Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions about Bidding with Rock Island Auction Company
When you submit your bids on Rock Island Auction's website you know exactly how much you bid because you entered the amount yourself and you will receive an email confirmation showing your bid amounts. This is the most popular way of bidding if you cannot attend. You can view the status of your bids on our website when you log into your account. You can view the 'Current Bids' link once you log in. Bidding absentee is a very convenient way of finding that special piece you have been searching for. It is actually very easy and allows you to save the cost of travel. If you have further questions simply call us at 800-238-8022, or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Live Chat with us. Absentee bidding is a simple and fun way to participate. Just create a website account, your data is secure, the web form has 128 bit encryption.
The following are the most common questions and answers about bidding during the auction. Before you can absentee bid you need to be registered. It’s very simple to register to bid. RIAC requires basic contact information and a credit card to run for authorization. This can be provided on our website when you submit your bids, or over the phone, or by fax using the form for bidding. We will not charge your card after the auction unless payment arrangements have not been made within 15 days, or you approve it as your payment method.
Auction Bidding Tips
1. Is it possible to win a lot for less than my absentee amount I bid? –Absolutely!
This happens routinely as we bid for you as if you are actually here. We do our best to get you the lot at the best price possible. For example: Say a lot has a low estimate of $1,000. If you had an absentee bid in of $900, the bidding might start at $500. Let’s say someone on the floor bids up to $700 and stops, if there are no other absentee bids or phone bids for this lot you would win the lot at $750.
2. What is the buyer’s premium (B.P.)?
Almost every firearms auction has a buyer’s premium that is charged to winning bidders. A Buyer's Premium is the amount added to the winning bid amount (hammer price). The B.P. is used by the Auction Company promote the auction and to help defray the auction expense costs.
The B.P. at RIAC is 17.5% if you pay by credit card. It is reduced to 15% if you pay by cash, check or wire transfer.
For example, if the Winning Bid Amount is $1,000 and you pay by check, the Buyer's Premium would be $150 (15% of $1,000). The Total Purchase Price is then calculated as the Winning Bid Amount + the Buyer's Premium, or $1,000 + $150 = Total Purchase Price of $1,150.
3. What is a Bid Plus 1 or 2?, What happens if my maximum bid is equal to another bidder's maximum bid?
A bid plus is used in case of an absentee bid tie. It raises your bid by one or two bid increments. Say there are two sealed bids in on an item for $1000. If there are no + entered on either bid, the bid with the earliest date submitted would be the winning bid. If one individual had a +1, the item would be hammered to them at $1100, or plus one bid increment. If you would like any additional clarification on the Bid Plus please do not hesitate to contact us.
4. What amount does the bidding start at?
Bidding generally starts no less than ½ of the low estimate. If there are a lot of absentee bids placed on an item, the item may start at the low estimate or even above the low estimate. The discretion of the starting bid is determined by the auctioneers.
5. What are the bid increments?
All bids must follow the RIAC bid increment table. Click here to view.
6. I want to absentee bid, but do not want to use the RIAC website or Live bidding companies. What are my options?
If you prefer to fax in your bids you can download a bid form. A current bid form can be found by clicking the link ‘Bidding Information’ at the top of the catalog search page. Or email us: email@example.com and we can email you one. Once you complete the form you can fax it or mail it to us at:
Rock Island Auction Company
7819 42nd Street West, Rock Island, IL 61201
Need further assistance or have questions about the form? Or if you just want to give your bids over the phone call us at 1-800-238-8022.
7. I live outside the US. Can I bid?
Yes. We are excited to have a growing number of bidders in the international community. Please make sure that you contact your local government to discuss regulations regarding firearm ownership and discuss shipping with customs in regards to getting firearms into the country.
7. If I Bid Absentee how will I know if I win a lot?
At the conclusion of the auction notifications are sent out via email with preliminary results. You can also view lots won if you have a website account. In the days after the auction each winning bidder will have the invoice calculated including any packing and shipping charges, and Tax if applicable. If we do not contact you via the website email or fax, we will call you on the phone to make arrangements.
8. I want to bid live using a computer during the auction, what live bidding service should I use?
Take your pick, as far as costs they are all the same, each adds an additional 3% to the Buyer’s Premium. We use three companies because many of our customers already have accounts with the company or just prefer the bidding interface provided them. Here are links to our page on each site. You will need to create an account with the site you choose to use.
Proxibid - iCollector - Artfact
9. Can I cancel an absentee bid?
If the item has not come up for auction, and you notify us 30 minutes or more prior to the item being auctioned off. Yes you can. Call us 800-238-8022
If you placed an absentee bid on one of the live sites, Proxibid, ICollector or ArtFact you must contact them as we are not able to access their system. RIAC is not able to cancel absentee bids you place with any other live bidding site.
10. I bid the amount the lot sold for and did not win? Here are possible reasons:
Tie Bids- It's possible that two absentee bidders bid the same amount (and bid higher than any live bidders). In that case we award the lot to the first absentee bid received. This applies to absentee bids placed through our website, mail, and fax. Each bid input into the system is stamped with the date/time received. This is why we encourage absentee bidders to give us your bids as soon as possible, as this scenario is very common.
The fall of the bid increment - Since we treat absentee bids as if the bidder is here live at the auction, trying to buy as cheaply as possible under the maximum amount the bidder specifies, there's always a possibility another bidder will beat them to that amount.
Here's an example of how that might happen:
A absentee bid is placed on a lot for $1000. Live bidders and other absentee bids at the auction bid the lot up to $900. At that point, we advance the bid on the sealed bidder’s behalf to $950. If there is no raise, the sealed bidder wins the lot for $950. However, the auctioneer asks for $1000 and if a competing live bidder bids $1000, we of course will take the bid. Looking at the sealed bid in this case, the sealed bidder told us not to spend more than $1000. We are not authorized to go to $1100 for the absentee bidder, so the live bidder is the successful buyer at the $1000 bid point exactly the same as the sealed bidder.
As you can see, this is entirely unpredictable and depends on how the live bids fall at the auction. In the example above, if live bidding had stopped at $900, we would have advanced the absentee bid to $950, with no other live bidders our absentee bidder would have prevailed. It is exactly what would happen if there were two live bidders in the audience who both planned to stop at $1000. One would get it, and the other would not. Preventing this from happening to you is simple. Since we buy for you as cheaply as possible at or below the maximum you specify, simply be sure you bid the true maximum you would go to if you were bidding live. Ask yourself, "If I was there, and the bid stopped to someone else at $1000, would I go $1100?" If so, bid a plus one or that extra amount. You still may fall on the bad side of the increment, but the exact same thing might happen if you were there bidding live. That's the nature of an honest auction.