Auction Tips
Tips for 1st Time Auction Attendees:

Have you ever thought of attending an auction— but not done so?

Auctions are easy to understand and once you have some knowledge of how they work we promise that you will have a fun and rewarding experience. This page was designed with you, the First Time Auction Attendee in mind. If you have any further questions that any of our staff can help you with, please ask!

We want you to know all about our auction service and what auctions are all about, how they're conducted, and to provide you with tips to make auctions an exciting and rewarding experience!

With this guide you'll get the inside scoop on auctions, so sit back, relax and most of all — have fun!

You've taken the first step, if you're reading this chances are that you're considering attending your first auction! It is important to start off your first auction by attending The Preview. Most auctions will start with a viewing period in which you will be able to inspect the items to be sold. Inspect the items thoroughly as most items are sold “as is, where is”. It is important to Ask Questions. When you attend our auctions our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about any articles that you are interested in.

At our auctions, you must also Register, which means providing your drivers licence to the cashier who will enter your information into our computer and give you a Bid Card. Your bid card is very important and you must keep it with you at all times—you wouldn't want someone else to end up with it and buy items with your number. When you register it is also a good idea to confirm with the cashier what our Terms are for the auction that you are attending. You will want to know which method of payment is going to be acceptable before you have purchased any items.

Before you bid on your first item it is advisable to Set A Limit. It is possible to get caught up in the excitement of bidding and suddenly you have gone over your limit.

Remember your limit, and stick to it! At any new auction experience it is wise to Observe the first few items so that you can understand how that particular auction house operates—are you to bid fast and furious with items being sold at a quick pace, or can you think about your item for a few seconds before bidding again.

Listen to the Auctioneer
to understand what they expect from you. The auctioneer will call out the lot number, a brief description of the item and how it is being sold. It is very important that you understand that if the auctioneer says “On Choice”, that when you bid $30 each for a cup and saucer that you get to choose one or as many as you like, but you will be paying $30 each cup and saucer.

Don’t be afraid to Bid! Make sure the auctioneer can see you and that they know that you want in on the bidding—wave your card in the air and confirm that you are in on the bidding. If you want to drop out of the bidding, shake your head firmly ‘no’. Don’t be afraid to move at an auction! Despite what TV and the movies show we won’t include you in on the bidding if you’re just scratching your nose!

Now that you’ve had a fun-filled day at an auction and hopefully you have some treasures too—it’s time to Finalize Your Purchases. If you have been the successful bidder on any items make sure that you watch them—items become your responsibility when the auctioneer says sold to your number. Don’t forget to pay for your items at the end of your auction experience.

Auction Glossary:

Absentee Bid: Allows a person to bid without attending the sale. The person submits, in advance, a written or oral bid that is the top price that they are willing to pay for any given property. Only the clerk knows this amount and bids on behalf of the absentee bidder until the bidder either takes the item or his highest price is exceeded.
“As Is”: Selling the property without warranties as to the condition of the property. Buyers are solely responsible for examining and judging the property for their own protection.
Auction: A method of selling in a public forum through open and competitive bidding. Also referred to as a public auction or auction sale.
Bid: A prospective buyer’s indication or offer of a price he or she will pay to purchase an item at an auction. Bids are usually in standardized increments established by the auctioneer.
Bidder Number: The number issued to each person who registers at an auction.
Buyer’s Premium: An advertised percentage/fee added to the highest bid to determine the total contract price to be paid by the buyer.
Preview: Specified date and time property is available for buyer viewing and examination of items to be offered at the auction.
Reserve: The minimum price that a seller is willing to accept for property to be sold at auction. Also known as the Reserve Price.


Tips for Auction Sellers (Consignors):

Many times a consignor will ask if we have any instructions or guidance as to how they can consign their items at an auction. Over the years we have developed a list of many helpful hints of How To Consign Your Items To Auction and would like to share some of these tips with you.
First of all, let's define the term Consignor - it's an auction term for people who put items in an auction to be sold to the best of the auctioneer's ability. Consignors are the lifeblood of our auction business.

Once you have determined that you will be consigning your items for auction, it is important that you take a few of the following tips and suggestions designed to make your consigning experience one you will want to repeat.

  • Cleanliness is Next to Godliness - It's in your own best interest to make sure that your treasures are clean! That could mean running your items through the dishwasher, or washing your good dishes by hand, using polish on furniture or just dusting items off. Check with your auctioneer if you're unsure of a safe cleaning method for your items.
  • Confirm Your Pick-up or Delivery Time - Make sure to deliver your items to the auction site on time. The auctioneer has set a time and made it available for you to bring your items to auction to make it convenient for both you and them. It is very hard to set-up a scheduled auction if you have to wait for items to be delivered.
  • Don't Sell Your Items In Advance - Once people know that your items will be put into an auction they will come out of the woodwork to buy your items in advance of the sale. Kindly explain to them that once an item has been designated for an auction you can't sell it, but that they can call the auction company with an advance bid, or better yet - invite them to the sale!  Nothing beats  a live auction and competitive bidding on your items.
  • The More Information, The Better - Make sure to give your auctioneer any valuable and interesting information regarding your items - it helps with the advertising on your behalf. A "Victorian Ornate Finely Crafted Mahogany Dresser" sure sounds better than "Wooden Dresser", doesn't it?
  • Check With Your Auctioneer - Find out what they need from you in order to have a successful auction for you. Make sure that you are clear on what they expect and that they are clear on what you expect to make your auction consignment experience a great one.

    There are many suggestions on how to get great results from consigning your items to auction and we hope that these few tips will help. If you have any further questions when consigning your items to an auction, just ask your auctioneer - they want to help you generate as much interest and revenue as possible. There is nothing more exciting than consigning your items to an auction and hearing your treasure being described on auction day, fierce bidding and the crack of the gavel, a hearty SOLD! and a healthy cheque to make you want to find anything and everything you may have to consign and consign again. Best of luck with your auction consignments and don't be afraid to give consigning a try!

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