The following list of good auction house bidding practices will prepare you for an auction. This list of things to do before biding will give you the knowledge to help you protect yourself from making big mistakes at an auction and in turn will save you money.
Auction houses will usually have their auction catalogues available one week prior to the auction date. Most auction houses offer their auction catalogues on the internet or a hard copy that is mailed out or picked up at the auction house. Hard copies usually have to be purchased. The average cost for a catalogue is $10.00 to $25.00. This fee is to cover the cost of printing the auction catalogue.
While you are looking through the auction catalogues, mark the lots you wish to bid on. I usually make a mark or highlight the lot in the catalogue, doing this will help you find the lots that you are interested in easily at the preview and while the auction is taking place.
After you have finished looking through the auction catalogue, research the lots you are interested in bidding on. The auction house will provide a description and sometimes a picture of the lots being auctioned. Use this information to research the lots before going to the preview. This way you will have an idea of what to look for during the preview.
It is important to attend the preview and give yourself plenty of time to preview all the items you are thinking of bidding on. Even though you previewed the catalogue, do not forget to ask if there is an addendum to the catalogue. Most of the time the auction house will add lots after the catalogue has been published. While at the preview, you should inspect the items you want to bid on. Make sure to inspect the item for any damage, things that don’t look original, maker marks or signatures, quality, and that the lot number is correct. While viewing the items at the preview, decide which items you want to bid on and which ones you don’t. You should do these prior to the start of the auction. There won’t be enough time to do these after the auction starts. Most lots will sell in 30 seconds during the auction.
Do you have any questions about the items you are interested in? If you do, then this is the time to ask them. Auction houses will have their specialists and staff ready for you at the preview so that you can have all your questions answered prior to the auction. Remember no question is a stupid question; do not be afraid to ask questions.
Now that you have narrowed down the items you want to bid on, you should spend some time researching them properly. Here is a list of some things to consider while researching:
This is a very important question to ask yourself. Setting your maximum bid is essential. I mentioned before each lot of an auction sells in about 30 seconds. In this time you do not have the time to determine what you want to pay for an item. You are guaranteed to over pay for an item if you do not set your limits for each item prior to auction start. It is very easy to get caught up in the fast pace of the auctioneers chant or bid calling. You should take into account the following things when determining your maximum price:
If you like more information on how to set your maximum bid price read my article on how to bid at an auction.
Make sure you find out if there is a buyer’s premium and how much the premium is. The average buyer’s premium is 10 to 25 %. If you plan on leaving absentee bids, bidding on the internet, or paying by credit card you should ask if there is an addition buyer’s premium or any charges that applies.
An auction house expects you to take your items with you. Most auction houses require you to pay for the item(s) and remove them on the same day. If you are buying small items this should not be a problem. If you are buying large items such as furniture or artwork you should make shipping and transportation arrangements prior to the auction. I know exactly what you are thinking… “I don’t even know if I am going to win the lot! Why should I make transportation arrangements?” This is true but you need to be prepared if you do win the item. You don’t want to incur storage fees from the auction house. I know the next question that you have in your mind… “How do I arrange shipping for an item that I don’t own”. The answer is simple; most auctions houses have shipping and delivery departments or a list of local shippers that knows the shipping needs of the buyers. To get a shipping estimate, all you have to do is tell them the lot number and give them a few details about where it is going to go and you are done.
Most auction houses will allow you to pre register. This is usually done at the preview of the auction. You might be asking yourself, “why should I pre register?” the main reasons you should pre register are:
Actually, when anyone is hiring an auctioneer, the criterion is fairly uniform. Here are our ten most important things to consider when hiring an auctioneer:
Let’s look at these in more detail:
Empathy may well be the #1 auctioneer trait to evaluate. Does the auctioneer you are talking with seem interested in your situation and circumstances? Until an auctioneer knows about your story — why are you looking to have an auction and/or why are you hiring an auctioneer — no auctioneer can prescribe what services you require. Secondly, does that auctioneer genuinely appear concerned for your welfare — more-so than his own? Does the auctioneer suggest the best day for your auction per his schedule, or yours? Does the auctioneer suggest ways to save you expense, or just ways to enhance his profit? In other words, does the auctioneer seem “loyal” to you, or himself?
Market knowledge is essential. Is the auctioneer knowledgeable about the property you wish to sell? Does he know how and where to advertise your auction? Does the auctioneer know how prospective buyers are looking for property such as yours? The more your auctioneer knows about your property and knows how to attract ready, willing and able bidders to your auction, the more your property will demand, and the smoother the entire auction will be.
