Before bidding, find out
what methods of payment the business accepts. Make sure you read, and be certain
that you understand the terms and conditions of sale and any special conditions
that apply to certain goods.
Auction sales business must tell
the public before the sale starts that some of the goods are subject to a
An employee of an auction sales
business conducting the auction is allowed to bid on items but only if he/she
intends to buy those items they have bid on.
An auctioneer must announce the
way in which the sale of an item is completed. It could be by the fall of a
hammer or the word “SOLD”.
Once the auctioneer indicates the
item is sold, you are responsible to pay for the item. Bid carefully. Normally
no refunds or exchanges are allowed at an auction. Under contract law, the sales
agreement is binding on both parties.
Once an unreserved item has been
offered for sale and a bid has been made, the auctioneer cannot withdraw that
item from the sale.
Check to see if you will be
charged a “Buyer’s Premium” as part of the total cost of the item you
You have to pay taxes on most
auctioned items unless you have a valid state tax exempt certificate on file
with the auction company.
When you consign your goods for
sale by an auction company you are entering into a contractual agreement. The
business agrees to take your goods and sell them; you agree to pay for the
service. Fees may vary between auction sales businesses.
If you want to get an amount
close to the price you want for your goods you can talk to the auction sales
business about setting a reserve bid.
Unless your goods are offered as
reserve bid items, a minimum selling price cannot be guaranteed no matter what
you are promised. The goods must be sold to the highest bidder once bidding has
It is unlawful for you, a friend,
family member or your agent to bid on your goods in order to drive the price up.
All terms and conditions of your
consignment agreement should be in writing. Include details of pricing
arrangements; the commission rate; the administration charges for things like
storage, insurance, cleaning and repair. Ask if you will be charged a fee for
goods that do not sell. Keep a description of your consigned goods and a copy of
the contract for future reference.
When your goods are sold, the
auction sales business must deposit all money received into a trust account.
Within 21 days of the sale, the business must pay you the selling price less the
agreed upon costs and any amounts owed to lien holders. The business must send
you and any lien holders an itemized statement showing the amount received for