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How to Register and bid

When you click on the headline of an auction, or the word "Catalog", or the word "bidding", that takes you to our page on HiBid, our auction service provider. 


On our HiBid page you can :

  • register (Login / New bidder)

  • view current auction catalogs

  • view past auction catalogs with prices realized

Sometimes we have more than one auction posted at once. Each auction has its own closing date.

Soft close

Each lot has its own closing time shown in days, hours, and minutes from the time you are viewing. The closing times are 20 seconds apart. Any time after the bidding opens you can register and enter your own personal, secret max bid, or simply enter the next amount in line. If you enter a max bid way above the current bid, you may only see the next increment appear on the screen. Your max is kept secret, but the moment someone raises a competing bid, Hibid will increase your amount to the next increment.

If soft close begins at 6PM, then only the first lot in the auction is scheduled to close at 6. Each lot has its own close time, scheduled 20 seconds one after the other. 

For example, at 1PM you post a max bid of $20 on a lot that has no previous bids. Other bidders will only see that the bid is $2, since $2 is the minimum opening bid at Hawley Auctions. At 2PM you notice that the bid has gone up to $15 with you still winning. That means that someone else has bid $14 and the system automatically outbid them with your $15. Then at 3PM somebody else bids $20. This causes the bid to increase to $20. You are still winning because your $20 bid came in before theirs. But $20 is your max, so at this point any higher bid will outbid yours.



Let's say closing time for your lot is 7:15PM. At 7:12 (3 minutes before that lot's close time) another bidder posts a bid of $21. If you're not watching (maybe you're letting the cat in), you won't know about it and the other bidder will win the item when it closes at 7:15.


But what if they post their $21 bid only *1* minute before that lot's close time. Because this is a soft close, the timing of their bid has now extended that lot's close time by an additional 2 minutes, give you time to notice that you've been outbid and post a higher bid. Of course, if your $22 bid comes in during the new last 2 minutes before the new close time, the time will extend again on just this lot.


If you are determined to win a certain lot, it pays to remember when your most desired lot closes. And to watch the soft close in real time by using HiBid's Live Catalog feature. The Live Catalog opens 30 minutes before the start of Soft Close. When the Live Catalog opens, you'll see it blinking at the bottom right corner of the main info box that introduces each auction's catalog. Like this:






Please call Hawley Auctions office with any questions about the online registration or bidding process.

Accepting Quality Consignments by Appointment.

Click here for more information.

** Health/Safety **

Masks required while indoors at Hawley Auctions.

More information from Dane County Public Health here

What is soft close?

Soft close is a way to prevent "sniper software" from swooping in the last second before a lot closes, to outbid the last bidder by a small amount and force the lot to close before other bidders have a chance to react. When someone bids in the last 2 minutes, Hibid pushes the closing time out another 2 minutes so other bidders have a chance to notice. Sometimes the closing time gets pushed out several times before all bidders have reached their own max amounts.

soft close
register and bid

How to Bid

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