- How do auctions work?
This is the easy part. Auctions work by presenting items up for bid and then selling the items to the highest bidder. That’s not too complicated right? Good, we didn’t think so.
- Why should I buy stuff from an auction?
Glad you asked. Buying items at auction helps to stimulate the local economy by putting money back into your community. It also keeps useful items out of the landfill and eliminates waste. Auctions are pretty green in that regard. Think about it, that dresser you threw out last week could have been sold and put to use by another person instead of doing nothing in a landfill for the next few years. We live in a busy society; some people don’t have the time or inclination to sell their items themselves, that’s where auctions come in. It’s a win-win really. Local businesses are happy, no clogged up landfills and you get a check at the end. Another upside to buying at auction is affordability. In a retail setting, the price is listed on each item usually with a price tag or one of those annoying barcodes on the shelf you have to do yoga to read. In an auction, the end price is dependent upon the bidding. It’s possible to score great stuff for a fraction of the cost of full retail.
- So, auctions are just some guy talking fast and selling stuff right?
Wrong! In a live auction, the auctioneer takes bids from people in the audience or on the phone. Generally, a live auction moves quickly so that all items can be brought up for bid. Live auctions are scheduled for a specific time, at a specific place and usually last for a few hours. In an online auction, there is nobody talking fast. The items are placed online and bidders register and bid using the online platform. Auctions have come a long way since your grandparents bought their livestock and living room furniture in the same place. Now, you can bid anytime anywhere just by using your tablet, smart phone or computer. If you just have to have an item at 3 AM, you can bid on it at 3AM. We won’t mention your silly pajamas because we won’t see them. In a live auction, we will see them and so will everyone else.
- What sort of items can I expect to find?
One thing is for sure, you never know what you will find at an auction. We’ve seen everything from Tiffany lamps to a sculpture made out of taxidermy animals. The title of the auction usually tells you what you’re in for. If it’s a fine art auction, don’t expect to find a velvet painting of Elvis. Livestock auctions don’t normally carry sofas and bookends. You won’t find a Smith and Wesson at a grocery auction or a good deal on lettuce at a firearms auction. Household and general goods auctions are pretty much a mixed bag of items from cool retro stuff to newer paintings and furniture. Our auctions tend to run the gamut of items. We’ve sold everything from Pandora bracelets to Ethan Allen hutches and all points in between.
- How do I know the item I want isn’t damaged?
Good question. Every auction generally has a preview before bidding begins. Attend the preview and inspect the items you are interested in thoroughly. We aren’t offended if you pick them up and take a good look, we like our customers to make informed purchases. We do try to point out any flaws or defects, but we’re human, we miss things. Since items are sold “as-is, where-is” we highly encourage previewing items before bidding begins.
- What does “As-is where-is” mean?
In plain English, it means you are buying the item where it sits currently in the condition it is in. This means that if you absolutely love that chair but you want it in blue, it’s up to you to make it blue. We’re selling it the way it is. We make every effort to sell only functional, working items. We won’t sell you a table with a short leg unless we’ve told you so already. We won’t sell you a set of Christmas lights that don’t work. Don’t believe us? Come to the preview and plug ‘em in, we don’t mind. We want you to be confident in your purchases. We won’t refinish a table or reupholster a chair; we’re nice; we’re not saints.
- What else should I know?
Every auction has terms and conditions. We strongly recommend you read these terms and conditions prior to bidding. These basically spell out what is expected from buyers, auctioneers and sellers during the auction. Nobody ever reads the terms and conditions for new apps or software, but please, read the auction terms and conditions. They may require you to show up at the auction dressed as a giant pink rabbit and won’t you feel silly if you don’t?
- How do I bid?
How you bid depends on whether you’re attending a live or online auction. In a live auction, you register and get a bidder number. This number is usually printed on a card you hold up when you want to buy something. Simply lower your card when you’re done bidding. If you win the item, raise your bidder number again so the auctioneer and staff can record your winning bid. If the auction is online, you can enter your starting bid and maximum bid in one convenient step. Much like popular bidding platforms that may send us a nastygram if we mention them by name, you can choose your highest bid and the computer will bid for you until you maximum bid is reached if others are bidding against you.
- Is it possible to accidentally buy something?
It’s possible, but not probable. Auctions are very much like science in that regard. No matter what old TV shows and movies have taught us, you won’t sneeze and accidentally buy an expensive item during a live auction. Auctioneers generally accept bids when a person raises their bidder number. Raising your hand can also work, but we prefer you use your bidder card because then we don’t make a mistake. In an online auction, we do ask that you preview your bids carefully to assure you are bidding on the items you really want. Your bid is a contract and you are obligated to pay at the end of the auction, so please bid carefully. We don’t like our customers being unhappy. In fact, it makes our puppy cry and nobody wants a weepy puppy.
- I won an item! Now what?
Well, congratulations are in order! We hope that you and your new item have a happy relationship for a long time to come. In a live auction, you can pay the cashier at any time and claim your item or items and then go about your merry way. In an online auction, there is generally a pick up date and time. You can pick your item or items up during the scheduled pick up period. We accept cash, check and money order as forms of payment. We did accept shiny rocks, but our accountant has asked us not to do that anymore. The folks at the IRS concur, it’s not good to pay in shiny rocks.