Most economists characterize spot markets as performing two basic functions: price discovery and locational services (which may be subdivided into assembly and sorting). The livestock auction industry in total does not differ from this general characterization since its basic function is to bring buyers and sellers to the place where the animals are being marketed. Thus whether the principal species and class handled in a particular market is feeder pigs or cull beef cows the functions performed at this level of generality are the same. The marketing procedures used are also highly uniform, consisting principally of unloading, sorting, presentation to buyers and reloading, along with the necessary record keeping. As a result there is a tendendy to view this industry as homogenous with some unit cost differences due principally to variation in size.