Answering Your Questions About Rock Island Auction Company

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08/02/2019

Thank you from RIAC

At the beginning of July, we issued a short survey about our gun auction catalogs, how you bid at Rock Island Auction Company, and which bidding platforms you enjoy using the most. The response was very good with many people giving us feedback on their experiences. We appreciate everyone who took the time out of their day to fill out our survey, and we are very happy to have your input so we can continue working on making our process even easier and more accessible to our customers.

One of the main reasons for this survey was to determine how useful our customers found the Regional Auction Catalog.

Do You Use The Printed Regional Auction Catalog?

First off we want to clarify this has nothing to do with our Premier three volume color printed catalogs. There are no plans to change those catalogs.

We asked this question to find out how many customers really use this catalog. As the photos are not in color and we believed the majority would need the website to view and zoom the photos before bidding.

What we found was around 26% of the customers who responded found this catalog to be very useful to them. We also learned that only 56% of the respondents have attended an auction in person. If you have not attended, you should put us on your calendar. Our auctions are major multi day events filled with exciting bidding battles, great free food, and the chance for you to see and touch the guns you want to win in person. Attending a RIAC auction is like no other auction you will ever attend, you will have to attend one to see for yourself.

Auction Hall

Our last question on the survey was, “Is there anything we could have done to improve your last visit?” The majority of responses were very positive with many respondents giving praise to our helpful staff, easy-to-use website and catalog, and our well-organized auctions. Some respondents had a few questions about:

We want to answer some of these questions in this article.

How to Set-up an Account with RIAC

Rock Island Auction Company has tried to make the account registration process as easy and streamlined as possible. We have a very informative video to show you step-by-step how to get your account up and running. Watch the tutorial below.

How to Create a Web Account with RIAC

If you still have questions about how to get registered after watching, please contact us 1.309.797.1500 and one of our knowledgeable customer service staff members will be able to assist you. You can also email us at [email protected]

How to Place Bids Online

There are a few different types of bidding you can do once you register for an account. First, you can placed sealed bids on items using our online catalog. You can also arrange for live phone bidding or register to bid during the auction with RIAC Live.

How to Bid Online 

If you have never bid with us this recent article on bidding and winning has some great tips. A popular form of bidding is absentee and it is not only easy, it’s free. While a majority of the auction lots sell within the estimates, but there are always some that don’t and if you put in some lowball bids, you may just luck out on some amazing lots.

If you want to bid live online, we have our RIAC Live bidding software that allows you to bid on items directly from our website. This service has a variety of feature such as: your wishlisted items that appear with green watermarks as the item come across the podium for bidding, you can see your “won items” list, and you are able to watch the auction live while you bid (be aware that the video may be delayed depending on internet speed). We’ve highlighted in a series of videos all of the great features RIAC Live has to offer. The videos are displayed below.

Getting Started With RIAC Live

Make sure your browser is up to date. If you are using Google Chrome just type this into the address bar: chrome://settings/help

Watch the video on getting approved and the basics on RIAC Live.

Features of RIAC Live

If you have further questions about RIAC Live, please read our blog about its many advantages or contact us at 1.309.797.1500 .

How Do Buyer’s Premiums Work With Each Type of Bidding?

Like all auction houses, RIAC applies a buyer’s premium to all winning bids in order to cover our cost for cataloging, marketing, handling, and auctioning the items. That being said, our premiums are some of the lowest in the industry with some of our competitors reaching 23.5% for their premiums. Our buyer’s premium can be as low as 15% if you pay with cash or check. That means, if you win an item for $1,000, you multiply that number by 1.15, and the $1,150 total is the final realized price. That is just one example.

Here is a chart showing the total buyer’s premium you will pay on an auction lot depending on bidding and payment methods. Again, our percentages are some of the lowest in the business.

Buyer's Premium Chart

Hopefully this chart is helpful when it comes to buyer’s premiums. We understand that it can be a confusing part of the auctioning world, but it is necessary for us to keep our operation running.

Features of Our Online Gun Auction Catalog

Search Options

In our gun auctions, we post an online catalog that you can browse, bid, and search. We have a filter feature to the left of the catalog items that lets you search guns by product type (handgun, long gun, rifle, revolver, etc), category (antique, antique lots, curio & relic, Class III, etc), and manufacturer (Colt, Winchester, Marlin, etc). In the case of antiques, you can filter by “antique firearms” which will show any lot with even one antique firearm, or you can use the “antique lots” filter and the items in the shown lots will be strictly antique items. In Premier and Regional Auctions, we also have a “collections” filters that groups certain items that we have many of like Civil War, U.S. Martial, or Winchester Experimental to name a few.

