Common Auction Terms

A method of bidding in which a person who will not be attending the auction completes a form indicating the lots she wants to bid on and the amount she wants to bid. The bids are then executed during the auction by a staff member who bid competitively on behalf of the absentee bidder.

An auction at which lots are sold without reserve.

This phrase means that you are purchasing the item as it is. If it is scratched, broken, incomplete, or won’t work, that is the condition in which you buy it. If you discover damage after bidding but before you check out, you are still expected to pay for and remove the item. If you discover damage after paying for the item, no refunds are given for any reason. In other words, preview, preview, preview!

An offer of a price.

A bidding method most often used when there are several identical or similar lots being offered, for instance bookcases or, in the case of real estate, three adjacent parcels of land. When the Auctioneer announces that he will be selling a group of lots using bidder’s choice, it means that the high bidder will have the chance to take any or all of the lots in that group, each at the price of the high bid. For example, there are five lots of matching bookcases being offered bidder’s choice, and the high bidder bids $100. That bidder can take one for $100, all five for $500, or anything in between. If there are any lots remaining after the high bidder chooses, they are offered to the rest of the bidders until all are sold.

The entity with whom the Auctioneer has contracted to sell property; it is often synonymous with “seller” and “consignor.”

A detailed accounting of a seller’s items, including a list of the auctioned lots, the prices they were sold for and the commission taken by the Auctioneer. Absolute Auctions sends out consignor statements with payment 30 days after the auction.

A single object or a group of objects offered for sale as a unit.

A reserve is a minimum sale price set for a lot. For example, if a seller does not want his item to sell for less than $50, then $50 would be the reserve for that lot. With few exceptions, Absolute Auctions sells unreserved antique & estate merchandise.

An auction where the seller has the right to accept or decline the high bid. At Absolute Auctions, this is most often used for vehicle and real estate auctions.

These are the governing rules for a specific auction. Each auction’s terms and conditions may vary and the bidder must understand them before participating in an auction. Participation in the auction indicates agreement to the terms and conditions.

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