From a legal perspective, auctions are interesting transactions.
Offer and acceptance in most sales
Let’s start by discussing an ordinary contract for the sale of goods, one not created at auction. Law students learn in their first year that the formation of a contract requires, among other things, offer and acceptance. Generally speaking, an offer must include all the essential elements of a contract and may include other terms. An acceptance must be the “mirror image” of the offer. That means, to form a contract from the offer, the person to whom the offer is made must accept it exactly as presented, without changing any of the terms or introducing new ones. A purported acceptance that changes, removes, or adds terms is not an acceptance at all. It is a rejection of the offer and the extension of a counteroffer.