Live auction sales total $203.2 billion


KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Live auctions account for $203.2 billion a year in sales, according to auction-industry research from the National Auctioneers Association.

It also noted that more than 50 percent of Americans have attended live auctions.

Jumps. According to MORPACE International, last year the value of all goods and services sold at live auction in the United States was $203.2 billion. This represents a strong 4-percent jump over sales of $189.8 billion in 2002.

More than 50 percent of adult American consumers have attended a live auction, and 24 percent did so in the last year.

Harris Interactive noted that 83 percent of Americans have attended an auction of some kind, and 63 percent did so in the last year.

Having fun. Seventy-five percent say auctions are fun, and 50 percent say having fun is the reason they attend live auctions.

The top reasons Americans attend live auctions are the excitement of getting a good price (53 percent), they like to see what types of purchases are available (51 percent) and they get great purchase value (51 percent).

Participation. Consumers who participate in live auctions typically take part in other auctions, such as online.

Live auction buyers spend almost twice as much as online buyers ($988 vs. $475).

The Midwest has the greatest number of participants (34 percent) and purchasers (58 percent) in the United States.

Web site. National Auctioneers Association Chief Executive Officer Robert Shively said the association plans to launch a Web site soon,

The site will be the hub of a community comprised of the auction industry and consumers.

It will also have easily accessible information about auction sites and the auction experience for the public.

The full results of the study are available online at


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