With the expansion of AuctionNinja into new territories, we have been fielding a lot of questions that have a similar ring to them. So in the hopes of helping our users understand the world of AuctionNinja, here are the top seven frequently asked questions we receive: 

Buyers Premium

What is a buyer’s premium?

A buyer's premium is a percentage-based fee added to the winning hammer price. This helps cover the auctioneer’s expenses and administrative costs and off-sets credit card fees. The larger auction houses in major cities sometimes charge up to a 30% buyer's premium. Bidders may also be charged sales tax (depending on regulations of the individual state where the auction is held) on this additional fee.  

Here’s an example ...
If you won an auction lot through “A-Z Auctioneers” with a 15% buyer’s premium and 5% state sales tax (the buyer’s premium is often taxed, but laws vary by state) here’s how it would work out:

Hammer Price


Buyer’s Premium (15%)


State Sales Tax (5%)




You should note that buyer’s premiums vary depending on the individual auctioneer / estate seller using the AuctionNinja platform. Please be sure to read the terms for each individual sale. If you have questions about a buyer’s premium, please contact the auction house / estate seller directly. AuctionNinja does not control what individual sellers charge for buyer’s premiums.

What is extended bidding?

The AuctionNinja platform features extended bidding. This is the fairest way to prevent “bid sniping” (someone submitting a high bid in the last seconds of any given lot’s closing in order to win said lot) and to give all bidders an opportunity to increase their bids if they wish. It is also the closest way to mimic a live auction, when the auctioneer gives bidders opportunities to increase their bids before hammering the winning bid. The AuctionNinja system will automatically extend the closing time of a lot (auction item) whenever a bid is placed within the last five minutes of its scheduled closing. This may occur multiple times on any given lot depending on the bidder interest in that lot. Once all interest and bidding in a lot ceases the clock will run out and the lot wil close.

Sometimes I'm immediately outbid. Why?

Because all maximum bids are "masked" (hidden from other bidders), you do not know what any other bidder's maximum bid may be or when they placed it. Sometimes you will be outbid as soon as you enter your bid. This only occurs when another bidder had a higher maximum bid than yours already "on the board". Your bid set in motion BRG's automatic bidding system which raised the other buyer's bid above yours. The other bidder may have placed their max bid days, hours, or mere moments before you placed yours. 

However, if you place a bid and there are no competing bids against your bid, the system WILL NOT immediately go to your maximum bid. In fact, if you are the only bidder by the time the lot closes, you will win the lot for the lowest possible dollar amount (based on whatever the opening bid was for that item), not your max bid. So if you place a max bid of $25 on a lot with an opening bid of $1 and there are no other bidders vying for that lot, you will win it for $1. NOTE: This only happens when there are no competing bids.

My max bid was the same as the winning bid, yet someone else won it. Why?

This is a common question that arises and it seems that regular bidders may experience this scenario from time to time. Because all maximum bids are "masked" (hidden from other bidders), you do not know what any other bidder's maximum bid may be or when they placed it. Often times, several people place the same max bid on a particular lot they are bidding upon. As you know, only one person can be the winning bidder.

It all boils down to where the max bids fall within the bidding order.  

Let’s play-out this very basic example:

Let’s say there are only three bidders on Lot 1 — Tom, Mary, and Joe.

Tom opens the bidding at $1, but his max bid is $10. The $1 stands until Mary joins in a few hours later. 

Mary places a max bid of $5. This brings the current bid to $6 (the next increment above the competing bid from Mary) with Tom being the current high bidder, where he remains until Joe jumps into the auction.

Eventually Joe joins in the bidding and places his max bid at $10. 

Since Tom was currently at $6 (with a max bid of $10) and Joe entered with a max bid of $10, the AuctionNinja automatic bidding system automatically (within fractions of a second) will accept bids from Joe at $7, then Tom at $8, then Joe at $9, and Tom wins the lot at $10 because there are no other bidders joining in.

So as you can see, even though two people had the same max bid, only one person wins the lot and it is automatically determined by bidding order. As stated earlier, all bids are “masked” so bidders don’t know how many bidders are bidding nor do they know what the max bids are for any of their competitors. If there were more bidders who all had the same max bid, the winning bid would likely go to someone other than Tom because of the bidding order.

What if I have a last minute emergency?

We understand that life throws curveballs sometimes. If you have a true emergency and cannot follow through on your preferred pick up option, please contact the individual AuctionNinja seller/auctioneer (info found on individual auction listing pages). AuctionNinja is a bidding platform whereby individual auction houses and estate sellers sell their merchandise. Alternate arrangements are at the sole discretion of the auctioneer per their auction terms. 

Can I pay by cash or check at pick-up?

In order to keep AuctionNinja uncomplicated for sellers and bidders, the only method of payment accepted is credit card via auto-debit at the close of the auction. This makes it easy for bidders to simply show-up at the designated location and pick-up their items. It also is safer and more secure for our auctioneers/sellers who, otherwise would be concerned about holding large sums of cash on hand.

How do I update my credit card?

Cards expire or perhaps you may have gotten an entirely new card. Changing your card is easy on AuctionNinja. You may change your default credit card details at any time by logging onto AuctionNinja.com. Click on MY DASHBOARD. Then click on ACCOUNT. Click on BILLING OPTIONS. Next to “Manage Payment Options” click on +ADD CREDIT/DEBIT CARD (in red) and enter your new card info. Voila! Your new card is set.

How do I update my state tax certification / reseller certificate?

Adding or updating Tax ID certification and information

Changing/adding your reseller tax ID certificate is easy on AuctionNinja. You may update your information at any time by logging onto AuctionNinja.com. Click on MY DASHBOARD. Then click on ACCOUNT. Click on PREFERENCES. Check the box next to TAX INFORMATION. Enter your TAX ID # and be sure to upload a copy of the certificate.

***IMPORTANT: You must include a copy of the certificate in order for your Tax ID to be valid. Providing your Tax ID number only is not enough. It must be accompanied by the certificate. Contact and address information must also match the information on the certificate.***

Do you ship?

Again, AuctionNinja is merely the bidding platform bringing together buyers and sellers. You must contact the individual auction house / estate seller regarding shipping options (if they even offer any). Many sellers only offer local pick-up, but sale terms vary depending on the individual seller. Often these details are located on the landing page for each auction. Please be sure to read the auction terms for each auction before bidding, too. 

I won some items, where do I pick them up?

The individual auction vendor will feature pick-up details on the landing page for each of their auctions  Sometimes, in the case of a residential estate location, the actual address will be included in the winning email (not included on the landing page) which is sent to the email address on file with your account. Please be sure to read the auction terms for each auction before bidding, too, to make sure that you are available to pick-up your items during the designated dates/times. Most often there are no other pick-up options available and requests for alternative pick-up options are at the sole discretion of the individual auction vendor.

I am the winning bidder and now realize that I don’t want my items. That’s ok, right? 

In short, no. No, it’s not ok. When you bid on any items in an auction, it’s a legally binding agreement to purchase the item(s) if you are the winning bidder. Once the auction closes, if you’re the high bidder, per the terms of use / bidder agreement, you are obligated to follow-through on your purchase. Auctions do not work like retail stores where you can return an item if you have “buyers remorse.” So you must be sure that you are able to uphold your end of the agreement before placing your bid(s). Reneging on your agreement as the winning bidder in any auction will result in the permanent revocation of your bidding priveledges on the AuctionNinja platform.


Hopefully this helps answer some of those common questions you may have. As always, be sure to ask the individual sellers for details on their respective auctions.