After a year of adaptation, what will auctions look like in 2021? A new year always brings new hopes and expectations.

Here are our predictions for the auction industry in 2021.

Limited live auctions

The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to cause live auctions in many states to be restricted or limited in size and scope. There will likely be more live auctions than at the height of the pandemic in 2020; however, this will vary state by state and region by region. Many auction companies have also signaled they plan to continue doing online-only or virtual live auctions for the foreseeable future. 

Increase in business liquidation auctions

Businesses of all sizes continue to feel an assortment of COVID-19 related impacts. Some businesses have adapted to these impacts and are thriving, while others have been unable to adapt. As businesses close, that business equipment will make its way to the market via business liquidation auctions.

Continued business by appointment

As a result of COVID-19, many auction companies adopted a model that required customers to make appointments to pick up and remove purchased items and, in many cases, preview items. Both customers and auction companies have indicated this change is likely to stay due to safety concerns, convenience and efficiency. 

Fundraising auctions and galas will continue to be online or virtual

Charity and not-for-profit auction events remain a critical fundraising tool for many organizations. There are limited live events tentatively planned for the fall of 2021. Many organizations expect to continue virtual fundraising through much of 2021.

Fewer companies doing more auctions

Mergers and partnerships have been a trend within the auction profession for the last several years. In 2021, this trend will continue, and bidders might see the same number or even an increased number of auctions; however, a smaller group of firms or companies will conduct the auctions. 

The auction profession has been a vital part of the economy for centuries. Increased adoption and implementation of technology has ensured that auctions work even during a global pandemic. Auctions are still going on, and there are auction professionals in big and small communities ready to make an auction work for you, your business, or your organization.

Keep these predictions for the auction industry in 2021 in mind as you attend auctions or hire a professional to sell your assets or raise money for your organization. The auction profession, just like the world, has changed in 2020, and through these changes, has become more adaptive and responsive to your needs. Hiring an auction professional will ensure your auction takes advantage of any changes in technology and the speed of e-commerce evolution.  

Find an auction professional near you.