We are actively working on some basic improvements to the search process, plus adding the ability to search by caliber in a more efficient way. That will be coming a little later this year.

Other Online Gun Auction Catalog Features

You will also notice that the catalog has icons that appear underneath the “Sealed” and “Phone” bid buttons to the right of the item listing. The icons show a list of different qualities related to the gun, and looks like this.

Icon Legend

The online catalog also has options like text reminder, add to wishlist, sealed bid, and phone bid are all also helpful features of the catalog when it comes to bidding. If you click on text reminders, you can be alerted when the lot you want to bid on live is about to come up for bidding. After you finish this article, you can read all about text reminders.

Our wishlist is another feature that helps you not miss you chance to win the guns you’ve been eyeing. If you are using RIAC Live to bid, your wishlisted item will appear with green watermarks that say “wishlist” so you know that is a gun you want to bid on. This comes in handy if you are bidding on multiple guns that are spread out throughout the whole auction day. Sometime the lots go so fast it is easy to be caught off guard when your lot comes up. You also can refer to this list when submitting phone or sealed bids. It is a great way to stay organized.

Wishlist highlighted items

RIAC Live showing items that you have in your wishlist, and notice on the right there are two lots that the user also has sealed bids placed.

 

item listing with sealed, phone, alert, wishlist highlighted WITH ARROW

With the sealed and phone bid buttons, you can click on the icon and a pop-up screen will appear with prompts. If you want to phone bid, press the button and add your cover me bid if you want to have one, then save your lot and it will be added to your cart.

Multi Item Lots

We received many questions regarding multi item lots. Such as “why do we combine items this way?” or “Does my one bid count for all of the guns in the lot?” In our gun auctions, if a lot has multiple items, your bid is on all the items included in that lot. Multi item lots are needed to group items for many reasons. The primary reason is because it would not be possible to sell over 10,000 firearms in four days without combining various items. Some lots are built as ‘Collector Lots’ meaning all one type of firearm or close to it. Other lots are a mixture of different firearms which appeals to collectors looking to get deals on many guns.

While it is not for everyone, many collectors like these multi lots because it is simple to win multiple guns with one lots bid or you may get a deal on all the guns since that are grouped together. We like to have variety in our auctions so we can cater to as many customers as possible and multi item lots are just another example of that variety.

Multi Gun lot example

Here is example of a multi item lot.

What Is A “Conditional Bid”?

Many customers are not aware we offer conditional bidding. When you have a couple items you’ve been eyeing but you only want to win one of them, RIAC can help. We can set up what we call “conditional bids” for those bidding with sealed bids. For example:

  • Say you want to win one of five M1 Garand rifles you have selected to be desirable. You can call us and let us know, “Hey, I want any one of the five following M1 Garands. If I win one, please cancel any remaining bids.” This insures you don’t win more guns than you should and gives you several opportunities to win.
  • You may also set a fixed amount. “I have 20 bids placed. Once I reach $2,000, please cancel all remaining bids.”

These are only a few examples of the flexibility we have that can help you win more guns. As of this writing, we do not offer conditional bidding on our website, so to place any conditional bids, please contact us via telephone (309-797-1500) and we’ll be happy to help.

Looking Forward

Rock Island Auction Company is always looking to improve and innovate our gun auctions to fit the needs of our customers and add convenience to their gun auction experience. We are currently working on a few new features with RIAC Live, as well as with our online catalog. What is in the works now?

  • More improvements to RIAC Live, including mobile device compatibility.
  • Improvements to the catalog search page, including a feature to make it easier to search by caliber.
  • Conditional Bidding from our website. For example, select 4 similar lots, once you win one item the remaining bids will auto cancel.
  • A brand new format is coming soon for our blog. Improved layout, better searching and navigation. We have put out over 200 blog articles with many more to come.
  • More photos! We plan on providing you even more photos. If you have not looked at our latest zooming tool, check it out. For example, lot 1064 in the September Premier Auction:

Full Zoom on items

If you have any questions or have suggested improvements you would like to see on the RIAC website or catalog, be sure to leave a comment below. Thank you for your continued business and support of Rock Island Auction Company.

 

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