How SuperRare Timed Auctions Work

Deep dive into our next-generation system for digital art auctions, secured by Ethereum

Jon Perkins
Dec 7, 2020 · 8 min read

Our product and engineering team has been heads down for the past couple of months working on a complete redesign of auctions and bidding on SuperRare. We’re beyond excited to share it with you!

Early access launch for SuperRare Auction Week on Dec. 7th, 2020; Full public feature launch Dec. 14th, 2020.

Why timed auctions?

Three years of learning and community feedback built in ❤️

Secure, on-chain auctions powered by Ethereum

SuperRare auctions are completely non-custodial (meaning your artwork and bids are never touched by us or anyone else) and all settlement happens directly on-chain, making it highly secure and tamper proof.

Want a deep dive into how SuperRare Auctions work? Read on!

What’s New, What’s the Same

Sellers will still be able to set a price at which collectors can simply buy their artwork at any time.

Artworks can still receive open offers if they’re not under auction, but the name is changing from bid to offer to distinguish it from bidding in an auction. Artworks that are counting down to the start of a Scheduled Auction are not available for making offers.

Scheduled Auctions

Overview

  • Start date & time
  • End date & time
  • Starting bid price (bidders won’t be able to bid below this amount — optional)

When an auction is scheduled, a countdown timer appears on the artwork indicating when bidding will start.

At the start of the auction, a countdown timer is started, indicating the time remaining.

Bidding is available at amounts equal to or higher than the starting bid price. Bids placed during an auction cannot be cancelled. If a bidder is outbid, their bid is returned.

If a bid is placed within the last 15 minutes of an auction, the auction time is extended by 15 minutes from the time of the bid.

The high bid at the end of the auction wins the auction.

Scheduled Auctions Step by Step– Seller’s perspective:

  1. Artwork now displays a timer counting down to the auction start. No bids can be placed during this time. Your followers are notified of the Scheduled Auction.
  2. Auction starts at scheduled time. Artwork now displays a timer counting down to the auction end. Bidding is available for bids that at least match the starting bid price.
  3. You get notified as bids are placed. If a bid is placed within the last 15 minutes of an auction, the auction time is extended to 15 minutes after the time of the bid.
  4. At the end of the auction, it closes automatically. You and the buyer are notified that it needs to be settled. (Settling is a one-time action taken at the end of each auction, which just releases the artwork and ETH from the auction smart contract)
  5. If the buyer doesn’t do it first, you can settle the auction via your dashboard page or via the artwork card 3-dot menu, and the money and artwork change hands.

Scheduled Auctions Step by Step– Buyer’s perspective:

  1. At the time of the auction start, the work is available for bidding. If the seller has set a starting bid price, your bid must meet or exceed it.
  2. If you get outbid, your funds will be returned immediately and you can place a higher bid.
  3. If a bid is placed within the last 15 minutes of an auction, the auction time is extended to 15 minutes after the time of the bid.
  4. At the end of the auction, it closes automatically. You and the seller are notified that it needs to be settled. (Settling is a one-time action taken at the end of each auction, which just releases the artwork and ETH from the auction smart contract)
  5. If the seller doesn’t do it first, you can settle the auction via your notifications page, and the money and artwork change hands.

Reserve Auctions

Reserve auctions don’t have a scheduled start time. Instead, the artwork has an indicator that a reserve price is set, and is available for bidding starting at the reserve price.

The first bid must be at least the reserve price. When the reserve price is met by the first bid, the auction is triggered and the timer starts a 24-hour countdown to the end of the auction.

Bids placed during an active timed auction cannot be cancelled. If a bidder is outbid, their bid is returned.

If a bid is placed within the last 15 minutes of an auction, the auction time is extended by 15 minutes.

The high bid at the end of the auction wins the auction.

Reserve Auctions Step by Step– Seller’s perspective:

  1. Your followers are notified of the Reserve Auction. Artwork now displays an indicator that a reserve auction is set and displays the reserve price. Artwork is available for bids starting at the reserve price.
  2. When a bid is placed that meets or exceeds your reserve price the auction is triggered, starting a 24-hour countdown to the end of the auction
  3. Your followers are notified of the timed auction kickoff and bidding is available until the end of the auction.
  4. You get notified as bids are placed. If a bid is placed within the last 15 minutes of an auction, the auction time is extended to 15 minutes after the time of the bid.
  5. At the end of the auction, it closes automatically and notifies you and seller that it needs to be settled. (Settling is a one-time action taken at the end of each auction, which just releases the artwork and ETH from the auction smart contract)
  6. If the buyer doesn’t do it first, you can settle the auction via your notifications page or via the artwork card 3-dot menu, and the money and artwork change hands.

Reserve Auctions Step by Step– Buyer’s perspective:

  1. The artwork has an indicator that it has a reserve auction set with X reserve price.
  2. You cannot bid beneath the reserve price
  3. If you place a bid that meets or exceeds the seller’s reserve price, the auction is triggered starting a 24-hour countdown to the end of the auction
  4. If a bid is placed within the last 15 minutes of an auction, the auction time is extended to 15 minutes after the time of the bid.
  5. At the end of the auction, it closes automatically and notifies you and seller that it needs to be settled. (Settling is a one-time action taken at the end of each auction, which just releases the artwork and ETH from the auction smart contract)
  6. If the seller doesn’t do it first, you can settle the auction via your notifications page, and the money and artwork change hands.

FAQ

A: No, Buy Now prices will be hidden from the UI as soon as an auction is configured

Q: Is an artwork available for offers if it is counting down to a Scheduled Auction?

A: No. If an artwork has a Scheduled Auction, offers are closed until the auction bidding starts.

Q: Are bids placed in an auction able to be withdrawn?

A: No, bids placed in an auction cannot be withdrawn for the duration of the auction. If a bid is outbid, it will be returned.

Q: Can open offers still be withdrawn outside of auctions?

A: Yes, offers can always be withdrawn

Q: What if I have an open offer on an artwork and the owner sets up a Scheduled Auction or Reserve Auction on it– can I withdraw my offer?

A: Yes.

Q: Can auctions be cancelled?

A: Scheduled Auctions can be cancelled before they begin. Reserve Auctions can be cancelled before the timed auction has been kicked off. If a timed auction in a Scheduled or Reserve Auction has begun, it cannot be cancelled.

Q: Can I set up an auction if a piece has an existing offer?

A: Yes, but the existing offer will be hidden from the UI as soon as the auction is configured. The person with the existing offer will be able to withdraw it, even during the auction.

Have any additional questions? Let us know and we’ll add them!

SuperRare 💎

Discover • Sell • Collect • #SingleEdition, SuperRare…

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