How Auctions Work

For the uninitiated, auctions can feel a little overwhelming and confusing.  On this page we will de-mystify the auction process so that, by the end, you will be able to bid like a pro!



What is an auction and why do they exist?

An auction is a process of buying and selling items by offering them up for bid, taking bids, then selling them to the highest bidder. Typically, the items in an auction are sold over the course of several hours. You don’t necessarily have to stay for the entire auction if there’s only one or two items you’re interested in. In fact, you can even place an absentee bid or have a staff member call so you can place bids over the phone from the comfort of your own home! You also have plenty of opportunity before the auction starts to preview, in person, the items being sold, and we highly recommend that you preview everything before you bid!

There are many reasons why items are auctioned. It might be an entire household from an estate where the owners need to sell the items quickly in order to prepare the home for sale.  It might be a business where the owner is retiring and needs to close out by a set date.  In many cases, an auction is the most suitable format because it offers a means to quickly sell a lot of goods over a short period of time.



The Auction Process

All auctions have a preview period, which may occur the day before the auction and/or in the hours leading up to the start of the auction. This gives everyone a chance to look around at what’s for sale, check an item’s condition and make notes on what to bid on. The preview times will appear in our auction schedule. While you are at the preview, you can reserve a seat and register for the auction in advance if you wish.

When buyers arrive at the auction they will “register”. For regulars, this just means saying “hello” at the front desk and picking up their bidder card (a white card with a number on it). Newcomers will need to supply their address, phone number and driver’s license number.  Once this information is recorded, the buyer will also get a bidder card. Once the auction starts, the bidders sit or stand in view of the auctioneer as items are brought up one by one to be sold.