Below, you’ll find some of our most frequently asked questions to assist you as you discover the incredibly rewarding world of auctions and auctioneering practices.
FAQ #1: How do storage auctions work?
Storage auctions are different from other types of auctions because you’ll be buying any contents. However, those contents may not be fully visible before you begin bidding.
Generally, you arrive at the storage location about 10 minutes prior to the start of the auction and register at the office. As each locker is put up for bid, the lock is cut on it and the door is rolled open. In most cases, you may only look (from the doorway) at the contents. You will have only a few moments to visually inspect the interior of the storage locker.
If you win the bid, you must go back to the registration area and pay for your storage locker. You may have 72 hours to remove the contents. If you discover any legal personal documents or personal photos, you are required by law to box them up and return them to the office. (Make sure you label the box with the storage unit’s number.)
Before the 72 hour period, the storage unit must be swept out and clean. Remember: You have purchased the contents, not the storage locker.
FAQ #2: What are some of the terms I can expect to hear at my first auction?
Sometimes, it can seem as if the auctioneer and his associates are speaking a foreign language! However, with the understanding of a few definitions (listed below), you’ll soon feel “fluent” at any auction.
Applicable Taxes: HST applies to auction items, in most circumstances. Refer to your auctioneer for further details.
“As Is, Where Is”: This means that the auction company does not imply guarantees or warranties for the auction items. At Reinhart Auctions, we advise customers to inspect all goods to the best of their abilities before bidding on them.
Bonded: The auctioneer or auction company is insured to handle cash on behalf of clients so that the consigner’s monies are guaranteed.
Buyer’s Premium: This is a charge (usually a small percentage above the buying price) that is assessed to the winning bidder to offset some of the auction costs (e.g., transport, loading, advertising, etc.)
Consigner: The person or company who places items up for auction. The consigner usually pays the auctioneer a fee in the form of commission.
Licensed Auctioneer: In most cities and towns in Ontario, auctioneers are required to purchase a license before they can conduct any auctions.
Terms and Conditions: The terms and conditions of an auction describe when and how payment is to be made. They vary from one auction company to another.
FAQ #3: I have some antiques and collectables to sell, but a different auctioneer said the market for it isn’t very strong. Why?
The price for antiques and collectables is dependent on whether there is a demand for the items. If there is high demand, the price of the antiques and collectibles will rise, and vice versa. Contact your auctioneer today to learn more about the market for your antique or collectible.
FAQ #4: Do I need to check in to buy something at an auction?
Yes. At any auction, prospective buyers must register prior to the beginning of the sale with their driver’s license. That way, they will have a number with which to bid.
FAQ #5: Can I see the items for an auction before the day of the auction?
This will depend on the type of auction. In some cases, bidders can see the items in advance of the auction; in other cases (as in storage auctions), bidders will only see the items right before the sale takes place.
Have other questions about auctions? Please contact us at (905) 846-1071 and we’ll be happy to help.