Auction FAQ

Never been to an auction? Bidding in the auction is always fun, exciting and it’s also very easy. Anyone who wants to bid in the auction sale must register with the clerk and receive a card with a bidding number. There is no charge to attend or register for the auction. To bid in an auction, simply raise your hand or bid card and you will be acknowledged by the auctioneer or bidder assistant on the floor. When the bidding has finished on a specific lot, the auctioneer will acknowledge the highest bidder as the successful buyer. A buyer can pay for their purchases in person, during the auction or after the sale has concluded, and then arrange to pickup their items. Our staff will assist the buyer with the collection of their items. Sellers choose the auction method of marketing because through competition amongst bidders, the item sells at what is determined to be the value of the item on that day. Prices vary from auction to auction. A bargain is in the eye of the beholder. If you see an item you want and are able to buy it for the price you are willing to pay for it, then it is a bargain for you! However, a bargain for one may not be a bargain for another.

The Auctioneer:

The most widely recognized talent of the auctioneer is undoubtedly his or her ability to “talk fast”. The rhythmic chant developed over the decades as a means of creating excitement and moving the sale of property at a steady pace, is certainly the draw on auction day. The professional auctioneer is first and foremost, a marketing specialist. They are experts in the psychology of selling. The quick chant of the auctioneer is not to confuse bidders. Confused bidders are not repeat customers and the auctioneer knows this. The quick, rapid, fire chant is part of what makes auctions so unique and is intended to move a large number of items in a short amount of time. The auction method of marketing has proved to be an effective price-setting mechanism that takes into account current market variables. This is true for whatever commodity is being sold.

How do I buy by auction?

If you haven’t been to an auction before, be prepared to enjoy one of the most exciting and enjoyable experiences of buying rare and beautiful items. If you’ve been to another auction house before, be prepared for something fresh and new. Auctioneer.ca lists live auctions held every week across the Province of Ontario. These auctions include more than 1,000 lots daily – a wide range of collectibles, mixed estates and fine household items.

We advertise the auctions and our clients are notified in advance by email. The notification includes information about the upcoming auction, as well as photos and descriptions of some of the sale highlights. This is a free service.

A public viewing precedes each auction, at which our clients come in to examine all the items on display. Strolling through the auction preview can be as simple as visiting a local museum or can be as thrilling as discovering treasures to make your home and personal life even more special. Bidding in the auction is always fun and exciting. It’s also easy!

If you plan to attend the auction, then you will be able to bid in person. There is always ample free parking and comfortable seating. Anyone who wants to bid must register with their name and other information and will receive a card with a bidding number. There is no charge; to either attend or register for the auction. In order to bid, one simply raises their hand or their bidding card. When the bidding on a specific lot is finished, the auctioneer will acknowledge the highest bidder number as the successful buyer and then continue with the next lot.

If one cannot attend the auction to bid on something they admired at the viewing, an absentee or telephone bid can be placed. An absentee bid is a proxy whereby the bidder authorizes the auction house to bid on behalf of the client, up to but not exceeding a specified maximum bid for a specific lot. Some clients still want to make their bidding decisions in real time at the auction, even though they can’t attend in person. In this case, a telephone bid is arranged. The client specifies which lot or lots they want to bid on, and they provide us with a telephone number where they can be reached during the auction. A staff member present at the auction will telephone that client before the item is presented, and they can bid on the telephone.

Successful buyers can pay for their purchases in person, during or after the auction, and then arrange to pick up their items. Each auction will have a paying and pick-up schedule posted. Our staff will help any buyer with packing or carrying of items, or we can help arrange for professional movers if necessary. Out-of-town shipping or courier services can also be arranged.

How to sell items by auction:

It’s easy to sell your items in our auctions- we’re here to help.

The first step is to determine whether your items are suitable to be sold in auction, and then the values of these items. We have trained experts available and gemologists ready to help you with your paintings, sculptures, jewellery, watches, antiques, silver, porcelain, rugs, rare coins, rare stamps, memorabilia, sports cards and all collectibles.

Are your items too large to bring in, or are you located too far away to come in?

