An online auction is very similar to an estate sale, where a liquidation company comes in to try to sell as much of a home's contents as possible. Rather than hosting an in-person event, the auction format allows buyers to browse the estate contents online. The advantage to this format for sellers is that 90% or more of the items will sell. Because bidding starts at $1, buyers can get some great deals, and the homeowners get a cleaned-out house at the end. It's a win-win.