The First Auction – An Exploration Into the Global Buying-Selling Phenomenon

History
The first recorded auctions are believed to of occurred in Ancient Greece somewhere around the 500 B.C mark. However they were not quite the cheap t-shirt/fake iPod charger love affair we have with eBay today, something much more sinister was being traded….The Auction Houses initial purpose was for the trade of Women. Beautiful women would often fetch very high prices, whilst less attractive women were bundled together or had added dowries to ensure the sale. The auction process was not identical to ours however, with the Greeks utilising a process we now refer to as Descending Auctioneering. This is were the price starts high and comes down till someone makes the first bid to make them the winner. The Greeks firmly believed the auction process to be a firm part of their society and was so firmly believed in, that it was against the law to sell a woman outside of the auction method.The auction process progressed significantly by the time the new millennium arrived. Roman soldiers would utilise the process to sell war plunder, with Marcus Aurelious being a famous user of Auctions to help satisfy his families crippling debts.Auctions in the UK
The first use of an auction house in the UK was recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary in 1595, however it is almost certain the process had been used in the country for sometime.Auctions were a very pivotal aspect to many settlers in America. Buying pelts and native produce from the Indians gave many the opportunity to auction off these goods to sailors and captains. This in turn would give money to acquire more from the Indians and raise the wealth of the colonies. The notion of auction gave people an exciting business prospect, Auction Houses. Sothebys was founded in 1744 and its neighbour, Christies, 22 years later.However, Auctions were a frowned upon act in the culture of the time. They were often used as a liquidation process, to strip an estate of all its assets, with the owner of the goods often being kept disclose as to save face among social circles.Future of Auctions
Over the years auctioneering has progressed and changed in many ways, and yet today, it remains more popular than ever. Almost everything is available via some sort of auction; livestock, homes, land, business equipment, antiques and many more. Auction houses are a global network, privy to many educational opportunities, to keep ahead of the consumer with product information.The biggest revolution of all in auctions, came when the internet rolled out across the globe. Companies such as eBay and Yahoo Auctions set up almost immediately, making auctions more democratic and readily available to everyone. However, after over 15 years of service, a growing trend of people are starting to become disillusioned with eBay. Many find that prices can match that of a high street retailer or have been caught up in a cyclone of faulty products, foreign buyers/sellers and PayPal payments and stipulations.But what about the auction process? The love is still there; it appears it is human nature to hunt for a bargain. This lull in consumer trust has given the market an exciting opportunity for a string of fresh and new styled online auction houses.Below is a list of websites that beat eBay in terms of range and approach.Isylan.com – Fresh and clean interface. Excellent new site.CorporateAuctions.com – Established firm with bespoke offerings for buyers and sellersBidSpotter.com – No-nonsense traders websiteUkauctioneers.com – Antiques from across the Nation, incorporates a lot of none-web catalogues.