Simply send us an email with information about your items, digital images of the items (smaller images are better) and your contact information (name, telephone number and return email address). Within a couple business days, we will evaluate your items and contact you. This is also a free service. Please submit this information to info@auctioneer.ca.

In some cases, one of our experts can arrange a visit to your location to examine your items.

Once your items have been evaluated and determined to be suitable for auction, you can now decide to consign them to one of our upcoming auctions. Since we list for auctions every week, you won’t have to wait long. Your items can be included in our listed upcoming auctions, where they will be sold in a competitive bidding environment. Selected items will be advertised in newspapers, featured on our website, and in E-flyers that are sent to thousands of our customers. A reasonable commission is charged for this service. Payment is sent to you within 30 days after the last item is sold.

We will arrange to have your items picked up from your location, within the local GTA area. You may also choose to deliver them to one of our locations. Generally, the pick up fees are included in the commission on the sale of your items.

With over 30 years selling experience, auctioneers under Auctioneer.ca have sold important and large estates for many families, exceptional and valuable items for private individuals, importers, manufacturers, charitable organizations and retail stores.

What does the word “auction” mean?

The word “auction” is derived from the Latin augÄ“re, which means, “to increase” or “augment”.

Why go to an auction?

Even if you don’t go with the intention of buying anything, an auction guarantees to be an entertaining experience.  There is nothing wrong with getting a little adrenaline rush, from watching a fellow bidder win an item.

What should I do at an auction preview?

The best strategy to get the most out of the auction experience is to spend some quality time previewing the items up for sale.

Find out when the preview of the auction will be held and always attend.  When the auction is in progress, it is often difficult to get close to an item that you want to bid on. The preview will offer this opportunity. Items sold at auctions are rarely (if ever) covered by a warranty so it is your job to check out each item that you are interested in bidding on. Plug it in, try it out, turn it upside down and inspect all the features of the item when possible!

Other tools that are helpful to bring along include; a small flashlight, extension cord (to test any electronics you may be interested in buying), a magnifying glass and a notebook and pen.

Write down all the items you are interested, with as much detail as possible.  If the auction has been organized with lot numbers, be sure to write these down as well.

How do I register at an auction sale?

When you go to the sign-in desk, the sale clerk will ask you for your driver’s license or other government-issued identification. Once they have gathered all the information they require, they will provide you with your bid card, along with the terms of sale.  The bid card has a number on it that is specific to you, and no one else who is attending the specific auction will have that number; it is your auction identity number. You cannot bid without it, so hold on tightly to it and guard it carefully. This bid card is your ticket to bidding.  If you do not have it when it comes time to bid, the auctioneer will not recognize you as an official buyer.

What are the terms of sale?

There are several steps you need to complete before you raise your card to bid on an item; always read the terms of sale.

The terms of sale outline the contract that exists between you the buyer and the auction house. It explains in detail what you can expect from the auctioneer and auction house and what is expected of you in return.

When you sign in, the terms of sale will be made available to you, either on the back of the bid card, or on a separate sheet.  If you don’t see them posted anywhere, be sure to ask for a copy for your review.

So, what can you expect to read in a typical terms of sale?  This document outlines many important things: such as how and when you must pay for and remove your purchased items.  The terms may also outline any guarantees the auction house may make. There may be no guarantees at all and this should be outlined for you.

A final important clause that you need to look for is one that outlines any other charges. This should include any applicable taxes that as well as the “buyer’s premium”.  Auction houses charge a buyer’s premium.  This can range from 15% – 20% of the pre-tax price of your item.

How do I bid at an auction?

When your item finally arrives on the block, sit tall and get ready.  Calmly make eye contact with the ring man or auctioneer to let them know you are interested. Don’t raise your bid card at the very first price the auctioneer offers up (particularly if it is above your price range). Chances are, he will start high and then drop the price. If the price gets above your set range, then shake your head to let him/her know you are no longer interested.

If you are the winning bidder, raise your bid card to make sure the auction clerk sees your number (you’ve won your item, and you want to be sure that there are no recording mistakes). The auctioneer will repeat what the lot sold for and your bidder number. If there is a discrepancy, make it known right away!