Questions to Ask Before Consigning with Any Auction Company
Q: Is the sales contract competitive?
A: Absolutely. Consigning with RIAC is a partnership and our end of that partnership is to sell your collectable for the highest amount possible. We keep our contracts at a simple percentage and not a sliding scale gimmick that could potentially work against you. Remember, a low contract percentage is not the only factor when choosing an auction house. Let us prove how we can earn the most money for your items.
Q: Should I be concerned with “hidden charges?”
A: Of course! Even though an auction house may disclose additional charges, are the amounts clearly listed for you? At Rock Island Auction Company we do not charge extra for photography, storage, or insurance. We also do not charge huge rates should we agree to a cash advance.
Q: How do I know that the auction will be well promoted? What do you do to market your firearms?
A: RIAC is the only auction company in the world to advertise with full page ads in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and dozens of industry publications. Before each Premiere Auction, we also send out a free, 12-16 page, full color brochure to our massive 90,000+ pre-approved client listing. We also utilize a comprehensive email marketing effort in collaboration with a strong social media presence. We can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube, Reddit, and Google +. Last, but certainly not least, there is our internationally distributed, award-winning catalog. It has raised the bar in the industry and is proud to have won a Gold Ink Award. Our Premiere Auction Catalogs are spiral bound, gorgeous, books that are 800+ pages full of over 6,000 full color, high resolution photos. Each catalog is 3 volumes, one for each day of the auction, and contains around 900 lots. These catalogs are not something we did once. We produce them for every single Premiere Auction we hold.
Q: How do I know the auction house will attract bidders?
A: Rock Island Auction Company is the nation’s largest, auction house for firearms, bladed weapons, and military artifacts. In 2012 RIAC shattered the previous annual sales record $32 Million by posting over $47 Million dollars in sales! Don’t worry if we’ll attract bidders, they’re already here! Our existing standing in the industry, continuing marketing efforts, and plans for steady growth all speak to the fact that plenty of bidders will see YOUR collectables. And of course, more bidders equals more bids.
Q: What is your presence on the internet?
A: Take a good look at their website. Do you like it? Does it have a lot of traffic? Does it have features like web accounts? Can it accept absentee bids online? Does it offer an easy to use search tools, clear photography, and thorough descriptions? Does the company effectively utilize social media? Now look at Rock Island Auction Company.
Our IT and marketing departments work hand-in-hand to market your firearms all over the world! We find the correct category for your item and use that genre to optimize search engine results for potential buyers. That equals more people who see and possibly bid on your item. We have partnerships with industry websites, forums, and online groups to help spread our listings even further to a very specific and very interested audience. Our auctions are also listed with third-party online bidding services. Those sites also market your items to their customers. RIAC also utilizes a strong social media presence and currently has accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Blogger, and Reddit.
In the month leading up to an auction our online auction catalog will receive, on average, over 1 million page views! That number doesn’t even include the numerous other places that your item can be discovered. We find outlets. We find channels. We find collectors. And we do it better than any other firearms auction house in the world. With an average of 70% of all our items sold to absentee bidders, a strong internet presence is critical!
Q: Does the auction company specialize in firearms or do they handle a wide range of collectables?
A: Rock Island Auction Company is dedicated to selling firearms and some related items such as edged weapons and military artifacts. Selling firearms is our business, passion, and expertise. We sell nearly 20,000 firearms annually and the number is climbing. We have sold a minimum of 250,000 firearms from all avenues of collecting since 1993. Firearms enthusiasts far and wide know to come to RIAC to fill out their collections.
Q: What is the auction facility like?
A: Many auction houses do not even have their own facility! They’re forced to transport their items to another location which results in excess costs and potential damage to items. RIAC has an 86,000 square foot facility with a dedicated auction hall, preview hall, and climate controlled storage area. Once your items arrive here, they stay here until we securely ship them to the lucky bidder. Our facility is the finest in the world for antique and collectable firearms!
Q: How do I know if the auction house will live up to its claims?
A: Ask for references and be sure to call them. Are the claims reasonable? Can you easily find proof on their website or in their advertising materials? However you choose to investigate, make sure that you are provided facts that can assist you in making your decision. A little investigation can prevent a lot of regret. Hopefully, this Q&A session has provided some good questions with which to begin.