Frequently Asked Questions

We are here to help. Below we've put together a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions. For further questions, please check out our contact us page where you can send us a question or call us. We'll be glad to help.


An auction is defined as a public sale of goods or property in which prospective purchasers bid until the highest price is reached.
The person who conducts an auction sale

A person who assists an auctioneer by spotting bids and signaling the information to the auctioneer, often from the ring where livestock sales occur or from an audience such as in a fundraising event.

Auction House
Usually refers to auctioneers who hold auctions at their own premises, the company is referred to as an auction house.

On Site Auctions
If a company has gone into liquidation and its assets are to be sold at auction that auction sometimes will take place at the company site rather than at an auction house , this is done when it is not practical to transport the goods to the sale the goods are sold "On site".

There are several reasons why goods may be sold at auction and it is important to know why the goods are being sold and where they came from, this information can be found by consulting with the auctioneers before the sale or it may be stated in the catalogue of lots relating to that auction sale. One of the following may apply

  • The goods are being sold to raise cash to pay of debtors if the previous owner has gone into liquidation, receivership or bankruptcy.
  • The goods are being entered in the hope of a dealer making a profit from their sale.
  • The goods are being sold by the owner to create space for new stock
  • The goods are surplus to the owners requirements due to new stock being acquired.
  • The goods have been part of a leasing agreement and the term of lease has ended and the goods are not required by the leasing company who are now the legal owners.
  • The goods will not sell any other way due to poor demand or over supply.
  • The goods may be part of an illegal consignment and have been confiscated by an official department who now wish to dispose of them.
  • The goods may have been stolen and the previous owner cannot be traced by the appropriate authorities.
  • The goods may be government department or armed forces surplus stock due to being out of date or over stocked.
Just about anything can be sold at auction here are some examples:

Furniture - Jewelry - Antiquities - Artifacts - Clocks & Watches

Paintings - Sculptures

Stamps - Coins - Books - Postcards - Medals - Print - China & Glassware - Memorabilia

Caravan & Camping - Marine - Aviation - Sports Goods

Houses - Flats - Land - Commercial Premises - Warehouses - Workshops - Studios

Furniture - Appliances - Fridges - Freezers - Washers - Dryers - Electrical Goods - Hi-Fi's - T.V's. - Videos - Clothing - Carpets - Beds - Garden Equipment

Foodstuffs - Wines - Spirits - Beers -

Equipment - Furniture - Consumables - Telecommunication Equipment

Home Systems - Business Systems - Parts & Peripherals - Printers - Scanners - Modems

Cars - Vans & Commercials - Trucks & H.G.V. - Motorcycles - Vintage - Motor Parts

Contractors Plant & Machinery - Engineering Machinery - Printing, Chemical & Fabric Equipment - Commercial Catering Equipment - Stock Materials - Scrap Materials & Equipment

Buildings - Machinery & Tools - Livestock - Vehicles

Armed Forces - Government Department Stock - Seized & Confiscated Goods

When you arrive at the auction site you may need to register with the auctioneers in order to obtain a bidding number, the information required is usually your name and address.. You should be familiar with the registration requirements for the particular auction before you arrive.

If you have not viewed the lots for auction prior to the auction day you will need to allow yourself time to inspect your prospective purchases before the auction starts if this is allowed, some auctions may not allow you to view the lots other than in the specified viewing dates and times, with some "catalogue" auctions you may not be allowed to view the lots after the auction has started. You should confirm these details with the auctioneers prior to the auction date.

When a lot you are interested in bidding on comes up for sale the auctioneer will announce the lot number ( either found in the catalogue next to the item or placed on the item during the viewing period ) and give a brief description of the item usually tied to the description given in the catalogue.

A starting bid will be suggested by the auctioneer and usually bidding will start below this price so do not assume the auctioneers starting bid is the lowest price available. If the item has a reserve price the auctioneer will often start the bidding above this price and reduce the start bid towards the reserve price until a bid is made. The auction catalogue will usually display a guide price for the item which is above the items reserve price.

You are free to start bidding at any time after the auctioneer has announced the starting bid. Some auctions especially liquidations, bankruptcies and receiverships have no reserve prices so give it a little time before you start your bidding, if there are no other bidders your first bid may be the price you pay.

If similar lots are listed together in the catalogue and you are the buyer of the first lot you may then have the option to purchase the similar lots at the same price as the first.

When bidding it is usual to get the auctioneers attention by raising your hand or making some other clear gesture to the auctioneer followed by the amount you wish to bid if different to the auctioneers announced price. Now you have started bidding the auctioneer will return to you every time the bid is against you to see if you wish to raise your offer, a clear shake of the head will indicate to the auctioneer that you do not wish to continue bidding.

Bids go up in steps controlled by the auctioneer and until the bid nears the assumed final price a bid of less than this amount will not usually be taken.

If your bid is the final bid and the price reached is above the items reserve price you have been successful in your purchase.

After you have won the bid you will have to pay an immediate deposit, the amount of deposit will be stated in the terms and conditions of the auction catalogue. The type of payment method i.e. cash, bank drafts, credit cards will be stipulated in the catalogue.

The amount of time given to pay fully for the purchase and clear the goods from the auction house will also be given in the catalogue.

Remember it is usual for the goods to be the responsibility of the purchaser after the hammer has fallen

If the items for auction are large, heavy or difficult to move, representatives of removal companies will usually be present, but this is worth checking with the auctioneers before you make your purchase.

    • It is important to physically inspect the property or inventory that you are interested in
    • Before the auction event, make sure that you have cash needed - most are cash and carry, and expect payment same day
    • If you will need financing you must make arrangements before auction day because auction day purchases are not contingent upon the bidder financial situation.

What to expect on Auction Day.

    • Try to arrive at least 30 minutes early for an important pre-auction inspection for bidders. The entire auction process will be explained before the auction begins

Q: What is a reserve price?

A: A reserve price is the lowest price in which a seller is willing to sell his/hers property, commodity or real estate . If bidding doesn't reach the reserve price, the seller isn't obligated to sell. a good auctioneer will always announce which items have to meet reserve.

Q: Why isn't the reserve price published / announced?

A: The reserve price isn't published or announced because it can be lowered. Depending on the situation, the seller has the flexibility to adjust the reserve downward in order to sell the property at a price that works for everyone.