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Reserve prices explained with pros, cons and top tips for setting them when selling at auction.
2 mins

Should I add a reserve price?


If you’re ready to get selling, one of the things to consider is whether or not to set a reserve price and some new sellers get themselves in a tangle wondering whether they should add one or not.

It’s an important point and a decision you want to get right, so let us be of assistance!

What is a reserve price?

A reserve price is the minimum price a seller is willing to accept for an item being sold at auction. Essentially, it's your safety net to ensure that you won't lose money on the sale. If the bidding doesn't reach the reserve price, you have the option to either sell the item for the highest bid or keep it.

How can reserve prices help?

They can help you avoid selling an item for less than you’re willing to accept. This is particularly important for high-value items where you have a significant financial stake in the sale. Setting a reserve price can also give peace of mind knowing that you won't be forced to sell the item at a loss.

Additionally, reserve prices can add an element of excitement to an auction! If a buyer knows that there is a reserve price, they may be more motivated to keep bidding in order to reach that threshold and potentially win the item.

How can reserve prices hurt?

On the other hand, reserve prices can also hurt auction results if not set correctly. If set too high, it may discourage buyers from bidding and give the impression you’re not motivated to sell, which can result in a lacklustre auction. Buyers may also become frustrated with the bidding process if they feel that the reserve price is unfairly high, and they're not able to win the item.

No reserve auctions prove really popular with our buyers so you’re likely to see less interested bidders if you do go with a reserve.

If you decide to add one, pitching it just right is crucial, so below are some tips if you’re tempted to add a reserve:

1. Research the market. Before setting a reserve price, it's important to look into what similar items that have sold previously. This can give you a good idea of what buyers are willing to pay.

2. Consider the item's condition and rarity. Those in better condition or rare may command higher prices.

3. Be realistic. It's important to set a reserve that is achievable and fair for both you and the buyer. Setting a reserve price too high can hurt your auction results, while setting it too low may not give you the financial protection you need.

4. What would you be happy with? Think carefully about what you would be willing to accept, especially if what you’re selling has meaning to you.

Reserve prices can be a powerful tool to ensure you’re getting a fair price for the items you want to sell. However, it's important to set them correctly to avoid hurting your auction results. By following our advice, you can decide whether or not you want to set these and do so with confidence knowing you're increasing your chances of a highly successful auction!

Head over to our seller’s area to get started and good luck!