Stock buyers get chance to bid online in live auction

An online auction system letting buyers watch a livestock sale and bid from wherever they are in the world will be launched next month.

Carlisle auctioneer Harrison & Hetherington (H&H) has spent thousands bringing the tool to the UK from the USA and will unveil it at the Black & White sale at Borderway mart, Carlisle, on 6 December.

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After registering on the auctioneer’s website, bidders will be able to take part in the auction on their computer, tablet or smartphone via a downloadable app.

Older systems let buyers watch the auction live, but this is the first time they will be able to place bids.

H&H operations director David Pritchard said the bid goes to the clerk immediately, just like on the telephone, and the camera and audio are delivered in less than a second.

Cameras will watch both the ring and the pre-sale area.

“You can now literally bid from the comfort of your armchair, while seeing and hearing exactly what people at the ringside are able to,” Mr Pritchard said.

“We are expecting the technology to benefit not just buyers, but also vendors, by creating a wider customer base of interest.”

The system will initially be used for specialised sales and H&H expects it to be especially popular for the best pedigree and dairy auctions, which draw a global audience.

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