Welcome, if this is your first auction we hope that it will be an enjoyable one. We have provided some basic information about auctions in general, and our auction in particular. If you are a veteran auction attendee you may yet find some useful information here as well.
Wikipedia defines an auction as a process of buying and selling goods or services by offering them up for bid, taking bids, and then selling the item to the highest bidder. This is the best example of a free market economy in action. The goods or services being sold are worth what any two people are willing to pay for them. If you are willing to pay $100 for a set of tools and all other bidders are only willing to pay $95 then in the free market that set of tools is worth $100, and you will be the owner of it.
The auction process is fairly simple involving just a few steps. A person who wants to sell an item brings it to the auctioneer who places it in a sale, that person becomes known as the Seller, or Consignor. Persons wanting to offer bids on that item come to the auction and register with the auction company. They become known as bidders. The item is placed up for sale, referred to as "putting it on the block". The auctioneer then calls for bids on the item. When the auctioneer feels that he has gotten all of the bids possible he will call the item sold. The highest bidder now becomes the buyer. The buyer pays the auctioneer his bid plus any additional taxes and buyers premiums, the auctioneer then transfers ownership to the buyer and pays the Seller. It's that easy.
While not an exhaustive list these are a few terms you will hear at our auctions:
- Absentee Bid/Left Bid: A bidder who was not able to attend the sale left a verbal or written maximum bid on a specific item. This bid is usually executed by the auctioneer or one of his staff.
- As-Is: Also called As Is, Where Is means that the item is sold without any representation of any warranty, and no return privilege is offered. Unless stated otherwise by the auctioneer all items are sold As-is Where is.
- Bid Increments: The standardized amount an item increases in price after each new bid. The bid increment is the auctioneer's discretion.
- Buyer's Premium: An additional service charge, for which the buyer is responsible, added to the hammer price. Our buyer's premium is typically between 10% and 13% but may vary between auctions. Example, you win the bid on a flashlight for $10 with a ten percent buyers premium in effect your final price after tax and BP will be $11.70
- Choice: The auctioneer offers multiple items for sale at one time. For your bid you get your pick of one or more items times your bid price. Example, the auctioneers offers choice of 5 flashlights and you win the bid at $5. If you decide you only want one you pay hammer price of $5, if you want all 5 you pay the hammer price of $25 or 5 @ $5. Items not taken by the highest bidder may be offered at the same price to the backup bidder, and then to the remaining bidders at the auctioneer's discretion.
- Clerk: The person employed by the auctioneer to record hammer price, and bidder numbers for items sold. At any auction please do not talk to the clerk.
- Cut or Cut Bid: The cut bid is used for offering half the bid increment that the auctioneer is asking for. It is meant to signal that you have gone as high as you want to bid, but are willing to take a half step up. The universal signal for a cut bid is to draw your open hand across your neck (like cutting your head). Some inexperienced bidders try to use this to signal they are through or out. It is always the auctioneer's discretion whether or not to accept a cut bid.
- Hammer Price: Price established by the last bidder and acknowledged by the auctioneer before announcing the item sold.
- Lot: a single asset, or group of assets sold for one price. When buying box lots or table lots pay close attention to what the auctioneer includes in the sale. In some cases, we will sell a length of items across several tables and have auction employees designate a starting and ending point of the lot.
- Out or Outbid: To be out or outbid means you are not the high bidder and unless you bid again the item will go to someone else. If you are unsure about whether you are out look to the auctioneer and point to yourself, if you are not the high bidder he will execute a bid to get you back in.
- Preview: Date and time when the auctioneer makes items to be sold available for inspection by prospective bidders. Unless otherwise noted our preview begins one hour prior to the start of the sale.
- Reserve: The minimum price that a seller will accept for an item.
- Times the Money: Your bid indicates what you will pay for one item of a set, but you agree to buy the rest at the same price. Example, the Auctioneer has 50 restaurant chairs to sell, rather than bidding each chair he offers times the money. You win the bid at $25, you pay the hammer price of $1250.00 or 50 @$25.
Bidding Strategy/Auction Tips
There are as many different auction strategies as there are bidders. Over time you will develop your own style of bidding, but here are a few helpful tips to help you make your bid known and hopefully win the item you are bidding on.
Positioning and body language is important in placing your bid. If the auctioneer can't see you he may not catch your bid. When an item comes on the block that you are interested in make sure that you are visible to the auctioneer. If for some reason you can't get in his sight range and want to bid a loud "Yep!" will get his attention. When you are in sight range and want to bid simply hold up your bidder card until the auctioneer notices and takes your bid. Most auctions have ring men who display items and help catch bids so chances are if you have your card in the air someone will catch it, if not you can always "Yep!". Some bidders want to keep a low profile so as not to let others know they are in the bidding, whatever the reasons for this a visible nod of the head, wave of the hand, even a wink can be taken as a bid. The more you frequent an auction the more the auctioneer learns to read you and can learn your bidding style. Just starting out the best advice is to hold up that card. It is not advisable to wave to other people at an auction. A wave is typically a bid and you may end up buying something when you really just wanted your wife to know where you are sitting.
Every bidder's objective is to get the item(s) they want at the lowest price possible. First time bidders often want every item to start at the lowest bid amount, which at our auction is $5. While this is ok on an item that will sell out at $15-25, it is not a good strategy for higher valued items. Firstly, the auctioneer wants to start as high as he can, that means he has to do less chanting to get to the selling point, therefore he will be very reluctant to accept an opening bid of $5 on a high dollar item. Secondly to other bidders it shows that you do not value this item properly and therefore will not be serious competition in the bidding process. A strong opening bid discourages competition as it leads others to believe you may value the item too high and are likely to drive the price up. A good strategy is to fix a price in your head that you are willing to pay for the item (keeping in mind the buyer's premium and sales tax) and open the bid at half your maximum. Another popular strategy which has received notoriety with online auctions has been termed "sniping", that is, waiting until you think the bidding is almost done, then giving your bid. The strategy behind this is that by jumping in as a new player the current bidders may be fooled into thinking you believe the value to be much higher and therefore discourage them from bidding. When our auctioneer gets quiet, he is about to sell it, so if sniping is going to be your strategy don't wait too long.
