Information - Index
In an auction there are many players. The auctioneer;
feeder; runners; a clerk to take the bidders number, item description and
bid amount; and any additional clerk(s) to process the
'tickets' (separate, calculate and
take payments). Most auction houses have a small concession stand for refreshments and
snacks. Usually the concession stands are run by civic institutions, local groups or
charities. But not in every case.
In estate or household auctions the auctioneer will pick
up the items for sale or have an 'on site' auction. Consignments of goods are generally
accepted at all auctions, unless otherwise stated.
All rent, advertising fees (mail, local newspapers, local
radio, auction signs and banners) and bathroom facilities are the responsibility of
auctioneer, as well as, the setting and displaying of the items for sale. Which includes:
overall display of items for sale, localizing higher ticketed items, providing adequate
cover (indoors and outdoors), providing adequate ventilation and heating (winter),
cleaning items (mostly household and estate auctions), clean up at the end of the auction,
payment of the hired help, collection of money from buyers, and payment to the consignees
(sellers). As you can tell it is a lot of work and expense.
Commissions are charged to cover the expenses as well as
payment for services rendered. Commission rates for selling items vary from auction to
auction. Usually 25 - 35% is charged for household or estate auctions, as well as,
consignments. Most auction houses have a graduated commission rate. Which means the more
money an item brings, the lower the commission. Auction houses will offer this lower rate
as a means to attract better quality items. In this respect, an auctioneer can sell a
higher quality item, in less time and make just as much money, than say, a small table of
household goods which can take 10 minutes to sell.
Some auction houses charge a 'buyers premium'. Some of
these can be as high as 20%. This is a percentage of the total amount that you (the buyer)
pay for each item and which is added to the total amount of your receipts at the end of
the auction. This amount is in addition to sale tax (if applicable). I personally don't
like the idea of charging people extra to buy items at auction. The only people to benefit
from this are the auction houses themselves, and they loose in the long run. The sellers
receive less money, because people spend less on the item to make up for the 'buyers
premium' and people like myself, stay away from these auctions, which means lower overall
prices. Even the concession stand makes less money. Nobody wins in this game. The seller
loses money and the auction house loses potential customers. Now, a few exceptions do
exist for this type of auction, but only at higher end auction houses, which are
prohibitive to all but the fortunate few who make enough money to buy everything they
want. My advise to all, don't patronize an establishment that charges a 'buyers premium'.
Maybe they will get the message.
Navigation is accomplished by using
the main menu on the left. Just click on the red
help book next to the words Auction Guide
and the topics will unfold. Or you can use the index below.
This reference is here for informational
This guide may be freely distributed providing
that I have been credited as the author, and a link to this website has been
placed on each chapter. Thank
I would appreciate an email
if you did use excerpts from this guide. But it's not necessary.
Written and Copyrighted © 1997-2001
by Stan Daniloski, Earth