Writing off a loss isn't as valuable as gaining something though, so it doesn't explain why the owner of something wouldn't want to negotiate a sale rather than auction something off.
I think it's 'also' all about the tax code which I don't understand. I know businesses that lose money on paper, but are far from losing money. I have grown up around car dealers and sales people all my life. And I will tell you this, they are experts at finding ways to make money, to screw people, take advantage of EVERYTHING and ANYTHING, tell you up and down how they made no money on the deal, writing things off tax wise, paying no taxes and a few other things that are illegal to mention. But these programs are setup by people smarter than I am. And I admit, I leased once, that when you drive in on the last day of your lease and hand the keys over they will offer to sell you that vehicle for a price that makes me laugh. And I always assumed no one ever paid it, except I know two who don't understand what the amount of money will get them, so they did buy it. Or those that just go from one lease to another and don't look at the long term cost. But again, on that last day they offer you that car for what I believe IS ALWAYS more than what it is worth as a used car. You say no, and off it goes. If they stood a chance at making more money than carting it away, I will tell you this; they would bargain. But my understanding is they don't (I'm sure there is an exception, please allow me to generalize here). When you take that car on day 1, in that contract is your buy price. It is what it is.
Speaking of this. My good friend who owns the dealerships. He once got accused of dumping motor oil by a disgruntled service manager who was no more (btw, when they aren't making money off customers, they find ways to pay less labor and become stellar employers to their employee's, just look at the low turnover.....) Ok, well, back on topic. The sales manager accused the owner/dealership of dumping oil in the drain. Said in the complaint that the owner bought a new million dollar motorhome (he did) and dumped the oil one day in the shop, in the bay. Sent a picture, it was staged, but it was an oil filter draining in the floor drain. So, the DNR came in with a small task force and searched the place. Checked the drains, took samples and confronted the owner with the pics. He laughed. They asked why. He said; well, that's the wrong oil filter for my motorhome. Second, my motorhome is actually too tall with the sat antenna/AC's to fit in the bay.....something he pointed out he learned the hard way. And lastly, he pulled out statements where he gets hundreds a month 'selling' his used motor oil to Pennzoil who picks it up/pumps it out twice a month. He said; why would I dump money down the drain? If you truly know a dealership owner, you will know that they covet $100 or $10 as much as $1,000,000 dollars. It's one of the secrets about how the rich get richer. Every dollar, all of them matter. I work in Law Enforcement so he knew I'd enjoy the story, but it made me think; Hey, why do I pay an environmental impact fee/oil recycling/oil disposal fee when you get that oil picked up for free AND paid for it. He just smiled.