Auction Terminology

Auction Terminology

Absolute Auction.  an auction where the items have no reserves, or minimum bids; the highest bidder wins the items regardless of price.

As Is. the sale of personal property in its present condition with no guarantees of condition or functionality. Buyers are responsible for viewing items and inspecting condition before bidding.

Auction. the sale of property through an open and public platform to the highest bidder

Bid. the amount of money a buyer intends to pay for an item or lot at an auction.

Bid History. all bids on an item or lot, current and past.

Bid Increments. the amount the bid price increases each time someone enters a new bid. This amount is determined by the current bid value of the item. See bid increment info in each auction’s description.

Box Lot. a lot made of similar or miscellaneous items, grouped as a large lot in a box. Often, the photos and info  accompanying box lots are less detailed given the amount of items in each.

Buyer’s Premium. a percentage cost to the buyer added to the winning bid amount for an item or lot. This amount does not include sales tax, and can be found in each auction’s description.

Catalog. photos, descriptions and details for each lot. The place to find everything you need to participate including auction terms & conditions.

Commission. the fee collected from the auction firm, a percentage applied to the winning bid price of a lot and deducted from the seller’s payout. This amount is agreed upon before the auction starts. 

Escrow. a federally insured account, separate from the auction firm’s operating account, in which money earned on behalf of the seller is held in trust until both the firm and the seller have signed a settlement statement.

Lot. one or more items to be sold as a unit at auction. A lot could be one large item, a group of small items, a complete set, a pair, etc.

Preview. a viewing time for bidders to see the items in person. Viewing times can be found under each auction’s description.

Price Realized. the final winning bid amount for a lot at the close of auction.

Reserve Price. the minimum accepted selling price for a lot. 

Seller Agreement. the agreement between our firm and our sellers to advertise and sell their items in exchange for a commission. This agreement covers terms unique to each auction.

Settlement Statement. a signed statement by both the auction firm and the seller describing the items sold, their selling price and net proceeds due to the seller. This must be signed before money can be disbursed. 

Soft Close. the period at the end of bidding in which new bids add more time to the closing countdown timer. This allows bidders to continue raising the bid until there are no new high bids. Soft closing prevents bidders from winning lots by bidding at the last second.

Staggered Lots. lots that close one at a time on a predetermined schedule. Often, online auctions with staggered lots close every 15-30 seconds to allow bidding activity on all the lots as they close.