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How to Buy at a Live Auction

No other selling venue offers the excitement of an auction. Both novice and seasoned buyers can explore and compete for a diverse selection of items at all price levels. Those set on buying an item become focused and determined, wives nudge husbands, husbands nudge wives, friends compare notes, the auctioneer calls, the spotters assist, the computer clerk is calling out bids, the telephone assistants are relaying their bids and paddles are waving. As bids climb on a particularly desirable item, people pace, eyes roll, heads turn and everyone catches the fever. The higher the bidding, the more the excitement builds and when that maximum is reached.... applause!

If you're new to buying at auction, we've created a quick reference with tips and advice so you can familiarize yourself with the process first. Click through and don't hesitate to contact me if you have further questions.

 

Always read the Terms and Conditions of Sale before bidding. The Terms set out the rules for buyer, seller, and auctioneer, and can vary from auction to auction and between different auction houses.

Preview:
The time set aside for the public to view items that will be offered for auction is known as, "Preview." Each auction house establishes their own preview times. At Auctions Neapolitan, our preview is typically 7 - 10 days online and 2-3 days for in person inspection. Look carefully at as many items as you can and take notes. During the auction you'll be surprised how many times you'll think, "What a perfect gift that would make!"

Use the Preview wisely:
Attend the preview as soon as you can and leave time to research the items you're interested in.
Bidders are responsible for determining the condition of the item they wish to bid on. It's best to preview in person, but if you are unable to attend a preview, look closely at the online images and call the auction house. Ask as many questions as you need to satisfy yourself that this is an item you want to purchase.

Determine how much you want to bid:
Auctions Neapolitan & Gallery catalogs provide descriptions with low and high auction estimates for each lot. These estimates are guides for prospective bidders and, when possible, reflect prices that similar objects have sold for in the past. These estimates are determined prior to the sale and are subject to revision to reflect current market conditions. Auction estimates should not be relied upon as a representation or prediction of actual selling prices. We recommend that you leave enough time to do your own research on the items you are interested in before determining how much you would like to spend. Knowing what you want to spend before the auction starts will help prevent getting caught up in the bidding.

Register to bid:
All buyers must be registered to bid and pertinent information must be supplied to establish identity and/or credit. Be prepared to present your driver's license in person or to fill out profile information online. If you are new to Auctions Neapolitan & Gallery, credit references may be required. When your registration is accepted, you will be given a bidder's number or paddle. Guard your paddle and number carefully. You are responsible for all purchases made using your account.

READ the Terms and Conditions of Sale that control the auction:
We can not over emphasize how important it is to read the auction Terms of Sale. The Terms are legally binding and can vary from auction to auction and can also be very different between auction houses.

Ahh...the fun part!

Attending in Person:
Chose a seat with a good view and watch your competition. Many auction buyers develop a bidding style. Some buyers jump the bid higher than the auctioneer's call to establish dominance over the competition. Others affect a nonchalant posture and discreet bidding style so a competitor will begin to doubt the value they set on the piece. When an item of interest comes before the auctioneer, raise your paddle high. Timidity at auction can signal uncertainty, which encourages the experienced auction buyer to bid further. Write the amount you want to spend where you can easily glance at it. If the bidding passes the amount you feel comfortable with, put your paddle down. If the other bidders drop out first, the auctioneer will hammer the item "Sold!" to you, and you'll feel a rush of excitement. You won!

Bidding LIVE via Computer:
Enjoy the the auction from the comfort of your home or office. Our gallery auctions are broadcast LIVE via the Internet. Bid via your computer at the SAME TIME that we are auctioning in the gallery! This amazing technology allows you to see digital images of each lot as they are brought before the Auctioneer together with a live audio/video feed of the action in the auction room. A simple screen allows you to submit your bid, which is relayed to the Auctioneer by an Auctions Neapolitan representitive. For more information, please call 239-262-7333. (We are unable to answer questions during the auction, so please call no later than the day before an auction.)

Absentee and Telephone Bidding:
If you are unable to attend the auction in person but wish to participate, you can arrange a Telephone or Absentee bid by calling the auction house, or you can submit your absentee bid through our web site. Absentee bids are an authorization for the auction house to bid "up to, but no more than" a specific amount on your behalf. In all cases, rest assured that your bid is treated fairly. Bids are submitted in standard increments in competition with other bidders.

Reserves:
All auction lots are subject to a reserve, but many do not have set reserves. A reserve is a pre-established confidential minimum price agreed upon between a seller and Auctions Neapolitan & Gallery below which the lot will not be sold. Generally, if a reserve is set at all, it will be a percentage of the low estimate. At no time will the reserve be higher than the low estimate.

NOTE: Sellers are not permitted to bid on their own property. Auctions Neapolitan & Gallery acts as an agent for the Seller and prohibits any Seller from bidding on his own property. It is important for all bidders to know that if a reserve price (pre-established agreed price at or above which the seller agrees to sell) the auctioneer may open the bidding on the lot by placing a bid on behalf of the seller and may continue bidding for the seller by placing responsive or consecutive bids, but only up to the reserve amount. The auctioneer will not place consecutive bids on behalf of the seller above the reserve.

 

Settle your account:
All sales are final and subject to the Auction Terms and Conditions of Sale. A buyer's premium and applicable sales tax are added to the hammer price of each item and the total constitutes the purchase price. Payment can be made with Cash, US Postal Money Orders, Bank Wire Transfers, authorized checks and Pay Pal. (some limits apply) If you pay in person, you may also use an electronically swiped MasterCard or Visa. We do not accept credit cards by telephone, fax or email. We do not accept credit cards that must be manually entered. No exceptions.

It is important to stress that regardless of the buyer’s venue, in-person, written absentee, telephone bid or remote via computer, all purchases are “AS IS” and cannot be returned except under VERY limited circumstances. (See Limited Rights of Return in the Auction Terms and Conditions.)

Take it home:

Local buyers attending our Gallery Auctions:
All purchases must be paid for and removed within 2 business days of the sale date. Delivery service is available at an additional charge. Arrangements for a later pick up must be made prior to auction day. Item(s) remaining on premises after 5 business days may incur storage fees.

When attending an On-Site Auction:
All purchases must be paid for and removed on the sale date. Delivery service is available at an additional charge. Any item(s) remaining on premises after that date will be transferred to a professional storage facility. The risks, storage fees and transport fees will be the sole responsibility of the buyer.

Long Distance Bidding:
Bidders located outside of Collier or Lee County Florida
and utilizing Absentee bidding methods, please call 239-262-7333 and an Auctions Neapolitan representative will assist you with shipping options.

Most important:
Have fun! Meet new friends, have a snack, watch the show and buy something extraordinary!