The auction of bulk goods dates to the Babylonian Empire (about
500 B.C.), continuing through the rise and fall of the Roman
Empire. Auctions diminished considerably during the Middle Ages but
began to reappear in the 17th century and have been present ever
Traditional auctions start with a minimum bid and continue as
long as the bid escalates. Bidding continues until no one is
willing to bid any higher, and the highest bidder is awarded the
However, as civilizations have become more advanced, so have
auctions. Traditional auctions allow buyers to congregate to
establish the highest price a seller could receive for his goods. A
variation of this process, called a reverse auction, now permits
sellers of materials and services to bid the lowest price buyers
will pay for materials and services.
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