Friday, 8 March 2013

What is a Holiday Auction and How Does it Work?

By Keely Capel

Holiday auctions have become increasingly popular over the recent years, with travel auctions offering everything from event tickets, flights, holiday accommodation to complete packaged holidays. Yet many people still don’t really know what a holiday auction is or how it works. 

Traditional auctions have been around for years with most towns having at least one auction house, where lotes are displayed for viewing ahead of auction day, and when that day comes around interested parties place their bids either in a live environment or remotely by phone competing against others until their bid wins or they reach their pre-determined limited on what they are prepare to offer for the item.

Holiday Auctions or Travel Auctions as they are often referred to are not much different. However with over 68% of people now searching for and booking their holidays online, the internet has facilitated auctions like nothing before. Not travel related but possible the most well-known online auction company is eBay. 

Individual users and companies upload their products to listing pages, giving details of the item for sale, payment methods accepted and any conditions to the purchase. These are then displayed in a live auction format on the internet for anyone to view and bid on.  Auctions can run for a variety of lengths, some for just a matter of hours, whilst other can run for days and even weeks at a time. Throughout the set time frame people can freely place a bid on the interested item. Should they be outbid by another they simply return to the auction page and place another bid and so on until the auction draws to a close and the last person to place the highest bid wins. 

This principal has been taken and applied to so many different industries and Holiday auctions are one of them. The main difference with a holiday auction is that they item you purchase will not be delivered to your home and you will not be able to touch or feel it until you arrive at the chosen destination.  You may need to do your research first to be sure that the country and location of the holiday fits with your needs and requirements, however this is really no different to researching and booking a normal holiday whether online or with a travel agent. 

Travel Auctions will offer live availability and individual auctions tend to run for short periods of time, due to the holiday possibly being last minute, a cancellation or simply to ensure that the availability remains in place for the winner. 

As said before travel auctions can vary from flight only, accommodation only to complete packages so make sure you know what you are bidding on and ensure you have located transportation to the destination or accommodation if it is not a complete package. Due to the short periods of time holiday auctions run for, you should have no problem matching these elements up to fit with one another. 

If you are successful in securing the winning bid on a holiday auction you will receive a booking confirmation straight away to confirm what you have booked and method of payment. Flight tickets, accommodation instructions or keys will generally not be released to you until you have made full payment, if the holiday auction you won is last minute this will be instantly, if dates of the holiday are still some way off then it may be you are asked for a deposit to secure the holiday after winning the travel auction with full payment due 8 weeks before you are due to depart. At this time you will receive all your booking information ready for your trip. 

A lot of reputable travel companies offer holiday auctions and you will always be able to find contact information and details of the company offering the holiday auctions, if you are seeking peace of mind before bidding.  As with any purchase on the internet it is always advisable to confirm whom the company is before parting with money, however there are now a number of safeguards in place for transacting online to ensure you do not get caught out. 

If bidding on a holiday auction sounds interesting, then we would highly recommend you check out some of our latest holiday auctionsavailable now.