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in international trade, a method of selling certain goods (such as fur pelts, tobacco, and tea) in separate lots. Prior to an auction the goods (or samples of them) are exhibited for the inspection of possible buyers. The time and place of the auction are announced beforehand. The general conditions of the sale of goods are determined by the seller. The buyer is considered to be the person who during the course of the auction has offered the highest price. At an auction, in contrast to an ordinary sale, the seller is absolved from responsibility for the quality of the goods that are sold. In the USSR, international auctions for the sale of fur pelts are regularly held in Leningrad.
At the form of auction known as a public sale there is a forced sale of the property of people who cannot pay their debts. Goods are also sold if they have not been claimed on time from transportation and warehouse enterprises and in certain other cases.
V. S. POZDNIAKOV