Welcome to BioSurplus Auctions!

We’re pleased to offer our timed online auction service – one more way we make it easy for you to find great deals on used lab equipment.

Please take a moment to review the instructions below. You’ll find out just how easy it is to view upcoming auctions, sign up for a new user account, and bid on the equipment that catches your eye.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call us at 858-550-0800 x222.

Auctions – How It Works

Viewing Auctions

It’s easy to view the available items in each of our auctions. Just go to http://auctions.biosurplus.com and click on the auction that you’re interested in. Current and future auctions can be found in the center section of the page titled UPCOMING AUCTIONS. You can then browse the list of equipment and view details.

Sign Up and Register to Bid

In order to participate in our online auctions, you need to sign up for an account and register to bid. Just follow these easy steps:

  • Click on the Register button associated with the auction that you’re interested in participating in.
  • If you are a first-time participant, then click on the Register now! button in the Not a member yet box. Register Now Screenshot Here you will need to fill out your contact, billing and shipping information. Keep in mind that you will need a VALID CREDIT CARD in order to register. This card will only be charged if you purchase something in the auction and chose to use this as your form of payment. (We will not bill you until you actually purchase something in the auction.) At the time of purchase you can either use that card, use a different card or pay with a check. If you are a returning customer and have already set up your account, you will need to sign in with your username and password.
  • Once you have signed up for an account, or are a returning auction customer and have signed in, you will now need to click on the Register to bid button.

  • Please keep in mind that you must register separately for each auction you wish to participate in. Terms and conditions are set based on the agreements we have with our clients, and vary auction to auction.
  • After clicking on the Register to bid button, confirm your shipping information, click on the submit button, and you’re ready to go as soon as the bidding starts!

Bid in a Timed Online Auction

Our online auctions are time-limited and are very similar to eBay. Each auction runs for a predetermined amount of time from its start date: from three to ten days depending on the auction, with most auctions running seven days. The time remaining is clearly indicated for each item in a given auction.

The winner of the auction item is whoever is the highest bidder at the moment the auction ends given that the preset reserve was met. Although bidding for a given item ends at a specific time, if you enter a bid in the last five minutes, the auction will be extended for an additional five minutes.

This allows all bidders to evaluate whether or not they would like to place a higher bid, and will prevent your being outbid by a small incremental amount in the last few seconds. If you, or anyone else bidding on an item, enters a bid within the last five minutes of bidding, the auction for that item will be extended by an additional 5 minutes to the predetermined auction end time.

Proxy Bidding

We use proxy bidding in our timed online auctions. This means that you can enter the highest amount you wish to bid right now, walk away from the auction, and you will still get the lowest price possible.

As an example, let’s say you’re interested in an HPLC and are willing to pay up to $10,000, but right now the bid is only $1000. The next increment is $50, so if you bid $10,000, the bid will increment to $1050 and you are the winner.

If someone else bids $1100, it will auto increment to $1150 and you will still be the winner. If someone bids to $2000, it auto increments to $2050 and you are still the winner. It will continue to do this until your $10,000 max bid has been reached.

At this point you will receive an email stating that you have been outbid, and you can choose to bid higher or not.

It is important to bid as early as possible on an item you are determined to win: in a tie the first person to bid wins. If you placed a max bid of $10,000 for the HPLC, and someone else at a later time also bids $10,000 for that HPLC, you are the winner, unless they choose to place a higher bid. Please see “Reserves” below for additional information.

Some items may have a “Buy Now” option. If you choose to use that option, you can secure the item at that price and remove the item from bidding. You do not have to use this option – you can also simply bid and see if you are the winner at the end of the auction.


Our auctions can include thousands of items grouped into lots. We’ve made it easy for you to keep track of the equipment you’re interested in bidding on in upcoming auctions.

When you find an item/lot that you’re interested in, simply check the square (see image), and then click on the Add to watchlist button on the upper- right-hand side of the page. You can then click on the View my watchlist link to keep track of the bidding on each item during the auction.


How to Bid

There are two ways to place a bid in a BioSurplus auction: by meeting the current minimum bid, and by setting a maximum bid.

Current Bid

Our system tracks all bidding on an item/lot and automatically lets you know the next highest bid needed to participate. You can then choose to bid this amount or greater.

Proxy or Maximum Bid

When you use the proxy bid option, you set a limit on the amount you would like to bid on an item/lot. The system will then automatically respond to subsequent bids by other participants in increments, up to the amount you set as the maximum you’re willing to pay.

If the bidding stops below the amount you set, you will not be charged the maximum, but the next minimum increment above the last bid placed before the auction closed.

Proxy Example


Many items/lots in our auctions will have reserve bid amounts set for them. This is the minimum bid that will be accepted for an item/lot in the auction. If the reserve amount is not met during bidding, the item/lot will be marked unsold.

To see if an item has a reserve, click on the item detail. Underneath the Bid Button (see above) the item will either have nothing, meaning there is no reserve, or it will say Reserve not met or Reserve met.

If you are using Proxy bidding (see above), and we use the same $10,000 HPLC example from above, where the bid is currently at $1000 with the reserve unmet, and the HPLC has a set reserve of $5,000, as soon as you enter $10,000 it will go to the $5000 reserve. From there it will continue to auto increment until the $10,000 maximum you entered is reached.

Payment And Shipping

Once you have won your item or items, we will send you an invoice electronically to the email address that we have on file.

Some auctions or items are eligible for BioSurplus packing and shipping. If you would like a shipping and packaging quote from us, simply reply to that invoice email asking for a shipping and handling quote. Quotes are typically delivered back to you by email within 48 hours.

Once you have received your quote, you have the option of paying for your item along with the shipping and handling costs. If you choose to take care of your own shipping, simply pay for the item.

Pick Up Instructions

If you live close-by to the site of the auction that you participated in, you have the option of picking up your item/s yourself. You will need to make an appointment at the warehouse by contacting us at auctionsupport@nullbiosurplus.com or by calling 858-550-0800 x222.

When you make your appointment, please let us know if you will be sending someone other than the registered bidder. You will need to request, sign and fax or email us a signed agent release form in order for the item to be picked up by a third party.