Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Q: What is an auction?
A: An auction is a process of buying and selling property or services by offering them up for bid, taking bids, and then selling the item to the highest bidder. See also History of Auctions.
Q: Can anyone go to an auction?
A: Our auctions are public events and everyone is welcome.
Q: What is a bid?
A: A bid is a verbal agreement of price that is the highest price that a buyer (bidder) is willing to pay for a good, item or service offered at auction.
Q: Why does an auction go so fast?
A: At a personal property auction there are usually many transactions per hour, which means the pace of the auction is fairly quick. This is necessary to sell an entire estate or multiple consignors' items in a short period of time.
Q: Why are auctions so popular?
A: The excitement of bidding, the thrill of the hunt, the rhythmic chant of the auctioneers - all these elements generate a level of enthusiasm that only the auction method can generate. The auction is unlike any other buying or selling environment.
Q: What advice would you give to a first-time auction attendee?
A: Don't be intimidated; you don't need to be experienced to enjoy an auction. Relax, have fun, observe, and ask questions. We are ready to welcome and help you. See also Attending an Auction.
Q: What kinds of items are sold at auction?
A: Quite simply, if something can be sold, it has probably been sold at auction. Tumbleweed Auction sells a wide variety of personal property including fine art, decorative accessories, glass, china, jewelry, coins, stamps, ephemera, furnishings, tools, cars, recreational vehicles, real estate and much more. We do not sell alcohol or live animals.
Q: What is the difference between an absolute auction and a reserve auction?
A: In an absolute auction, all property is sold to the highest bidder regardless of price. However, in a reserve auction, the seller reserves the right to accept or reject any and all bids, or to withdraw the property if price has not met to seller's minimum requirement.
Q: I can't attend the auction. Can I still bid on an item?
A: In the event that you cannot attend an auction, you can leave a bid on a specific lot(s) in advance of the auction with a member of the Tumbleweed Auction staff. This is known as an "absentee bid" or a "proxy bid". See also “Ways to Bid” in Attending Our Auction.
Q: What is a buyer's Premium?
A: A buyer's premium is an included surcharge that is a stated percentage added to the high bid for a lot to determine the lot's final selling price to be paid by the buyer. For example, if the buyer's premium is 5% and the winning bid is $100, the actual total will be $105. See also Terms and Conditions.
Q: What does "as is, where is" mean?
A: Where is means exactly as it sounds, am item is sold on the spot and immediately becomes the responsibility of the winning bidder. "As is" means that property is sold without warranty as to its condition and merchantability for a particular use. See also Terms and Conditions and Glossary.
Q: What is the difference between an estate auction and a consignment auction?
A: An estate auction is the property of a single individual. A consignment auction includes goods offered for sale by multiple sellers.
Q: What does "Bidder's Choice" or "Choice" mean?
A: Bidder's Choice or Choice is a method of selling that allows the winning bidder to buy one or several like items. For example, if a dozen collectible knives were up for sale and the final selling price was $25, the winning bidder would have the choice of buying from one to all twelve knives at $25 apiece. See also Glossary.
Q: How do I pay for my Items?
A: Tumbleweed Auction makes it easy for you to pay for your items. We accept cash, check, Visa, Master Card, Discover Network Cards, and American Express. Payment can be made after you have successfully bid an item or at the end of the auction. All purchases must be paid in full by the end of the auction.
Q: Can I return an item?
A: All sales are final. Please use the preview time before the start of an auction to determine your interest in an item.
Q: What if I change my mind after the auctioneer says sold and I no longer want that item?
A: Your bid is an agreement to purchase. You have committed to purchase the item publically; it is absolute. By bidding you have agreed to the Terms and Conditions of the auction. All sales are final.
Q: What do all those auction words and terms mean?
A: This is best answered by visiting our Glossary section.
Q: Do I have to attend an auction to bid on an item?
A: We offer absentee bidding which allows several options to place a bid. Please visit our absentee bidding section for more information.
Q: Can I bid for an item online?
A: Please see our absentee bidding section for more information.
Q: Can I buy an item prior to an auction?
A: Items are not available for purchase prior to the scheduled auction sale. If you are unable to attend please see our absentee bidding section for more information.
Q: When can I take the items I just won?
A: As soon as the auctioneer says "Sold" and your number is recorded with the clerk, the item is your responsibility at that point: please secure it. See also Terms & Conditions.
Q: Why must I stand where the auctioneer can see me?
A: It is important to make eye contact with the auctioneer when placing a bid: it is your way of communicating your bid. This reduces the chance of losing an item to another bidder or bidding on an item that you do not want. See also Attending an Auction and Auction Etiquette.
Q: What if I did not understand the bid or was not clear as to what I was bidding on?
A: It is important to pay attention to what is being sold. Listen for the lot number, and watch the bid assistant and auctioneer for the introduction of an item before bidding. Use preview time to examine items that you may want to bid on. See also How to Place a Bid.