FAQ

About Auctions…

Q: Can anyone go to an auction?

A: Most auctions are public events and everyone is welcome. Exceptions would be some auto auctions, which allow dealers only.

Q: Why does an auction go so fast?

A: At a personal property auction there are usually many transactions per hour, which means the pace of the auction is fairly quick.

Q: Why are auctions so popular?

A: The excitement of bidding, the thrill of the hunt, the rhythmic chant of the auctioneers – all these elements generate a level of enthusiasm that only the auction method can generate. The auction is unlike any other buying or selling environment.

Q: What advice would you give to a first-time auction attendee?

A: Don’t be intimidated; you don’t need to be experienced to enjoy an auction. Relax, have fun, observe, and ask questions. We are ready to welcome and help you.

Q: What kinds of items are sold at auction?

A: Quite simply, if something can be sold, it has probably been sold at auction. Sierra Auction & Appraisal sells a wide variety of personal property including fine art, decorative accessories, glass, china, jewelry, coins, stamps, firearms and edged weapons, ephemera, furnishings, tools, cars, recreational vehicles, and much more.

Q: What is a Buyer’s Premium?

A: A Buyer’s Premium is a percentage of the high bid that’s added to the high bid to establish the final sale price.

Q: What is the difference between an “absolute” and a “reserve” auction?

A: An absolute auction means the property is sold to the highest bidder, regardless of price. A reserve auction (sometimes referred to as an auction “subject to confirmation”) means the seller reserves the right to accept or reject the highest bid.

Before an Auction…

Q: What must I do to attend an auction?

A: When you arrive at the auction site, look for the registration area where you must provide adequate identification to receive a bidder’s number, terms and conditions, possibly a listing of the items, and a schedule. Your bidding number must be shown to the auctioneer each time you bid and when you are the winning bidder.

Q: How do I know how much to bid?

A: It is important to arrive at the auction early enough so you can inspect the items you are interested in. Since many auctions sell items “as is – where is,” it is critical that you examine items for condition, size, color, etc. Based on your examination, establish a value in your mind. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and remember at an auction you can buy an item at a cost of only one bid higher than someone else was willing to pay.

Q: Can I preview the items before the auction?

A: Yes. Generally you may preview the items the day before the auction. This information is available on the advertising literature.

During an Auction…

Q: Do I need to be afraid of bidding on an item I don’t want?

A: You may have heard a story about a person who scratched his ear and bought an expensive piece of fine art. Don’t be frightened by such tales. Auctioneers are professionals and realize when you are bidding and when you aren’t.

Q: How do I bid?

A: In order to bid at an auction, you need to make the auctioneer aware of you. To do this, hold up your bidder card or raise your hand. If the auctioneer does not immediately see you, shout “Yes.” The auctioneer will then take your bid and turn to seek another bid. If another bid is received, the auctioneer will return to you to ask if you want to bid again. Simply continue to say “Yes” to stay in the bidding.

Q: How do I stop bidding?

A: To remove yourself from the bidding process simply shake your head “No” when the auctioneer makes eye contact with you.

Q: Will I be able to understand the auctioneer?

A: The “chant” of a good auctioneer is easily understood. The chant is merely a series of numbers connected by “filler” words to create a rhythm and make it pleasing to listen to. A basic chant tells the audience the current bid and the next bid being asked. For Example: “I’m bid 5 dollars, will you bid 10?”

After an Auction…

Q: How and when do I pay for the items I purchased?

A: Auction Companies vary but at Sierra you pay for your items when you are ready to leave. Payment may be made in cash, credit card, and debit card.

Q: What about removal of items from the auction?

A: When you buy an item at the auction you are responsible for it. It is important that you put the merchandise in a safe area. All items need to be removed the day of the auction. If you need assistance to load large items into your own vehicle, simply ask one of the Sierra personnel.

Auction Glossary…

Absolute Auction: all items in the auction will be sold to the highest bidder, regardless of the bid. There is no reserve or minimum on the item for bid.

Auction With Reserve: some or all items in the auction have a minimum bid that must be reached by the bidder before the auctioneer can sell the item to the bidder. This type of auction is reserved mainly for property with a high value such as construction equipment, homes or commercial real estate.

“As-Is” or “Where-Is”: there is no warranty on the merchandise and the bidder is responsible for removal from the auction location. This means that the bidder must rely on their own information to make bidding decisions. The bidder is responsible to inspect and move the merchandise.

Choice: auctioneers use this buying option when more than one product is being offered for sale. The bidder may bid for an individual item, and the winning bidder may take as many of the set as they wish. If the bidder does not want them all, then they are for sale at the same price to any bidder.

All For One Money: multiple items are being offered for sale and what you bid is one price for all of the items. Bids for individual items are not accepted.

So Much Each & All Go: multiple items are being offered for sale and the bidder’s price is per item, however; the bidder must take all the items.

Sold: when the auctioneer says the word “sold” or the gavel falls after the bidding has ceased, the item is sold as the auctioneer directs to the clerk. The bidding cannot e reopened after the word “sold” is said.

Final Word: the auctioneer has the final word in all bidding situations. If the ringman took your bid and the auctioneer did not see the bid, the item is sold as the auctioneer directs. The staff at Sierra Auction Management is happy to provide you with further information and to answer any of your questions about the auction process.

Thanks for visiting us at SierraAuction.com!