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  • Writer's pictureMike Brandly, Auctioneer

Auctioneers … would a space or two help?

I’m viewing an online auction on my phone (as most do) and I realize space is a premium. Yet, I see “High Bid:111.00 USD” and have to take a second look to ensure I can clearly see what the high bid is … would not “High Bid: 111.00 USD” be better?

I know it’s just a space, but let’s demonstrate the difference here … Iknowitsjustaspacebutonespacecanmakeadiffrence can’t it. Maybe even two spaces would help even more? Or could we look at other options?

For those auctioneers — or software companies — who are unfamiliar, the black bar along the bottom right of the above picture is a “space bar” which can make the text more readable, by separating distinct material information.

We would ask, why have the “colon” after high bid? Why the D in USD? Would a safe assumption be that in the US it would be dollars? There are two spaces saved, which could make the high bid easier to read.

Understanding that the symbol for dollars in the United States is “$” and that symbol is used for other currencies around the world, couldn’t the software discern where the bidder was located, or what country the bidder is registered from, to determine the appropriate symbol?

Here are some possibly better solutions, understanding space is a premium in a mobile phone society:

Instead of High Bid:111.00 USD (19 spaces)

High Bid 111.00 US (18 spaces) HighBid 111.00 US (17 spaces) High Bid $111.00 (16 spaces) HighBid $111.00 (15 spaces)

Maybe put the currency at the top of the list of bids? US Dollars: High Bid 111.00 (15 spaces) HighBid 111.00 (14 spaces)

I suspect this is programming, and not auctioneers setting up their auctions to display the high bids in this fashion. However, if it is a setting, it can certainly be set differently for far more clarity.

Our view is whatever the high bid is, there should be at least one space before the number, and at least one space after the number. After all, it is the most important information — isn’t it?

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Brandly Real Estate & Auction, and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He has served as faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.

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