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Q.

A.

BIDDERS:

What is my “dashboard”? 

Your dashboard is a place that organizes and presents you account information in one, easy-to-access location. You can access all your account information directly from the dashboard including: items won, consignments, items following, items bid upon, billing info, etc. You can also update your credit card information from your dashboard ( see “How do I change my credit card on file?”) below. 

How do I access my dashboard? 

  • 1)  Visit ClearingHouseEstateSales.Com and sign in with your email and password. Once you are successfully logged in, you will note that the banner at the top of the page will read “WELCOME! [YOUR NAME].
  • 2)  On that banner you can also access your BIDS, INVOICES, ACCOUNT, and CONSIGNMENTS

Why do you require a credit card on file in order for me to bid? 

CHES only accepts bids by people whose credit cards are valid, registered and vetted by our credit card processing platform in order to protect the integrity of our auction. We require a valid credit card for all bidders (Amex, Discover, Visa, or Mastercard). Additionally, to ensure efficient processing, the primary credit card on file for all bidders is charged once the auction closes. The charge will include the hammer price, buyers’ premium, and pertinent sales tax. 

Please note: All credit card information is encrypted to the highest levels of safety possible and will not be used or distributed for any other purposes. 

How do I change my credit card on file? 

  • 1)  Log into your dashboard
  • 2)  Click on ACC;
  • 3)  Choose MANAGE PAYMENT OPTIONS
  • 4)  + ADD CREDIT / DEBIT CARD button;
  • 5)  Enter your details as prompted and then click ADD.

Once the card is added you can choose to make it your primary (or default) card for any future auction’s auto debit. 

If you received notification that you were a winning bidder but your credit card was declined, simply update your credit card on file. You will then notice that your auction winnings will appear in your shopping cart. Simply check-out and you’re all set. 

What is an opening bid? 

 An opening bid is the price at which bidding begins. While most of the items in our auctions start at $1, we do occasionally have starting bids of higher value.

What is extended bidding and why is it necessary? 

Much like bidding during a live auction, the auctioneer generally won’t hammer at the first bid. Auctioneers will give other bidders an opportunity to increase their bids until there is no further action / interest in the piece. We feature “extended bidding”in our online auction format because it best mimics live bidding (albeit in a timed format). The CHES system resets the countdown clock to five (5) minutes on any lots that receive bids under the five minute mark. 

Why do we use extended bidding you may ask? In order to create the fairest simulated “real-life” auction scenario possible and to prevent “bid sniping.”

Why was I outbid by an amount less than the next minimum increment? 

Sometimes our bidders wonder how they were outbid by an amount lower than the minimum bid increment ( see bid increments in our Terms & Conditions). All bidders may place their max bids at any time. As a result, you may be outbid by what seems to be an incorrect increment. Let us try to give you an example: 

Let’s say you place your maximum bid of $100 on lot #2 but another buyer wins the lot for $101, even though the next increment is $5, not $1. Here is how the scenario might occur... 

It’s 4pm on closing day and lot #2 is currently at $15. At 5:10pm you place a maximum bid of $100. There are a few bidders at play and so by the time 5:45pm comes around, the current bid is at $78 with you as the highest bidder. At 7:05pm a new bidder joins in and places his maximum bid of $101. Since this new bidder’s bid of $101 is above the minimum increment at the time she placed the bid, it is accepted by the system. Since there were no additional bids placed before the countdown clock ran out, the $101 bidder wins the lot because it is higher than your $100 maximum bid. 

Sometimes I’m immediately outbid. Why? 

Because all maximum bids are “masked” (hidden from other bidders), you do not know what other bidders maximum bid may be or when they placed it. Sometimes you will be outbid as soon as you bid. This only occurs when another bidder had a higher bid than yours already already in the system. Your bid set in motion the CHES automatic bidding system which raised the other buyer’s bid before 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 next 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 the item), not your maximum 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. 

I think I won an item but I never got an email with pickup instructions. How do I know and where do I find my pickup instructions? 

All pickup information can be accessed by logging into your dashboard. 

I don’t seem to be getting the emails with pickup instructions upon winning an item? 

If you are not receiving emails with your pickup info, please notify us by emailing: Info@ClearingHouseEstateSales.com . Please make sure you also check your email’s spam folder, mark info@clearinghouseestatesales.com as a trusted or “safe” sender and that you have submitted the correct email address on your account. 

Clients:

Why are the bids so low on my sale? 

This is perhaps the most commonly asked question we receive. But don’t worry. Why it may seem like the current bids are very low in the days leading up to the close of your sale, most of the bidding action takes place within the final hours (mainly the last 30 minutes) of the closing of any particular lot. 

Most bidders will “stalk the site” - in other words, watch their favorite items and maybe place a low bid here or there; but mainly they just “watch” because they don’t want to show their cards too early. They wait until the final minutes to bid. That’s when the bidding frenzy starts. So, you will likely see intense bidding once the auction begins to close.   

Also, unlike other bidding platforms, (i.e. Ebay), the CHES online auction system features “extended bidding” ( see below under BIDDERS & BUYERS). 

My piece is worth a lot more than $1. Should I set a starting price? 

One of the toughest challenges we have is convincing our clients to trust having their items start at $1. This may seem counterintuitive, items with reserves or a price higher than $1 tend to underperform in auction results. Starting at a higher price tends to dampen bidder excitement. 

Here is our general reasoning: the auction format truly reflects the current market. Items that have better quality will attract more interested buyers. More interested buyers means more bidders and higher prices.

What if something doesn’t sell?
With everything starting at $1, our sell-through rate is nearly 100%.