A Look at the Top Online Auctions Sites in Canada

(Plus 10 Reputable Recommendations)

When you think of online auctions, one name probably immediately springs to mind: eBay. While they’re an undisputed industry leader in the online auction sphere, they’re far from the only option. Online auctions in Canada have been showing an increase in popularity each year, with numerous auction sites popping up to accommodate a wide variety of needs.

If you’re looking for some awesome Canadian auction sites, but want an alternative option eBay, check out our complete list below. We’ve rounded up our favourite online auction sites and created a complete guide to help you choose an option that's a fit for you, with the products you want so you can find the deals you’re looking for.

The Different Types of Online Auction Sites

Most auctions online operate in a similar way. A seller lists a product for potential buyers to bid on. The buyer with the highest bid at the end of the auction wins the item. Almost all online auctions have a time limit. Within that basic auction framework, you’ll also find some variety.

Best Online Auction Sites Canada

Here’s a closer look at a few different types of online auctions:

Absolute Auction

Absolute Auctions have a guaranteed sale for every item. The highest bid wins the auction, regardless of the price.

On the plus side, you can potentially score great deals at an Absolute Auction. However, these auctions also tend to attract a ton of bidders. You’ll want to develop a solid bidding strategy because Absolute Auctions can move pretty fast.

Minimum Bid Auctions

In a Minimum Bid Auction, each item has a set minimum price. If no bidder offers the minimum amount, the item remains unsold and returns to the seller.

Minimum Bid Auctions often have higher quality items than Absolute Auctions because the seller has assurances he won’t lose a boatload of money selling an item for far beneath its market value. Additionally, buyers have a reasonable estimation of how much they’ll need to spend to win the auction.

Reserve Auction

A reserve auction is a bit different from the other types. In a reserve auction, you might not necessarily end up with the item, even if you place the winning bid. Instead, the seller reserves the right to accept or refuse the winning bid.

While a reserve auction provides numerous advantages for the seller, it can be a frustrating experience for the buyer. You might end up spending time researching and bidding on a product that you never get to own.

Inversely, there are also auctions that intentionally don't set a reserve price – such as our No-Reserve Vehicle Auction. There are usually some awesome deals to be had, but these types of sales can also attract more bidders which can increase competition.

Penny Auctions

Also called bidding fee auctions, penny auctions are only available online. Each buyer purchases the right to bid. During the auction, bids steadily increase by a penny. Bidders use their bidding opportunities to signal the price they want to pay.

On the plus side, penny auctions can allow you to snag great deals on name-brand merchandise. However, if you don’t win the bid, you still spend money. You can potentially spend a fair amount of money and never actually win any items by the end of the auction.

Top Online Auctions Sites

You’ll find no shortage of online auction sites. They all have a slightly different angle and specialize in selling every type of asset you can think of. Here’s a closer look at a few sites which combine a robust selection of products, user-friendly design, and an overall trustworthy reputation.

Graham Auctions in Calgary

As an online auction ourselves, specializing in retail, wholesale liquidation, home improvement, heavy equipment and vehicle auctions – We’ve studied the industry in quite a lot of detail. There are a lot of reputable auction companies out there doing some fine work.

So if you’ve checked out the weekly sales at Graham Auctions and haven’t found what you’re looking for, we’d recommend taking a look at some of these other auctions.

In case you’re still on the fence, here are some of our favourite online auction products. You can also find thousands of awesome deals in the auction catalogue.

Our Top 10 Best Online Auction Sites

1. Auction Network

Auction Network is an online auction site based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are a full-service auction company serving thousands of clients across Canada and buyers from around the world. Auction Network conducts frequent live online auctions and offers full-time auction consignment.

2. 403 Auction

403 Auction is a family-owned online auction operating out of Brampton, Ontario, Canada. They host weekly auctions and are one of the largest auction venues in Canada with over 22,000 sq ft. of space. The owners of 403 Auction have over 30 years of combined experience in the Liquidation and Auction Services and specialize in items that are lost in transit commonly referred to as misguided freight, salvage, OSD or non-deliverable merchandise. They also conduct on-site auctions containing restaurant equipment, industrial/commercial warehouses and retail inventory.

