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Blog & Info

Helpful Terms to Know 


When you purchase with us we have our lower tier auctions on MaxSold and higher tier auctions on BidSquare & LiveAuctioneers. It is a way of purchasing an item or grouping of items through a fun marketplace with a rich history! Often estate, vintage or collectible items.


A bid is the amount (without taxes + fees) you are placing to win an item! Floor Bid - meaning you are bidding live with a bidder paddle, on the auction “floor”. Absentee Bid -  placed online or in person before the auction takes place, it will be placed on your behalf (you won’t know if you are meeting the reserve or not). Some auction houses do phone bidding. They call your bids by proxy live on the floor as you are on the phone.


Bidding requires being on increment, so with every bid you place it will round down to the nearest increment if you are not on increment. Auction houses may have slightly varying increments. An example, if you are on increment, say 0-$100.00 goes up by 10's. So starting bid is $70, your bid is $80.


Each auction house has an additional percentage fee to the final total. Ours is 20% in-house, or 25% on all third party platforms. Reminder: When you place your maximum bid think about your final total including taxes + BP fees. 


A Digital or Hardcopy Catalog is a document with lots in one or multi-day auctions. Each lot has a description and photographs, possibly measurements/size, condition, and/or provenance.


Pre-auction inquiry on lots, through message, email, call, etc. to get more info or specific detail photos. It is advised to get a condition report on an item--especially, if you cannot view item in person at preview. Some auction houses will not answer condition report requests within 48 hours of auction.


It is good to be sure you know you are bidding on the right item!


A catalog, auction, appraisal, etc. may include a range of estimates. In a catalog there is a range that is the low estimate and high estimate. For example, $500.00 -$700.00. But the first bid on an item with this estimate could be 200.00, 350.00, 450.00, pretty much anything on increment from the low estimate down. It is at the discretion of auction house/auctioneer.



The Final Bid! Once the hammer drops whatever the last bid was, and it is the winning bid amount that makes you the legally binding buyer of an item.


What the opening bid is starts the lot, sometimes these terms are used interchangeable. As mentioned in defining estimates, we have the starting price of an item. It is never higher than the low estimate.


If a preview for auction is listed, you can view cataloged items in-person during set hours or appointment slots. 


Hammer Price + Buyer’s Premium + Taxes = Price Realized The total amount out-the-door an item at auction has sold for. Does not include: shipping/moving, or any fees that need to be quoted out in-house or third parties as needed.


You must register to participate in an auction to receive a bidder paddle. It requires name, contact info, online a valid credit card, in-person an ID. You register once, but subsequent auctions you check-in to each auction, which is also registering for that specific auction event, even if you bid with the auction house before. 


A reserve is the amount a consignor or auction house has placed on the consignor’s behalf so the item meets that threshold in order to sell. It is not disclosed to the public, but it could be a reason why a bid is said but still rejected. Some auctions would indicate if they are a complete  ‘No Reserve’ Auction.


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