Absentee Bidder: A person or entity who submits, in advance, a written or oral bid that is the top price he/she will pay for a given property but who does not attend the sale.
“As Is”: The caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) phrase of the auction business. Most items sold at auction are sold “as is” in that the buyers are responsible for examining and judging the property for their own protection and the auctioneer does not offer warranties.
Auction: The method of sale of personal or real property to the highest bidder.
Auctioneer: The agent of the seller who, for a fee, conducts the auction, recognizing the bidders and acknowledging the highest bidder, who becomes the buyer. In many states and communities, auctioneers must be licensed and bonded.
Auction Without Reserve (Absolute Auction): An auction in which property put up for sale is sold to the highest bidder, where the seller may not withdraw the property from the auction after the auctioneer calls for bids unless no bid is made in a reasonable time, and where the seller may not bid himself or through an agent
Auction With Reserve: An auction in which the seller or his agent reserves the right to establish a minimum bid, accept or reject any and all bids, and withdraw the property at any time prior to the announcement of the completion of the sale by the auctioneer.
Bid: A prospective buyer’s indication or offer of a price he/she will pay to purchase property at auction.
Bid Increment: The minimum dollar amount that the current bid increases in price after each new bid.
Buyer’s Premium: A percentage added to the purchase price (“hammer price”). Paid by the buyer for the services of the auctioneer.
Completion of the Sale: A sale by auction is complete when the auctioneer so announces by the fall of the hammer or in other customary manner.
Conditions of Sale: The legal terms that govern the conduct of the sale, including acceptable methods of payment, terms, buyer’s premiums, delivery, storage, reserves, etc.
Consignment: Property turned over to an auctioneer by its owner or those representing the owner to be sold on a commission basis and usually under specific conditions.
Internet Only Auction: A timed auction where bids can only be placed over the Internet by Assiter Auctioneers bidders. No live bidding is taking place at a physical location.
Live Auction: An auction that takes place at a designated place and time, where bidders can browse the auction lots and place their bids in person.
Lot: A property or group of properties that may be assigned a single number in a catalog and offered at one time at the sale.
Maximum Bid: the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a lot. The price will only increase by the minimum increment, but will automatically rise to your maximum bid as others bid up the lot over time.
Reserve Price: the lowest price the seller is willing to sell the item. If the reserve price is not met at the auction, the item will not be sold.
Ringmen (Bid Assistants): Employees of the principal auctioneer who are usually positioned through the crowd of bidders on the auction floor to help the auctioneer spot bidders and to help control and influence the crowd.
Simultaneous Live & Internet Auction: Auction which is held in front of live bidders on the auction floor but are also open to bids placed over the internet during the actual “call for bids”.