The Science Behind Sorting: A Closer Look

Wondered before why certain items are grouped together, or broken into different groups? Or why some auctions last only a day, while others can be up to a week long? Why do some auctions start early in the morning, or later in the afternoon? If you’ve had these questions (or others like them), this blog post is for you – we have a quick rundown of why things are done the way they are.


With grouping, sometimes groups are put together to maximize returns. Take outdated electronics for example – the camera on even the most low-end smartphones provides higher resolution images than many point and shoot digital cameras from 5 to 10 years ago. Accordingly, we will group the outdated cameras, less expensive or possibly damaged tablets and other dated electronics together and sell them as a group. By doing this, we increase the chances of clearing more assets where the alternative might have been to dispose of the items.

On this same note, some assets will increase in value when they are grouped with other similar items. Our merchandising department tracks the value of individual assets and regularly makes data-supported recommendations to the processing centers to ensure they continue to maximize the value of the assets for our agency partners. We monitor the size and composition of lots and use that data to provide guidance to our processing team members.

Another reason for grouping and/or ungrouping could also be the way assets are submitted. If a large group of items are submitted under a single SKU, more valuable assets are then “broken out” from the parent SKU and assigned a unique SKU bearing your departments unique code so the asset can be fully tracked through the chain of custody.

Finally, items are grouped after going unsold at auction as an individual item or lot. If your agency has several unsold lots of product, the items specifically from your agency can be grouped with items from other lots from your agency for sale as a large lot. We never combine the product from more than one agency for sale.

Start/End Times

Using our algorithm, products are sent to auction with closing times scattered throughout the entire day. The algorithm takes into account the amount of product being sent to auction and balances it across the upcoming week. The merchandising department monitors the auctions being created that week, and provides recommendations on staggering the start times and spacing the auctions out over time to preserve the value of the assets. The staff at the processing centers and the merchandisers work collaboratively to ensure an even spread of product throughout the week (or weeks).

Auction Duration

There is some variability in the duration of an auction that is very similar in logic to the Start & End time discussion above. The duration of an auction has less to do with the final sold price than you might expect. Sometimes a single day also called a “flash auction” can be an effective tool for maximizing the value by compelling a bidder to bid based on a sense of urgency. We often hear from bidders that they prefer shorter auctions, but most of our auctions run for four to seven days, which gives enough time for our regular bidders to see them and time for the casual internet browser to stumble across them while searching for product.

Additionally, our marketing department runs various promotions and campaigns that feature auctions with varying durations as well. Our customers who subscribe to receive notifications about these items have been “trained” on some level to expect the various duration auctions.


Do you have any further questions, or concerns that have not been addressed here? As always, please feel free to reach out to our Client Success team at or call 866.799.3551.

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