苏富比,自十八世纪就已存在了。然而拍卖的传统可追溯到更久以前,当时罗马帝国打胜战后所得的物品全都被拍卖掉。历史上最大规模的拍卖是,当罗马禁卫军杀死皇帝佩蒂纳克斯,而将整个罗马帝国卖给了狄第乌斯.尤利安努斯之时。


  从那时起,现代的拍卖经历了一些重大的变革。尽管人们还是会聚集起来进行传统的拍卖会,但网络却让人们参与在线拍卖更加容易。最好的例子就是 eBay 拍卖网,这是一个能让所有人拍卖东西的网站,从袜子到车子都能卖,拍卖的物品从价格只要几块钱到好几百万的都有。客户在网站上激烈地竞争到最后来获得他们想要的东西。多亏有这些小型的拍卖会,eBay 现在已成为了身价数十亿美元的大公司。





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Selling to the Highest Bidder|价高者得