AuctionNinja | FAQs

Basic Auction

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 their buyer’s premiums.

What is an absolute auction?

An absolute auction is a sale without a reserve price, where the hammer price is awarded to the highest bidder regardless of the hammer price. For example, in an absolute auction, a wine refrigerator could hammer at $1 because there was only one bidder bidding on that lot in the absolute auction.

What is a reserve?

First off, let's define reserve price. A reserve price sets a minimum required bid for the item to be sold. In many traditional auctions, reserves are undisclosed (the bidders have no idea what the reserve price may be -- a blind reserve).

On the AuctionNinja platform, there are no "blind" reserves or minimums on the AuctionNinja platform. While the majority of the auctions held on our site are "absolute auctions," there are times that vendors clearly state a starting bid price in order to open the bidding on that particular lot. The process is very transparent.