What is bidding off the wall?

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Bidding off the wall, or taking bids from the chandelier, as it is sometime known, is where the auctioneer bids on behalf of the vendor. He is, by law, allowed to bid on behalf of the vendor up to, but not including the reserve price or beyond it. In some cases, this may be extremely helpful for bidders, and let me give you an example. Supposing the property is coming up for auction, and there’s only one person interested in bidding for it in the room. The reserve has been set at 100,000, and this bidder is happy to buy it at 120,000. The bidding starts at 80,000 pounds, and without the auctioneer bidding on behalf of the vendor, it would never progress beyond that. However, because the auctioneer will take bids or generate bids of 85,000, the bidder then goes 90,000 etc. It can end up where the bidder, if he wants to, can bid 100,000 pounds and secure the property on the reserve price. The result is that the vendor sold the property at reserve, and the purchaser has bought the property on the reserve price, less than what he was prepared to pay for. Without the auctioneer taking bids off the wall, this would never have happened.