An auction is the process of buying and selling goods or services by inviting competing bids from a number of participants. Competing participants in an auction may or may not know the identities or actions of other competitors. Forward auctions involve buyers submitting competing bids, with the price typically increasing during the auction. Reverse auctions involve sellers submitting competing bids, with the bids usually decreasing during the auction. Online reverse auctions are a common tool for procurement practitioners seeking to harness competitive tension for relatively undifferentiated categories. Some platforms allow the buyer to evaluate bids against a variety of criteria as well as price, and bidders may have visibility on the actual prices bid, or simply the ranking of their offer in terms of competitiveness against the other bids received by the buyer. See also Auction, Dutch.

E-Auction Management training is available at Academy of Procurement.

« Back to Glossary Index

Discover the world’s largest Glossary of Procurement terms

With over 800 Procurement specific terms (and growing) you will find everything you need to know or thought you knew about the Procurement function. Our aim is to provide you with a comprehensive list collated from the Comprara Groups hub of training and consulting source materials.The Procurement Glossary has been compiled by industry expert Paul Rogers.