1st June 2022

Timed Online

Post pandemic and in today’s highly technological landscape, MUA have quickly adapted in order to keep up with demand while remaining one of the market leaders when it comes to auction houses. Which is why we have moved to a solely timed online auction house.

The shift in buying has resulted in e-commerce becoming more common than ever, with a recent report showing that e-commerce sales accounted for 18% of all retail sales worldwide. Therefore, this has resulted in the increased adoption of timed online auction formats. The technological era is here to stay and is set to only get more advanced. Therefore, it’s important to understand the way things work at MUA with our new timed online auction format.

In this article, we look at what a timed online auction is, how they work and what you need to consider before making a purchase.

What is a timed online auction?

Timed online auctions are auctions conducted solely online, there is no auctioneer. These auctions run for a defined amount of time, typically a few days. In turn, allowing bidders the time to register, view items of interest through the images and videos provided online or in person and place their bids. Once the auction opens, bidders have the opportunity to increase their bids as the auction progresses. The ‘winner’ of the item is the highest bidder at the end of the auction.

With MUA’s new system, lots will extend in time by a further 1 minute if bidding takes place within the last 60 seconds. This is a feature we have in place to stop ‘sniping’. This is a practice used by bidders to place bids in the last few seconds to prevent other bidders being able to respond before the auction closes and leaving the under bidder without opportunity to bid again and win the item.

Benefits of timed online auctions 

Timed online auctions offer a new era of bidding, offering buyers an array of benefits, including:

  • International participation
  • Bidding occurs on one platform
  • More straight forward and less hectic than a live on-site auction
  • Ease of use and convenience
  • Bidding occurs on one platform
  • Bid from the comfort of your own home or on the go with your smartphone
  • No telephone or on-site bids
  • Additional time to make bidding decisions and view items of interest

What to consider before bidding 

Before placing a bid online, it’s important you make a few considerations. These primarily include:

  • A bidding deposit is required for each auction. Bidding deposits are refundable automatically after an auction has taken place and if no purchase is made. Any refunds will appear on your bank statement within 5-10 working days.
  • All bids submitted using the online service are final and irrevocable.
  • When bidding opens, you can enter a maximum amount you’d like to pay for a lot. Bidding will then automatically bid in increments on your behalf – but only up to your maximum bid.
  • There are bidding fees, plus VAT, on top of the hammer price on each lot.
  • Fees variety depending on auction and item, the fees are viewable for each sale on our website.
  • Previewing and inspecting auction items are always advised before bidding as each item is sold as seen.
  • Our office is open Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm for viewing, collection and drop-offs. You can easily make an appointment online here, or by contacting our team, on +44(0)28 79469564.
  • The format runs for a defined amount of time, typically a few days.
  • Once the auction has ended, the buyer is responsible for organising any item shipping or pickup.


MUA is a family business that values customer care and long-standing relationships above all else. At the heart of that approach is the promise to make both buying and selling as simple as possible for everyone using our services. There’s nothing complicated about buying at MUA. We like to keep things straightforward and make every effort to offer our customers what they are looking for in price, choice and convenience.

For more information visit our Buyer FAQ section, our ‘How To’ videos or contact our team today.