Feeling comfortable with your auctioneer is paramount. If you are not comfortable with an auctioneer you interview, your instincts are probably right, and you should hire someone else. Your choice of auctioneer must be someone you can talk with — as well as listens to you. You will be sharing details about your own financial and/or personal life; you have to trust your auctioneer to give you sound advice based upon your situation. Said another way … do you seem to “click” and share some common perspective? You’ll be spending time with your auctioneer, so getting along is important.
Simply put, does your choice of auctioneer have a sufficient education about the property you wish to sell at auction? Even better, is your auctioneer a specialist in the type of property you wish to sell? Potential buyers will have questions — and if those questions are answered accurately and in an intelligent manner, the more confidence they will have in the auction, and the more likely they will be to participate. Too, auctioneers must be educated enough to properly describe, promote and sell your property. Lastly, does your choice of auctioneer have an education commensurate with the likely bidder pool? Bidders’ education and specialties will be better served with an auctioneer with similar achievement.
Bidders participate in auctions to the degree they can trust the auctioneer. From the simplest notion of trust — that when the auctioneer says, “I have $500 here” he really does — to fair, equitable, honest terms and conditions with a lack of small print and adhesionary tactics … bidders respond with more, higher bids when they have faith and confidence in the auctioneer. And sellers need to be able to trust their auctioneer as well, from assurances the auction will be conducted as promised — to payment will be made per the agreed method and timeline. To the extent your auctioneer has a good reputation; the better your odds are of a successful auction.
It is reasonable to assume that an auctioneer with ten years experience selling cars probably can service your car auction needs better than an auctioneer with only two years experience. The more auctions an auctioneer completes — the more expertise is acquired and the more likely an “unusual” situation is less unusual to a more experienced auctioneer. The fewer times your auctioneer thinks, “I’ve never had that happen before …” the more likely your auction will go according to plan.
Don’t hire any auctioneer without at least being provided references … and better yet, contact at least three of those references to inquire about their experiences. There may be no better measure than a prior client’s opinion of an auctioneer — and while the willingness to provide some references is certainly encouraging, their opinions and evaluation can help you decide if this auctioneer is likely to meet your needs. Imagine the difference between, “I was completely satisfied, and I’d hire her again without reservation,” to “I really wasn’t happy with him. There were several things he had promised to do that he didn’t.”
It is absolutely imperative that the auctioneer you hire is properly licensed in the jurisdiction of your auction. While about one-half of the states in the United States license auctioneers more or less statewide, the other half have little or no licensing requirements. Nevertheless, an auctioneer who acts without the required licenses is, by default, being dishonest with you and the public at large. Further, an auctioneer lacking a license in a jurisdiction where one is required suggests even more concerning issues — “Why isn’t he licensed?” or “Was he licensed, but isn’t anymore?” Insist your auctioneer holds all required licenses.
Properly bonded & insured
Even the best of auctioneers can have things happen which are out of their control — the money is stolen, someone trips over an extension cord, or the caterer’s food causes an illness. Bonding provides sellers a form of guarantee in cases where the proceeds of your auction are not provided to you per your agreement; a bond pays you those monies. Similarly, insurance helps to pay for expenses related to lawsuits and/or other claims against you and/or your auctioneer. It is reasonable to expect your auctioneer to provide both some type of bonding and insurance.
Sellers should inquire if their auctioneer is a member of their state auctioneer association, and the National Auctioneers Association. With all that’s going on in the auction industry, there is little other way for any auctioneer to stay, “up-to-date,” than being a member. Too, meeting with, networking with, and learning from other members allows auctioneers to offer the most current and profitable services to their clients. By hiring a member auctioneer, sellers can leverage powerful alliances which can only make their auction a bigger success.
More and more sellers are choosing the auction method of marketing to sell their real and personal property. As such, more and more sellers are hiring auctioneers. By using this guide, sellers can help themselves maximize their auction experience by choosing a credible and capable auctioneer.
Happy New Year from all of us here at Carolina Auction Realty! With January upon us we are excited to greet a brand new year of sales. Our dedicated team is eager to get working. We want to remind you that if you are making a move and looking to sell your estate, liquidate your business assets, or even put some of your antiques and collectibles on consignment, Carolina Auction Realty offers a great solution. With our expertise in both live and online auctions, we can turn your assets into cash efficiently and at top market price. Visit us at carolinaauctionrealty.com or give us a call to see how we can help you.
Any one need brand new light fixtures at below contractors price? We have thousands of them. From inside to outside lights to Crystal Chandeliers to wall light fixtures. You name it we have it. Light Fixtures auction is online bidding only. Starts August 12th, Starts ending August 26th at 8″00 PM Eastern. For complete catalog, pictures and online bidding visit www.CarolinaAuctionRealty.com. There 700 lots.
