Auction Definitions

Absolute Auction

An auction without reserve. All lots to be sold to the highest bidder.

Absentee Bid

A procedure which allows a customer to participate in the bidding process without being physically present. It is usually handled under an established set of guidelines by the auctioneer or his representative.

Accounting of a Sale

A report issued to the seller by the auctioneer detailing the financial aspects of the auction.

All Sales Final

No refunds are given for any reason. The auctioneer will not resale or re-auction any item that you decide you don’t want after buying it.

As Is

Merchandise is sold in the current state that it is in. If it is scratched, broken, incomplete, or won’t work, that’s the way you buy it.

Auction Without Reserve

An auction in which property put up for sale is sold to the highest bidder; where no minimum price will limit the bid; where the seller may not withdraw the property from the auction after the first bid has been received; and where the seller may not nullify the sale by bidding himself or through an agent. Also known as Absolute Auction.

Auction Subject to Confirmation or Reserve

An auction where the seller has a minimum acceptable bid for which they will sell the property. The minimum price may or may not nullify the sale by bidding himself or through an agent.


A person whom the seller engages to direct, conduct or be responsible for a sale by auction.


An offer of a price.

Bid Assistants

Auction staff members who can relay your bid to the auctioneer. If you cannot get the auctioneer’s attention, get a bid assistant to bid for you. Often referred to as ringmen.

Bidder's Choice

When there are several identical or similar properties or items, the bidder bids the price (s)he is willing to pay for one. With bidder’s choice, the bidder can take as many of the the identical or similar lots as (s)he wants by multiplying the bid price by the number of items. (For example, there are 10 identical lots, the bidder bids $5,000.00 for 1 lot, and takes 6 lots for a total of $30,000.00. The remaining 4 lots are offered until all are sold.)

Bidder's Kit / Bid Package

A package provided by the auction company that contains information for the bidder such as a contract, survey, and disclosure statements.

Bidding Process

Simply raise your bid card high enough for the auctioneer to see it. Typically, the amount the auctioneer is calling for is the price he as asking you to pay.

Buyer's Premium

An amount of money, usually based on a percentage of the successful bid, charged to the successful bidder and added to the successful bid to determine the final selling price. (Example: 10% Buyers Premium on $100. Cost would be $110).


The part for whom the auctioneer sells property; it is often synonymous with seller.

Completion of Sale

A sale by auction is complete when the auctioneer so announces by fall of the hammer or in some other customary manner.


A party who attends the auction for the purpose of buying the property offered for sale.

Exclusive Right to Sale

An auction agreement between the owner of a property and the auctioneer giving the auctioneer the exclusive right to sell the property and receive the agreed upon commission when the property is sold, regardless of who is responsible for producing the buyer.

Hammer Price

Bid amount at time auctioneer hammers a gavel and/or states item is sold. Item still subject to confirmation or reserve, if applicable.

Minimum Bid

The lowest acceptable price at which the seller agrees to complete the sale.


The auction company will accept various types of payment. Cash, checks with bank letters of credit, or certified funds may be required. All merchandise must be paid for in full each day. The auction company may REFUSE ANY CHECKS without proper identification or bank letters guaranteeing the check.


When you first get to the auction, you should ask to register and obtain a bid card. You will be asked to show proper identification to register. You may be required to verify that you have certified funds or cash in your possession.

Terms and Conditions

These are the governing rules for a specific auction. Each auction’s terms and conditions may vary and the bidder must understand them before participating in an auction.

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