Frequently Asked Questions about Auctions


Can anyone attend an ActionHouse Auction?
Yes, our auctions are open to the public and everyone is welcome.

Why do people go to auctions?
It's no surprise to us!  When surveyed, the #1 reason for going to auctions is "it's fun"! The excitement of bidding and the thrill of the hunt - all these elements generate a level of enthusiasm that only the auction method can generate. An auction is unlike any other buying or selling environment.

What does "Preview" mean?
Preview means to check out the merchandise before the auction.  Look something over so you know what you are buying.  Preview is the allotted time set by ActionHouse which is your time to come in early and look at the merchandise before you buy it.  Items purchased at auction are "as is" so, preview can be a really important part of auction going.

Can I really get a good deal at an auction? 
YES!  It is a common myth that the crowd just keeps bidding on items until they are crazy expensive.  This simply is not true.  At an auction there are no "retail mark-up" prices to deal with.  You see something you want and you decide what you would be willing to pay for that item!  The truth is that there are great and sometimes unbelievable deals to find at an auction.

Why does an auction go so fast?
At an auction there are usually many transactions per hour, which means the pace of the auction is fairly quick.  This is necessary to sell an entire estate or multiple consignors' items in a short period of time. 

Why must I sit/stand where the auctioneer can see me?
It is important to make eye contact with the auctioneer when placing a bid: it is your way of communicating your bid.  This reduces the chance of losing an item to another bidder or bidding on an item that you do not want. It is important to pay attention to what is being sold.  Listen to and watch the ring man and auctioneer for the introduction of an item before bidding.

Hey, the Auctioneer wasn't taking my bid!
Sometimes in an auction two individual bidders will be going along bidding on an item, when a third party wants to jump in and bid, it is auction etiquette to allow those two bidders to continue, but let the auctioneer see you wave your Buyers Number, he is sure to let you in at the very next opportunity.

What kind of things can I find at an auction?
There is usually something for everyone!  Every auction is different and unique.  Quite simply, if something can be sold, it has probably been sold at auction. ActionHouse sells a wide variety of personal property including antiques, art, decorative accessories, glass, china, jewelry, household items, coins, stamps, collectibles, furnishings, tools, cars, recreational vehicles, farm machinery, construction equipment, commodities and much more. We do not sell alcohol.

What if I haven't ever been to an auction?  Will I be able to keep up? 
YES!  All of our staff at ActionHouse love to see new faces mixed in the crowd of our regulars.  We understand that a first auction can sometimes be a little scary and intimidating.  We always give a run down of what to expect at the beginning of every one of our auctions.  Also, there is room for mistakes.  If something seems to be mistaken or a bidder is uncertain, we will gladly take a moment to clear things up.  Just a few minutes into the auction you'll be a pro!

How do I register at an auction?  Do I have to have a business license?
When you arrive at the auction the first place to go is our cashier counter.  Once there check in with them showing them your drivers license.  They will then issue a Buyer number at no charge which allows you to bid at the auction.  Anyone can go to an auction to buy.  You do not have to have a business license, however if you have a tax ID number please present a copy of it when you check in.
 
How do I place a bid?
Placing a bid on an item is actually pretty quick and easy. You will need a Buyers Number which you can receive at no charge.  We will need your driver's license/ID to issue you a Buyers Number which is good immediatly.

Can I arrive at an auction late?
You can arrive at an auction any time and leave at any time. Start at the cashier by getting your Buyers Number and then just stop by the cashier again when you're done, pay for your items and get your receipt whenever you are done for the day.  Note: Sometimes late in the auction are when some great deals happen so try to stick around until the end.

How do I pay for items?
ActionHouse makes it easy for you to pay for your items.  We accept cash, Visa, Master Card, Discover Cards, and American Express.  Payment can be made after you have successfully bid an item or at the end of the auction.  All purchases must be paid in full by the end of the auction. Please keep in mind that we have a buyer's premium of 10% and we are required to charge sales tax on all items sold at ActionHouse.   As soon as the auctioneer says "Sold" and your number is recorded with the clerk, the item is your responsibility at that point: please secure it.

What if I change my mind after the auctioneer says sold and I no longer want that item? Or can I return an item?
Your bid is an agreement to purchase.  You have committed to purchase the item publically; it is absolute.  By bidding you have agreed to the Terms and Conditions of the auction. All sales are final. Please use the preview time before the start of an auction to determine your interest in an item.

What are the benefits of an auction? 
The auction demonstrates to serious buyers that owners are ready, willing, able and committed to sell the items now at a market price. An auction also creates a deadline where one currently does not exist, yielding a higher selling price and thus minimizing costs and maximizing returns in a shortened time frame.

When is a good time to sell at auction?
Auctions succeed in at all phases in the economic cycle. Auctions create true price discovery – during uncertain times when transactions are few and far between - and even more so when the market is headed up and sellers want to capture the highest possible price.