NAA Auctioneer Tom Jordan held the largest non-farm auction land sale in the history of New Bern, N.C., over the weekend. The 272-acre residential retail project was appraised at $10 million prior to the auction.
The Crying the Auction has existed long before Auctioneers were known as “Knights of the Hammer” “Hustlers” or “Colonels. The term “crying” a sale followed shortly after the time when Roman soldiers thrust spears into the ground to signal the start of Auctions for the dispersal of the spoils of war.
An early term for an Auctioneer was an “Out-Crier.” To understand the origin of the Out Crier, we need to review his predecessor, the “Town Crier.”
It is believed that the first Town Criers were the Spartan Runners in the early Greek Empire. This position evolved as Europe developed.
As England colonized the world, the position of the Town Crier spread with it. Before the general populace could read, Town Criers brought the news to them, and served as spokesmen for the King. Town Criers were protected by law. “Don’t shoot the messenger” was a very real command; anything that was done to a Town Crier was deemed to be done to the King and was therefore a treasonable offense.
In addition to reading Royal proclamations and local bylaws, the Crier prevailed on market days, sometimes involved in the sale of damaged goods. It was Christmas in 1798, when the Chester Canal Co. sold some sugar damaged in their packet boat and this was to be advertised by the “bellman.” (Town Crier)
The similarities of both the Town Crier and the Out Crier are most evident. The bell was a very important tool for both the Town Crier and the Out-Crier to obtain the attention of the people and to gather a crowd. Most early Auctions were conducted in central locations such as the Town Square, central coffee houses and Inns. Posting announcements, broadsides and handbills were the trade mark of both Criers. A powerful voice directed to a primarily illiterate assemblage was an attribute of both.
The primary difference between the two Criers was the fact that the Auctioneer was not an official court or government position. However, it seems to me that the Auctioneers learned to copy much of what the Town Crier did in an effort to add importance and professionalism to their sales events.
The addition of the “Auction Hammer” or gavel to the use of the bell, added formality and a sense of finality to each and every Auction transaction. Hanging a red flag above the central location of the Auction also provided the image of an official event. Even the Auctioneers apparel was meant to elevate his position a notch above the common folk and give the illusion of importance.
It is still true today, that many auctions contain functions once used by the Town Crier. A court ordered foreclosure Auction sale may be conducted in the lobby of a municipal building with official public readings rendered in a clear loud voice prior to conducting the sale.
As the Out Crier evolved to be known as an Auctioneer “crying” techniques changed. Auctioneers transitioned to “Bid Calling” and perhaps a more rhythmic and refined “Chant” depending on their specialized markets of employment.
The 18thC Auctioneers of pictures (paintings) and books were very knowledgeable salesmen who very quickly described the positive attributes of what they were offering in their specialized fields to a primarily “dealer based” crowd. The country peddler Auctioneer who purchased his goods at a rapid fire wholesale auction on the docks of an American city, would bid call from his wagon at a much slower pace to his retail customers. He would take time to explain the fine attributes of his imported goods – get the highest price and distribute as much as possible to the crowd at that price.
Auctioneers of timber, standing grass, livestock and animal furs would sell very quickly to their educated buyers in a wholesale market. However, they were no match for speed in comparison to the Auctioneers selling perishable goods in a daily wholesale market. The auctioneers that were selling fresh fish, fruits & vegetables daily had to sell extremely fast and disperse the goods fast enough to get to a secondary market to be distributed to consumers by late morning on the same day.
So who is responsible for today’s rapid fire “dealer” market chant? It can’t be the automobile Auctioneers as their very first multi-vehicle dealer style auction wasn’t until 1938. However, the Automobile Auctioneers and Livestock Auctioneers certainly have developed fantastic bid calling chants.
I would credit the Tobacco Auctioneers for being the first group to truly combine speed, rhythm and clarity to quickly disperse their commodity to professional buyers in a wholesale market. These knowledgeable Auctioneers were responsible for properly allocating the pallets of tobacco leaves to the small group of professional buyers as they walked and sold in the warehouses of the American South. Eventually, the Tobacco Auctioneer’s rhythmic chants were used in radio marketing to millions of Americans by the American Tobacco Company (Founded 1896) ending with “Sold American.”
Crying any Auction to the general public will warrant a slower bid calling style, with perhaps more explanation of the items being sold. This is true of Real Estate, Benefit or Fund Raising Auctions, the sale of Antiques and Collectibles, as well as specialized commercial equipment.
Regardless of what an Auctioneer is selling, it is perhaps one of the few instances where “crying” is joyful.
But the industry is changing to online auctions. I must say online only is less man power, but I still like to out cry an auction.
