Auctions can be overwhelming for new buyers, and many people miss out on incredible savings due to a perceived complexity of the process. At BidMed, our goal is optimized customer service and satisfaction.

Here we’ll walk you through the two common types of auctions you’ll see at BidMed — “sealed-bid” and “timed” — as well as the benefits of using each.

Sealed-Bid Auctions

How do sealed-bid auctions work?

At a sealed-bid auction, also known as a blind auction, prospective buyers submit a single bid per item (or lot of items) prior to a set deadline. Bidders cannot see offers made by other bidders, and the highest bidder pays the price they submitted.

Why use a sealed-bid auction?

Sales with newer equipment draw higher participation from hospitals and other medical buyers. Due to this increased activity, many hospitals feel overwhelmed by the complexity of a timed auction.

We simplify this for certain events with a sealed-bid format. In these sales, buyers decide what they want to pay for an asset and simply submit that value. There’s no checking back on other bidders or getting caught up in the competition, hoping to win an item at the close of a sale.

Timed Auctions

How do timed auctions work?

When most people think of an online auction, they’re thinking about timed auctions. Also known as an English Auction, these events have a set start and end time, and participants can see how their bids stack up against others in real time. Listings often begin with a starting price or have a set reserve price, so an item cannot be sold under a certain value. The highest bidder at any given time is considered to have the standing bid, and can only be displaced by a higher bid from a competing buyer.

Proxy Bidding | At BidMed, our online platform allows for proxy, or automatic, bidding. When placing a bid, buyers enter the maximum amount they’re willing to pay for an item; this maximum bid remains hidden and is never revealed. The system will then place bids on your behalf using an automatic bid increment amount (based on the current high bid), only increasing your bid as necessary to maintain the highest bid or meet the reserve price, never exceeding your maximum bid.

Watch Lists | Another benefit to BidMed’s timed auction platform is our inclusion of a Watch List feature. Auction inventories are generally available a few days prior to the auction start time, allowing registered participants to preview assets before bidding begins. In order to filter and save items of interest, buyers may click the gray eye icon on a listing to save it to their Watch List and return to these items more quickly at a later time.

Auction Closing | All auctions are scheduled to end at a set time. However, listings that have received a new bid in the last 15 minutes of the sale will have time extend another 15 minutes for that particular item. The auction time will continue to extend in increments of 15 minutes until bidding activity ceases for a 15-minute period.

Why participate in a timed auction?

These competitive sales can yield great savings, and BidMed’s custom-built platform uses tools to simplify the bidding process. However, some new buyers still find timed auctions overwhelming or stressful.

Additional Considerations

Why should I buy at auction instead of new?

In the last several years, there has been a significant shift toward buying medical assets on the secondary market — hospitals are trying to stretch limited budgets as far as possible. Auctions are an excellent way to find huge savings on high-quality equipment.

Many of BidMed’s sales are liquidations of facilities that are closing, consolidating, or relocating, and assets available are often like-new and ready for immediate service in another medical facility. Due to the nature of these sales, even excellent condition assets can yield significant savings compared to new purchases.

What else should I know?

All auctions will have specific terms based on unique conditions of the facility selling assets. These will be communicated to final buyers, including pickup details, insurance requirements, and de-installation procedures.

BidMed is always happy to provide logistics support to buyers and will help our customers navigate the entire process of receiving purchased assets. While these logistic are ultimately the responsibility of the buyer, our support doesn’t end at the close of an online auction with buyers not knowing what comes next!


Questions? Comments? Please let us know below!