Solve A Problem / FAQ

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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 selle. 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. 



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 extended bidding?


The AuctionNinja platform features extended bidding (a.k.a. "soft closing"). 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 will close.

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, in-person auction, when the auctioneer gives bidders opportunities to increase their bids if someone jumps into the bidding at the last moment before hammering the winning bid. 



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 by our 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.



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


Occasionally our bidders are outbid by an amount lower than the minimum bid increments. All bidders may place their max bid at anytime.  As a result, you may be outbid by what seems to be an incorrect increment.  The AuctionNinja system will not default to strict increments like a traditional auction if an "odd" maximum bid was left prior to meeting the bid price which would engage the next bid increment. 

For example, let's say you place your maximum bid of $100 on a painting but another buyer wins the lot for $101. As stated in the bidding increments, you know the next bid should have been $105, not $101. The system will accept the $101 bid because that max bid of $101 was placed before the auction got to that next increment level.

Here's how: It's 4 p.m. on closing day and the painting is currently at $15. At 5:10 p.m. you place a maximum bid of $100. There are a few bidders at play and so by the time 5:45 comes around, the current bid is at $78 with you as the highest bidder.  At 7:05 p.m. 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.



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


In the case of a tie bid, the hammer will always fall to the first bidder. For example, the current bid is $50 (placed by someone else). What you don't know is that their max bid (which is masked from other bidders) is $200. You join the bidding and and place a maximum bid of $200 and are immediately outbid in favor of the other bidder. Even though two people have the same max bid, only one person can win the lot. That is automatically determined by bidding order -- the person who placed that maximum bid first.




What are your fees?

Our fees are structured entirely on a commission basis. Our fee structure starts at 35% You only pay us for items we sell. Period. We don't make money, if We don't make you money. NO upfront fees ever. Over 90% rate of sale as we have thousands of customers viewing each sale    

How long does it take?

Most sales take a 14 to 20 days in total from start to finish, 14 days max online listing and one day for the organized pickup, lastly 1-2 days for clean up, If so you deside to use one of the clean out companies we reccomend to leave the home broom clean.  

How is payment made?

At the end of the sale, payment is made to you by check within 15 business days of the completion of the sale pick up. We do not hold YOUR money.  

Our Estate Sale Staff

Our staff has been with us for a long time and each and everyone of them has a specialty. We also have expert contacts on call if there is a question that we cannot answer or their is an extraordinary item in need of more than traditional research..  

Do you offer other services?

Yes, if needed, we offer lunk removal to have your home "broom swept, clear to close" at the end of the sale by our sister company Trading Places

What kind of items can you sell?

We sell EVERYTHING. Estate sale items typical include but are not limited to the following:  

•              Antique furniture, sculpture, crystal

•              Fine and rare books, every day books, magazines

•              Fine art and jewelry, costume jewelry, silver, gold

•              Antique toys, retro and modern collectibles

•              Vintage items, linens, clothing, kitchen-wares, housewares

•              Sporting items, sewing items, office equipment, garage items

•              Home furnishings, appliances, televisions, stereos, computers, garden tools, plants

•              Hand tools, machine tools, construction equipment, and materials.

•              Cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, airplanes and yachts


Are you insured?

Yes. We are insured. We carry liability insurance    

How do we get started?

We offer a free walk through, discussion of your estate liquidation needs and try to come up with a solution that fits each customer.  We are pleased you want to work with us. To get started, call (516) 882-7775 or email us your questions at