On April 29, 2014 we had a successful industrial real estate auction of the bankruptcy of Kenactiv Innovations Inc. the personal property we had sold at auction in March for $200,000. On April 3 United States Bankruptcy Court approved Carolina Auction & Realty to market and obtain an opening offer, so that we could commence with an auction. There were all over 25 inquiries. On April 29 the auction was held with bidders from North Carolina to Las Vegas. The bidding opened at $700,000 concluded in a high bid of $1,060,000 in the court approved the sale. If you want to get your property sold call Carolina auction and Realty.
A tag sale involves, basically, a person hired by the fiduciary who will “price” each item with a tag, indicating that the item is available for sale at that price. Too, most tag sale attendees assume that there is room to negotiate, so a fair share of items marked with a price sell for less. Tag sales are sometimes spread over two to three days, where prices are systematically lowered on the second day, third day, and the like, to facilitate further sales. Typically, at a tag sale, a fair share of the items does not sell.
An auction involves, basically, a person hired by the fiduciary that will market and sell items “to the highest bidders.” Most auction attendees understand that items will be sold to the highest bidder, and that they will win any item where they outbid all others. At an auction of personal property, there are typically no set prices, and the market sets the ultimate selling price. Typically, at an auction, all the items sell.
Let’s begin with an overall statement in regard to the basic sales mechanism used by tag sales versus auctions:
Let’s use an example; an estate has a handmade quilt. At a tag sale, how is the tag sale service provider to price this quilt? This presents the basic flaw in tag sale marketing:
This same quilt at auction will sell. It will sell to the highest bidder. What will it sell for? Whatever it is worth — market value.
Then, there is the down side of a tag sale.
1. Upwards of 80% of the items in a tag sale are sold below market value.
2. Upwards of 20% of the items in a tag sale will remain unsold.
3. 100% of the items will sell for no more than the “tagged” price.
4. Often times, items are under-priced and directed to other dealers, family or friends of the tag sale service provider.
5. Some tag sale providers over-price some high-end items until the final day of the tag sale, where they can contact other dealers, friends or family, and discount the item to them.
6. Almost always, the tag sale provider lacks the expertise to properly price all items, therefore full price discovery is not accomplished.
7. Regulation and licensing of tag sale service providers is almost nonexistent in the United States. A harmed seller would have no choice but to sue in court for damages.
Here is the upside to auction.
An auction attracts large crowds of ready, willing and able buyers, through extensive widespread marketing, who have to compete to purchase items they desire. Full price discovery is accomplished, and nearly all items sell, and all items sell for market value.
When is a tag sale a preferred method of selling?
We would ask the following questions about these two reasons:
1. What exactly is the “X factor?” In what market scenario does someone know what their item will sell for? At auction, it sells to the highest bidder. In a tag sale, it basically sells for less than market value, or doesn’t sell at all.
2. Control? How can someone control the price at which something will sell? Items sell only if a ready, willing and able buyer agrees with the price. Here again: At auction, it sells to the highest bidder. In a tag sale, it basically sells for less than market value, or doesn’t sell at all.
I would submit that a tag sale is never preferable to an auction. With a tag sale providing that an items will sell for less than market value, or not sell at all — an auction, on the other hand, virtually guarantees market value, and sellers can place reserves or minimums on items, if they so desire, further assuring them an item doesn’t sell below a certain amount.
We brought up a Quilt earlier in our story. This vase was purchased at a tag sale for $30 and sold six months later at auction for $200.00. This type of thing happens all the time at tag sales, estate sales, garage sales, and yard sales — where an item is sold at auction later for more. In fact, this would hardly be a record.
ABC News reported in October, 2009 of Teisha McNeal of Shreveport, Louisiana finding a Picasso painting for $2 at a yard sale, and later discovering auction estimates of nearly $2 Million. See the entire story here:http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/finding-art-Picasso-treasure-trash/story?id=8904941
How does an auction compare to a tag sale or estate sale? Quite favorably.
Consider this: four people, one from each generation, agree to meet at a auction. They are going to pool their money together to bid on an industrial plant and all the equipment that is up for auction. The Silent Generation (1925-1942) insists on setting a time and place for the rendezvous. The Boomer, (1945-1964) running a bit late, calls one of the others on her cellphone, and asks that everyone be informed about her delay. The GenXer, (1965-1980) texts the entire group every few minutes with updates on his estimated time of arrival. The Millennial, (1981-2000) doesn’t show up at the meeting place. When he catches up with the group an hour later, he is puzzled at their irritation. After all, he tweeted his change of plans, posted a picture of what he was doing instead on Instagram, and was easily locatable via GPS. What was the problem? I have already text our max bid on the online bidding platform and I just received a text that we where the high bidder at the auction. Lets go see what we got! At Carolina Auction & Realty we work with all Generations. We can even receive text for bidding online.