An automated system for conducting an auction and a method for operating the system. The system comprises a plurality of bid entry terminal and a bidding information processor communicatively coupled to the bid entry terminals. Bidders at the bid entry terminals observe displayed information and enter bids accordingly. The bidding information processor and the bid entry terminals communicate and process information in order to conduct an auction. The method involves conducting an auction in which the price paid by bidders is independent of their own bids, in which participants are provided with information concerning their competitors' bids as the auction progresses, and in which the confidentiality of high values is maintained.