An auction is a process of buying and selling goods or services by offering them up for bid, taking bids, and then selling the item to the highest bidder. In economic theory, an auction may refer to any mechanism or set of trading rules for exchange. Auctions were commonly used for selling goods, most prominently antiques and artwork, but also secondhand goods and real estate.
Participants bid openly against one another, with each subsequent bid required to be higher than the previous bid. An auctioneer may announce prices, bidders may call out their bids themselves or have a proxy call out a bid on their behalf. The auction ends when no participant is willing to bid further, at which point the highest bidder pays their bid. Alternatively, if the seller has set a minimum sale price in advance (the 'reserve' price) and the final bid does not reach that price the item remains unsold. Sometimes the auctioneer sets a minimum amount by which the next bid must exceed the current highest bid. The most significant distinguishing factor of this auction type is that the current highest bid is always available to potential bidders.
At some point during his quest to retrieve the Black Pearl, Jack Sparrow traded Scarlett and Giselle to the Auctioneer, who led an auction at Shipwreck City, in which a crowd of pirates would bid on the two wenches. The auction ended with the Marquis D'avis's final bid of 700 pieces of silver and two goats.
Behind the scenes
- In Walt Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean, there was an impromptu auction taking place in the town's bustling marketplace, where the Auctioneer is in the process of selling off women to pirates. A big banner, with "Auction—Take a Wench for a Bride" written on it, was included in the Auction scene to get the point across that the pirates weren't "taking advantage" of the ladies, but that they were auctioning them off to be brides. Over the years, the auction scene has remained largely intact since the attraction opened, though the banner comes and goes with some refurbishments. The auction scene was referenced in the short film, Tales of the Code: Wedlocked, though most of the dialogue taken from the original attraction never made it to the final cut.