Q: Where do you get your merchandise?
A:The merchandise that you see in the auctions comes from many diverse places. A lot of our merchandise comes from estates. We have been serving estate executors, attorneys, public guardians and estate administrators for a number of years. We also accept consignments from individuals who perhaps have only one item to sell. We also work with government agencies, businesses, charitable organizations, and many others. We work with many antique dealers who use our services to liquidate excess stock. On some occasions, we also buy out estates for cash.
Q: Can I consign just one item?
A: Yes...We accept consignments from anyone...even one item.
Q: Can I set a minimum price?
A: For the most part, we hesitate to bring an item in with a minimum bid price. We believe that your item will bring a fair price at a properly advertised and conducted auction. Of course, we always are willing to discuss with you your expectations. We have had many years experience in the auction business and we are pretty accurate in estimating what your item will bring. But, anything can happen at an auction and there are no guarantees, but we believe in communicating with you and we are concerned about your satisfaction. Sometimes, in some cases, auction is not a good alternative for certain circumstances. If that is the case...we will communicate that to you.
Q: How do I go about consigning at the auction?
A: Consigning at the auction is as easy as picking up your phone. Just call us at 530.345.0431 and tell us what you have. If you are selling an estate, we will make an appointment with you at no obligation to come to you and do a "walk through" overview. We then can set a date for the auction, make decisions as to transportation of the items to our facility, commission rates, and other details. Our commission rates are competitive and we discuss every aspect of the auction with you before you sign.
Q: What are the terms for buying at the auction?
A: Our terms are quite simple. We accept cash, a personal check or a business check with proper identification, MasterCard, and Visa. All items must be paid for before removal and removal of the items must be completed within 7 calendar days following the auction. There is a 10% buyer premium added to the bid price of all items and all purchases are subject to California State Sales Tax unless dealer's have on file, a current resale number.
Q: What is the 10% Buyer Premium?
A: The buyer premium can be called a surcharge or a "finder's fee". We charge the buyer premium to help offset costs associated with running the auction house. It also allows us much more flexibility in obtaining quality consignments. The chances of obtaining better quality consignments are better when we can "spread the costs" between the buyer and the seller.
Q: What is a Preview?
A: The preview is probably THE most important part of the auction. The preview is a time set aside prior to the auction where the public can come in at their leisure and examine the items offered for sale. This is where the buyers decide what items they like, what items they plan to bid on, the condition, authenticity, etc. We cannot stress enough the importance of preview. In fact in reality if one does not preview...one should not bid. If you are ever at an auction that does not offer a preview time, you really should not attend.
Q: Why should I preview?
A: It is very simple....All items offered at auction are sold strictly as is and where is and with all faults. There are absolutely NO warranties expressed or implied. We do NOT guarantee condition of any item, We do NOT guarantee authenticity of any item, we do NOT guarantee the workability of any item, whatsoever. You as the buyer MUST preview the merchandise for yourself and make your own determination as to condition, authenticity, or workability. That is why you should preview. Your bid at a public auction is a binding and legal contract and obligates you to pay for the merchandise that you bid on. We cannot stress enough the importance of preview.
Q: Can I bid by proxy or absentee?
A: Yes you can. We are always happy to entertain proxy or absentee bids for any auction. The process to do so is quite simple. You must register just as any bidder at the auction does, you simple give us the lot number of the item and its description, and maximum amount that you are willing to pay. (Keep in mind when you are leaving a proxy bid, the 10% buyer premium and sales tax). We then tender your bid during the auction just like you were here. We do NOT start the item at your maximum bid. We will tender your bid up to the maximum but never over the maximum. There are two things that you should be aware of when you leave absentee bids.
- We are not responsible to the failure to carry out any absentee bid for
any reason whatsoever.
- In the event of a tie bid between a present bidder and an absentee
bidder, the bidder present will win the bid.
Q: What happens after I buy an item at the auction?
A: After you are declared the winning bidder and you are finished bidding at the auction, you go to the cashier's window. The cashier will ask you for your number card. She will then go over your purchases with you. At that point you pay for your purchases by cash, check, MasterCard, or Visa. Once you have paid for your items, you will be given individual "tickets". Present these "tickets" to our check-out personnel and they will bring your merchandise to you. Its that simple.
Q: Do I have to take my stuff home on the night of the auction?
A: No. We ask that you pay for your merchandise on the night/day of the auction, but you can come in the next day (usually Saturday) and load your items out. Our Saturday hours are 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. We are closed Sunday. We also have check out hours on Mondays. Our standard hours on Monday are 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. Those Monday hours are subject to change at times. We will always post our Monday hours at the cashier window on Friday nights.
Q: When does my merchandise have to be out of the building?
A: Beginning Oct. 1st, 1999, all merchandise purchased MUST BE REMOVED no later than 7 calendar days following the auction. If for some reason you cannot do that, you must call us and discuss arrangements. Beginning Oct. 1st, 1999 merchandise not removed within 7 calendar days will be subject to a fee of 10% of the buyer's total bill per day to cover the costs of storage.
Q: Why are you taking this step? A: Very simple....we simply do not have the space to store goods that have already been sold. The nature of our business requires that we have space available for fresh and new consignments. We cannot continue to store sold items and hope to have space available for fresh merchandise.
Q: How long do your auctions last?
A: Generally speaking, most of our auction last approx. 4 hours. We sell usually between 500 and 600 lots at every auction. The auction begins at 7:00 p.m. and we are usually finished by 10:30 to 10:45. This can vary according to the merchandise that we have. We do move rapidly.
Q: Why do you go so fast?
A: It has been our experience that most people like getting home at a decent hour. It has also been our experience that the people who attend the auctions in reality probably know more about the merchandise being sold than the auctioneer does. It has always been our belief that our buyers would rather get the merchandise bought in as short a time as possible rather than sit and listen to the auctioneer tell him things he already knows while the auction is going on. Since we put a lot of faith in our customers previewing the merchandise, we feel that there is no need to describe every single item that comes across the block. It speaks for itself...all it needs is a "good sellin".
Q: I don't usually go to auctions because I might buy something by "scratching my ear" Is there any truth to that?
A: Absolutely not!!! That is a fallacy that I think may have been created in the Sunday comics. A professional auctioneer for the most part can tell when someone is and is not bidding. There is absolutely no need to be intimidated by normal body movement. There are times when people will wave and sometimes that can be taken as a bid...but we never hold them to it.
Q: Can you tell me what is the best way to learn about auctions?
A: The best way to learn (since there are no best sellers on the subject) is just to attend. In fact, we encourage people to attend 2 or 3 auctions without even buying anything just to see how it works. We also encourage any new potential consignor to do that as well. There is never a charge to come to the auctions and the auctions are open to anyone who wants to come.