3. HiBid

HiBid is an auction software site serving as both a provider and hub for hundreds of auction sites in Canada and the United States. Not only do they enable auction companies to do business online, but they are also a hub for auction lovers to find thousands of different auction sales based on location, product type, auction type and more!

4. Live Auction World

Live Auction World is an online auction marketplace that allows bidders to place bids and attend traditional brick-and-mortar auctions online as if you were right there in person. They specialize in farm auctions, equipment auctions, real estate auctions, livestock auctions, commercial and vehicle auctions. Live Auction World has been offering live auction software to auctioneers for over a decade and is considered one of the industry's stable platforms.

5. AuctionMaxx

AuctionMaxx is an online liquidation auction based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada specializing in unclaimed or mislabeled freight, retail surplus, overstock, insurance claims, corporate and individual consignment. AuctionMaxx sells a wide range of consumer and industry products through a weekly online auction, and also offers goods for immediate purchase at a fixed price.

6. Bonanza

Bonanza is a large and popular auction site with a special emphasis on sellers. They provide a variety of tools for sellers to build their brand, including  

  • Inventory synchronization from eBay, Amazon, and Shopify
  • Customized marketing campaigns
  • No listing fees, monthly store fees, or hidden fees
  • All advertising costs paid for until you make your first sale

Bonanza features a robust selection of merchandise for use around the house. They focus mainly on clothing, home and garden, health and beauty, and gardening.

7. Charity Auctions Today

Created in 2007, Charity Auctions Today is designed as an easy way for nonprofits to create auctions to use as fundraisers. They offer no fees on the money raised. Plus, setting up an auction is simple. Auctions work on all device platforms and include both credit card processing and social media tools.

If you’re not a seller, but instead interested in shopping, Charity Auctions Today is also a great choice. The site offers reliable security. Also, because it’s a popular site, you’ll find plenty of big-name brands offering products for bidding. Plus, you get the added bonus of helping raise money for charity.

8. LiveAuctioneers

LiveAuctioneers is a live auction replacement site. They’re a virtual substitute for a traditional, high-end auction. They mainly deal with art and antiques. Most of the sellers are auction houses and galleries.

The site uses live streaming to host live auctions from locations around the world. Buyers must first register before they’re allowed to bid, although registration is free. Because the merchandise sold is typically on the expensive side, LiveAuctioneers conducts robust verification of both buyers and sellers.

9. Auction Guide

Auction Guide provides real-time information on a wide variety of different auctions throughout Canada. Although the specifics change over time, you can find auctions for cars, tools, furniture, and much more.

Keep in mind the Auction Guide site doesn’t run these individual auctions. You’ll want to check out the reputation of each auction before participating. However, if you’re a fan of online auctions, Auction Guide is a great resource because new auctions are listed on a regular basis.

10. Webstore

At first glance, Webstore doesn’t look like it has much to offer. The design is definitely outdated and downright clunky. However, appearance aside, Webstore has lots to like for anyone interested in online auctions.

Webstore is a massive online auction marketplace. They offer no fees for selling or buying. You can find everything from clothes to cars to antiques and much, more. They’re one of the largest online auction sites, rivalling even eBay in size.

Final Thoughts

More and more Canadians are turning to online auctions for great deals on a huge range of items, from major purchases to minor household needs. However, you don’t want to trust just any online auction site. All of the options listed above are trustworthy sites with well-established reputations.

No matter what items you’re looking to buy, an online auction is a fast and easy way to snag an amazing deal. If you’re looking to gain a leg up, you might want to consider using the information and techniques in our Online Auction Guide to help yourself land the winning bid! Ready to get started? Check out how easy it is to bid on our auction site!

Graham Auctions
The editorial team at Graham Auctions is a group of industry-savvy staff led by folks with over 20 years of direct experience in both the Calgary and surrounding Alberta Auction industry. We aim to create customer-oriented content in hopes that our existing + future customers participating in the auction find it to be a helpful resource come auction time. You will also find informational content relevant to the auction house, upcoming live, online + silent auctions and the latest news around the Online Auction industry in Canada.

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