Sell by Auction Versus Private Treaty Sale? Which One Is Better?

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A sell-by-auction is a type of sale that is usually conducted by a professional auctioneer and is used to sell a variety of items, such as real estate, antiques, artwork, and collectibles. A Company Liquidation Auction is technically an auction at which goods of a liquidated company are sold with the goal of raising enough funds to satisfy creditors.

A private treaty sale is a method of selling a product or property directly between the buyer and the seller, without the involvement of a third party such as an auction house or a real estate agent.

Advantages of Selling by Auction:

  • Competitive bidding: Auctions can drive up the price of an item as multiple bidders compete for it, potentially resulting in a higher sale price for the seller.
  • Speed: Auctions are a quick way to sell an item, often taking only a few hours or a day.
  • Wide audience:  Auctions can attract a large number of potential buyers from various locations, increasing the likelihood of a successful sale.
  • No negotiation: Once the auction starts, the price is determined by the highest bidder, eliminating the need for negotiation between the buyer and seller.

Disadvantages of Selling by Auction:

  • Uncertainty: The outcome of an auction is uncertain, and the seller may not receive the desired price for their item.
  • Commission fees: Auctions usually charge a commission fee, which is a percentage of the sale price and reduces the amount the seller will receive.
  • Limited control: The seller has limited control over the selling process and the final sale price once the auction starts.
  • Pressure to sell: Once the auction starts, the item is committed to be sold, putting pressure on the seller to accept a lower price if bidding does not meet their expectations.

Advantages of Private Treaty Sales:

  • Direct negotiation: Private treaty sales allow for direct negotiation between the buyer and seller, which can result in a more personalized and flexible agreement.
  • More control: Private treaty sales give the buyer and seller more control over the terms of the sale, including the price, payment terms, and contingencies.
  • Privacy: Private treaty sales are typically conducted without the involvement of a third party, providing more privacy and confidentiality for both the buyer and the seller.
  • No commission fees: Private treaty sales do not usually involve commission fees, which can reduce the cost of the transaction.

Disadvantages of Private Treaty Sales:

  • Time-consuming: Private treaty sales can be more time-consuming than other methods of sale, as they often involve several rounds of negotiation and back-and-forth communication.
  • Limited exposure: Private treaty sales do not usually involve widespread marketing or advertising, limiting the number of potential buyers and potentially reducing the sale price.
  • Dependent on personal skills: The success of a private treaty sale often depends on the negotiation skills of the buyer and seller, and a lack of experience in this area can result in an unsuccessful transaction.
  • No competitive bidding: Private treaty sales do not typically involve competitive bidding, which means that the buyer and seller must negotiate a fair price on their own.


It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each method, taking into account factors such as the type of item being sold, the market conditions, the seller’s desired outcome, and their personal preferences. In some cases, a combination of the two methods may be the best solution. Industrial auction online is a good way to purchase good quality machinery for a fraction of the original price.

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