Another good idea is to pick up clues as to who in the crowd may be a dealer, or reseller. Dealers are a great indication of value. Some people get discouraged seeing dealers at auction, but think of it like this, a dealer is interested in the item to make money. Therefore, if a dealer is still bidding on an item then the current bid is less than the resale value of the item. Most dealers don't like to pay more than half of resale value for an item at auction so if a dealer is bidding it is most likely worth double.
Knowing what you are bidding on is the most important part of your bidding strategy. Most auctions offer a preview time, take advantage of it. Come as early as you can and look at what you may be interested in bidding on. Inspect the item for any visible damage. If it is electrical ask one of the staff to plug it in, if it's motorized ask to have it started. At our auction we try to make known any information we have about the item. Feel free to ask staff members what they think, keep in mind that it is their opinion, and their opinion only. We try our best to ensure you know anything negative as well as positive about what we sell, but a lot of the time we don't have time to inspect everything that goes through a sale. Ultimately it is up to you to know what you are buying, once you have won the bid, the item is yours, most auctions do not accept returns because you bought the wrong thing, or noticed damage after the sale.
Have fun! Most people who come to an auction do so as much for entertainment as to find a bargain. We have many registered bidders at auctions that buy only an item or two, and some that don't buy at all. They come to bid, watch and enjoy. If they get a deal so much the better, but they are there because they enjoy watching auctions. There is much to see in auctions. As long as we have been doing them there is always at least one item in a sale that we have just never seen before, and may never get to see again. In estate auctions especially you get to see pieces of history that may be one of a kind. Local history, US history, and World history can all be found in estate auctions if you just look.
Standard Terms & Conditions
Below is a sample of our conditions of sale. This is signed when you register to bid. Pay particular attention when registering at any auction as this form imparts valuable information before the sale. Just as important is the announcement of the terms just prior to the start of the sale by the auctioneer, be sure when the auctioneer starts announcing the terms that you pay close attention. These usually include details such as payment terms, move out availability, any deposits required, and also provides you with the opportunity to ask any questions you have about the terms of the sale.
- ALL ITEMS ARE SOLD AS IS AND WHERE IS. The Seller, it's agents and/or employees do not warrant or guarantee either expressed or implied, the authenticity, genuineness, functional condition, value legality of use, QUANTITIES,COUNTS,DESCRIPTIONS,QUALITY,OR ANY MANUFACTURING WARRANTY, or of any item sold at this auction.
- The seller, its agents and/or employees, will not and cannot be held liable for ANY LOSS WHATSOEVER, to items Purchased at this Auction. Responsibility for the safety of any items purchased at this Auction rests with the Buyer. No liability for loss due to THEFT, FIRE, CROSSCLAIMS, DAMAGE OF ANY NATURE can be claimed Against the Seller, its agents and/or employees, for any reason.
- Buyer is responsible for payment of all items purchased under the assigned bidder number.
- Buyer acknowledges receipt of all items purchased at the Auction upon payment. Buyer acknowledges if payment for items purchased at the Auction is by Bank Draft, Personal Check, or Company Check, ownership but not liability resulting from use of items purchased, remain Seller's until such draft or check has been honored by the Bank. If your check is not honored by your bank and unless full restitution plus any penalties is made in CASH or CASHIER'S CHECK within the time as prescribed by Florida Law, WE WILL FILE A CIVIL ACTION SUIT FOR THREE TIMES THE AMOUNT OF THE CHECK, IN ADDTION TO THE PAYMENT OF THE CHECK PLUS ANY COURT COSTS, REASONABLE ATTORNEY FEES AND ANY BANK FEES INCURRED BY US IN TAKING THIS ACTION. Venue for such action shall be exclusively in a court of competent jurisdiction in Duval County, Florida and nowhere else.
- NO REFUNDS OR EXCHANGES PERMITTED.
- Removal of items is the responsibility and risk of the Buyer and must be done within the announced time.
- Buyer's premium of __% will be charged on the gross amount of purchases. (This is typically between 10-13%)
- Items from consignees other than advertised or announced may be offered at auction.
- Our auction licenses are available for inspection upon request.
- If this auction has been advertised and announced as ABSOLUTE, all persons registered with an assigned bidder number are permitted to bid. Any verbal or written information/opinion on any item offered in this sale by the Auctioneers, Owner(s), or Agent(s) may have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be Guaranteed for accuracy/authenticity. WE URGE YOU TO CAREFULLY INSPECT ALL ITEMS BEFORE BIDDING.
- A cash deposit may be required from those registering without proper identification. Proper identification consists of, but not limited to, a valid FLORIDA DRIVER'S LICENSE, a Duval Country, Florida street address (No P.O. Box), a valid major credit card, active home and/or business telephone number. LOCAL BANK CHECKING ACCOUNT. A cash deposit requirement is at the sole discretion of the Principal Auctioneer.
- THIRD PARTY. All persons on sellers premises before,during or after the Sale shall be deemed to be there at their own risk and shall have no claim against Seller or Auctioneer in respect to injury,accident or death which may occur from any cause.
- Luman E. Beasley Auctioneers, Inc. acts as Principle Auctioneer and Agent for the seller.
Have questions about the auction that we didn't answer here? Feel free to give us a call at (904) 721-7001 and we will be happy to talk to you.